FARFETCH: Inspiring Community with BEN & ROTA
At the heart of every establishment is community and the global platform for luxury FARFETCH Group is keen to make this known. FARFETCH Group is a family of brands that includes FARFETCH, Browns, Stadium Goods and New Guards Group. Their implementations of employee resource groups and strategic commitments towards inclusion are just some of the many steps they have taken to showcase their allyship. By providing ample support towards its employees of diverse talent, FARFETCH aims to change and inspire through effective conversation and thriving community initiatives. Read about their resource groups below and the active steps they have taken to become a more innovative and progressive establishment.
We’re committed to our Positively Inclusive strategy, creating an inclusive culture where everyone is able to belong and thrive with us. We’re very proud to have ten global Employee Resource Groups, or what we call People Communities, that represent a number of diverse communities across our global workforce, who come together to support our consciously inclusive action plans. We’re excited to share more about two of these communities: the Black Employee Network (BEN) across FARFETCH and Stadium Goods and Race On The Agenda (ROTA) from Browns. We asked the Chairs of BEN (Karen Hartley, Valerine Gichonjo, Jazzmin Carroll and Jasmine Campbell) and ROTA (Rasida Begum and Adrian Gordon) some questions. Here’s what they had to say.
What are the objectives and visions of BEN and ROTA?
BEN: The primary focus of the Black Employee Network (BEN) is to provide a safe space and environment for Black Farfetchers to network, share ideas, experiences, expertise and discuss issues. With its activities, BEN strives to empower its members professionally, play a role in shaping the Farfetch D&I strategy overall and lead the conversation on wider community engagement.
ROTA: The aim of Race on the Agena (ROTA) is to empower and represent all People of Colour (POC) voices at Browns to promote equal opportunity, progression and development.
How does your community actively showcase Diversity & Inclusion for its employees?
BEN: We have created a sense of belonging for everyone within the group and we actively encourage each individual to bring their best self forward. As well as welcoming differences and empowering individuality, we’re bringing together an incredible creative community. This, in turn, has produced a positive ripple effect within the business, creating more open conversations and new opportunities.
ROTA: By hosting business-wide events and publishing a regular stream of content on global occasions and historic events that are meaningful to our community.
What conversations do you have within your communities to stay updated and aware?
We regularly stay up to date with what our members are feeling, thinking and wanting through a number of internal communication channels, including a private Slack channel for members of the community and an open Workplace group where allies can join to self-educate and learn more about our initiatives. We have also joined the FARFETCH Conscious Inclusion Committee alongside our other People Communities so that we can openly discuss common experiences, share best practices and address any challenges together. By championing intersectionality within our business we’re working together to support other underrepresented groups collectively.
We’ve hosted listening sessions with the Executive Team so that they can hear first hand from BEN members and we can openly share our experiences with the most senior members of our organisation, helping us to drive change.
We ensure that we keep up to date with what is happening around the business, so that we can seek out opportunities to get involved in areas where we can make a real impact. For example, FARFETCH UK recently launched applications for its first Graduate Program and BEN helped to advertise this opportunity widely through our external networks to drive diverse applications.
ROTA: Staying connected is an integral part of ROTA. We have opened up a direct dialogue with our leadership teams, welcomed our community to share opinions and learnt about our colleagues' experiences through group listening sessions. With the world being even more active on social media, news travels fast, so keeping up to date with global news has been, and will continue to be, important.
Why have you partnered with BYP Network?
BEN: We want to partner with people and organisations doing amazing things for our community and BYP is a great example. Being able to tap into your network of amazing Black professionals is super exciting and we hope to hire brilliant people and create engaging content through this partnership.
ROTA: Our ROTA values are centred around showcasing the brilliant depth of talent we have at Browns, our community is made up of people from different ethnic backgrounds and we are honoured to work with a powerful network that is focused on changing the narrative for the Black community.
Please share a list of tangible examples of what you have done so far regarding your resource group.
- Continued to host amazing speaker events for both internal and external audiences. This speaker series aims to inform, educate and connect.
- In June we’re launching an intern program Elevate for HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) students in the US.
- Hosted careers conversations for BEN members who have been in the business for 2 years or more to provide career development support.
- Created initiatives that support a range of diverse needs in our community, including counselling, mentorship and more.
- Partnered with organizations to help us increase our diverse application pools at a senior level when recruiting
- Launched an external mentoring program for BEN colleagues to be mentored by Senior POC mentors from across the fashion and technology industries
- Made charitable donations to organizations that really mean something to us as the Black community.
- Launched a successful mentorship program with a strong representation of Black leaders
- Created a ROTA Workplace group on our internal social network to communicate activity to the wider business
- Joined the FARFETCH Conscious Inclusion committee
- Opened up the dialogue with leadership teams to reflect the communities feelings and lived experiences
- Donated to charities focused on supporting the Black community
- Advised on a company-wide collaboration launch to ensure it aligns with ROTA’s values
- Appointed 6 brilliant ROTA leads and created a logo for ROTA to establish our identity
- Hosted a Lunar New Year Event to celebrate the occasion and to share knowledge with our colleagues
- Launched a Mother’s Day Campaign to highlight our communities background and stories
- We’re excited about our partnership with BYP and look forward to the growth of BEN and ROTA People Communities.
We are always looking for talented people to join our growing business. Keep up to date with our exciting initiatives and career opportunities on farfetchcareers.com or visit the FARFETCH jobs board via BYP here.