Something changes if something changes

Something Changes if Something Changes

Dear fellow humans—

Nothing Something changes if nothing something changes.

Last year, we published an open letter titled "Nothing changes if nothing changes" which detailed the meaningful, measurable change we wanted to make in the lives of our employees and in the communities where we operate. Our commitment was to be actively focused on change and to be vocal in the fight against racism and inequality. Over the last 12 months we have worked together to keep the promises we outlined in this letter. Below we are holding ourselves accountable by highlighting the changes we made, the learnings we experienced, and the areas where we know we still have work left to do.

Our updates are in pink :-)

Awareness & Education
  • Create a new Inclusion Board which will be made up of representative employees across geographies, teams, levels, and demographics. This Inclusion Board will contribute to all plans and decision-making at DECIEM.

    Our board has been actively working across all areas of the DECIEM business for the last 12 months. In creating the board, we realized that equity is an important part of our commitments, as equity seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and recognizes everyone does not have access to the same resources. As a result we renamed the Inclusion Board to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board (it took three name changes) to reflect this learning. Our board is a collection of humans around the world in different positions at DECIEM. The board will continue to work across all areas of the DECIEM ecosystem.
  • Hold listening forums with myself, Ashley our VP of People, and each diverse group at DECIEM to hear how we can better support.

    We realized we also wanted to create listening spaces run by our colleagues at every level, with senior leadership attending but not leading the sessions. We provided space for our humans to run sessions focused on BLM, Anti Asian Hate, LGBTQIA2S+, and International Women’s Day.
  • Implement mandatory diversity training for all employees, including deeper bias and inclusion training for leadership.

    Diversity training was hosted for our C-Suite and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board. We also launched company-wide compulsory bias training for our employees. Additionally, we offered ongoing education across key diversity and inclusion learning themes for global employees, which will continue as part of our ongoing commitment to learning.
  • Provide one to one counselling to all colleagues who have felt disadvantaged in life for simply being them.

    We continue to offer one to one counselling support and are exploring options to ensure counsellors reflect the diversity of our teams.
Social Impact & Community
  • Introduce a Community Fund of $120,000 this year that will empower our store teams to work with local grassroots organisations that support the Black Community

    $80,000 has been donated so far across the following organizations: The Transgender District, Black Women in Motion, Saheliya, Black Creek Community Farm, 100 Black Men of London, Hogan’s Alley Society, Black Legal Action Centre, and BTFA Collective. Our Community Fund will announce further partnerships with more charities, while also donating the remaining $40,000, and deepening our relationships with these organisations. Beyond monetary donations, we provided products, participated in career chats, and held skin care education sessions.
  • Assess and diversify our Product Offerings, Suppliers, and Sales Channels, with the help of our new Inclusion Board.

    15 new shades were added to our Colours range - increasing our offering to 36 shades. The new shades are available now as Concealers and will also be available in our Foundation formulas later this year.

    We realized that we didn’t have a clear definition of what a diverse supply chain meant to us and that is where we needed to begin. We have started working on that definition, and we’re actively collecting diversity information from the companies who help us make our products.

    We still have some work to do with diversifying our sales channels, and understanding the complexities around this. This is a priority for us to fix over the coming year, as we seek to define meaningful metrics, including diversity with regards to business ownership and structure, the customer base that they serve, and how our sales channels impact their local community.
  • Continue to offer paid time off for voting and protesting

    We formalised a program for our humans around the world, including developing resources, guidelines, and tips for our employees on how to effectively protest. For the 2020 USA election, we provided our colleagues a paid day off to vote, paid for transportation to and from polling stations, and offset transportation emissions. We will continue to encourage our team to actively use their voices for change.
Leadership & Representation
  • Become more intentional in our hiring practices and succession planning to increase the number of Black voices in our leadership team. We are formalzing our inclusive hiring policies and succession program.

    We developed our inclusive hiring strategy, which included formalising relationships with new job boards and agencies that represent minority/ under-employed groups, as well as updated our hiring procedures and questions to make Diversity a "Critical Hiring" criteria.

    We haven’t increased the numbers of Black voices in our leadership team in the way we had hoped. DECIEM has a small leadership team, and we lacked foundational systems (succession planning, inclusive hiring practices, target setting, performance reviews) to ensure we were making sustainable, meaningful change. We are confident that the foundational changes we have made this past year will lead to greater representation for Black and other underrepresented groups on our leadership team. Meaningful change will take time, and we remain committed to increasing the diversity of our leadership team.
  • Formalise representation targets across all levels, with senior leadership as our top priority for change.

    At DECIEM, we define our Leadership team as humans who are Director level and above. There are currently 33 humans filling these roles, and there are a few things about our group that make us really proud:
    • 63% were not born in Canada/did not spend formative years in Canada
    • 48% of participants do not consider English as their first language
    • 48% do not consider themselves to be a part of the dominant racial or ethnic group
    • 50% identify as cisgender women
    • 26% identify as non-heterosexual
    Our representation targets are not yet formalised. DE&I experts are currently supporting us with further research and benchmarking, which will help us to compose formal representation targets. We will then develop a roadmap to ensure we can meet these targets for DECIEM in the coming years.
  • Develop a two-way mentorship programme, partnering senior leaders with BIPOC and other minority group employees for two-way mentorship.

    This program is currently in development. One thing we learned in the course of the year was how important certain commitments were to serve as a foundation for others. This specific commitment required groundwork that needed to be completed prior, and our plan is to kick this off in the Fall of 2021.
  • Partner with a Toronto based organization to create internship and employment opportunities for BIPOC individuals.

    We are now partnering with 6 organizations with a plan to expand to at least 12 by the end of 2021.
Accountability & Reporting
  • Publish our Inclusion and Diversity progress yearly.

    You're reading it :-)
  • Enhance zero-tolerance anti-racism and anti-oppression agreements in contracts for all employees.

    Our global code of conduct was introduced, including specific standards for behaviours and clear accountability when these behaviours are not followed.
  • Assess diversity scorecards for all people leaders, as a part of their performance evaluations.

    Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion questions have been integrated into all performance reviews.
  • Introduce an anonymous feedback line for comments, concerns, and ideas.

    We identified a secure platform to be used for our anonymous feedback line, which will launch globally in 2021.
In addition we've:
  • Launched three Employee Resource Groups for: BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, and Mental Health.
  • Started the recruitment process to hire a Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to join our team.
  • Reviewed all our company perks for inclusivity.
  • Added safe space signage to all our stores.

My words from last June remain true;

To everyone who has ever, or feels now, discriminated against or disadvantaged for being them, we are standing up and ready to fight alongside you.

To our colleagues, to our customers, to our suppliers, and to our partners. If you ever feel discriminated against in your interactions with DECIEM, or that we are not being true to our commitment of inclusion for all, I wish for you to come directly to me so I can make it my highest priority to correct. My email is

Wishing strength to our world as we fight for permanent change together.

With hope for our future,

Nicola Kilner