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Driving global inclusion with local cultural insights – Live case study with L’Occitane

19th May 2022

Live case study on driving global inclusion with local cultural insights

On the 19th May Creative Culture took part in a live case study on driving global inclusion with local cultural insights at the Global Inclusion Online Forum.

The case study was hosted by our CEO Mélanie Chevalier & L’Occitane Global Diversity and Inclusion Manager Aurélie Uricher, the case study covers the recent diversity & inclusion audit carried out by Creative Culture on behalf of L’Occitane. 

You can watch the full case study here:

Global Inclusion Online Forum is a global digital platform promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion for advocates and practitioners. With the goal to foster the advancement of these practices in the corporate world. Find out more here.

TRANSCRIPT

For further accessibility a written transcript of our session with L’Occitane can be found below.

Mélanie:
First to begin with, I would like to thank Aurélie for accepting our invitation to be on this panel. It’s a pleasure to be alongside her. She’s a great advocate of D&I and the role that organisations have to drive progress in general in society and pushing those D&I ambitions forward across the board. And she’s also a believer in the importance of cultural intelligence and sensitivity in the process, which is really one of our key reasons to be at Creative Culture. I’m Melanie, I’m the founder and CEO of Creative Culture, as you mentioned, we’re a cross- cultural consultancy. We help clients make sense of cultural differences and drive them into an opportunity, whether it’s across Marcomms, Insights, HR and D&I alike. And we work with a network of subject matter experts internationally across 120 countries. Aurélie on to you. 
Aurélie: 
Thank you, Melanie. And thank you, Anna, for the introduction. So I am very pleased to join this webinar. I am Aurélie Uricher. I started at L’Occitane Group in the corporate social responsibility department in France and in charge of the mission for people with disabilities during many years. Then I joined the headquarter in Geneva Switzerland in 2016 as human resources business partner. And one year ago, I took on your responsibilities as a global D&I manager for the group.
Mélanie:
Lovely. So we’ll start with our session, if we’re okay to have the slides up. Brilliant. Thank you very much. So today we’ll be talking about a project that we’ve been delighted to work on with L’Occitane Group and Aurélie’s team. It’s their 2021 global inclusivity survey, and we’ll showcase how we’ve helped them really better understand the levels of awareness and acceptability of different D&I topics across 15 of their key markets worldwide. But to begin the session, we wanted to share a short video that we put together at Creative Culture last year, which is really very all encompassing when it comes to cultures and D&I. So let’s have a listen and a look.
Mélanie:
Great. So there’s a lot of talk about intersectionality and D&I and how important this is. And I think hopefully this video really conveys that culture and cultural diversity in general is one element that is very important when working at a global level. So I’ll hand over to Aurélie for a short introduction to the project and their objectives and the challenges that they were facing.
Aurélie:
Thank you, Melanie. So to give you a little bit of context, when I took on my new role, the first objective was to get the buy-in of all our executive committee thought leaders, then recreated a community of amazing diversity equity and inclusion ambassadors in each country. And only after this first step, we made the decision to continue our D&I journey with the D&I survey in order to get an accurate view of the current level of inclusion and also give employees an opportunity to voice their opinion in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion priorities. So this is really something we want to co-build with our employees and not top down strategy. The main challenges we face is first to run the survey in more than 25 countries, also to adapt it in the different markets and to translate all the questions in order to be really inclusive in more than 20 languages and to be clearly honest with very few budgets. So it was also a huge challenge. And I think the most difficult part of this survey was to frame the legal aspect of the survey in order to adapt it country per country. And last but not least, it was also one of the huge challenges was to reach each population of our organisation.
Aurélie:
So people from retail office and also factories and the way to reach them is totally different from one population to another and it was really challenging to adapt the internal communication strategy to get a high participation rate.
Mélanie: 
Great, thank you Aurélie, so looking into a bit more detail in how we help L’Occitane and how we got involved in the project. Firstly to mention as we talked about early on that L’Occitane really appreciated the value of being more inclusive within this project of inclusivity survey and really embed the cultural analysis as part of their strategy and help them not only how they would be reading the survey results with a better understanding of what’s happening in each of the markets ahead of time, but also to help support the creation of the survey, informing on all the different topics that might have more levels of sensitivity within the country.  This would also inform their strategy globally and how they would go about inclusivity and the next steps. But also it would support their local markets and countries and how they would execute the initiatives on the ground of course. So L’Occitane working to better understand the state of D&I and 15 of their key markets, looking how different topics were perceived, what would be potential challenges around this and how we would be able to talk about them if at all in some of those countries and also understanding if society was ready, basically ready to be talking about this and making progress about various topics in general.
Mélanie:
We worked with two diversity, equity and inclusion experts per market alongside a global strategist that would make sense of all recommendations across markets and sort of inform globally, what were the trends and how that would support already and her teams. So concretely we undertook some research, we undertook some research in the market to produce some one pagers that would be guides for L’Occitane and their teams centrally and locally to understand what is the state of awareness and acceptability across all the topics. And we also developed an index which I’ll run you through a bit more in a moment and produce some key recommendations.  So looking at the strands, it was quite broad as a reach. So here you can see we looked into elements of ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, ageism, disability, mental health and social equity across all of the countries. And it was really important, as I mentioned, to look at the intersectionality across all of these different angles. Here we have some of the insights that we produced along the way. The reason I chose this too is firstly whilst religion and beliefs weren’t a focus in the research, we still took this on board because it was very important to do the readings and understand the perception locally and culturally in some countries like Malaysia particularly here when it comes to gender and sexual orientation.
Mélanie:
But also the second one is quite interesting because there was an element raised around mental health not being really at the forefront of people’s minds in Brazil yet. And therefore this would really inform not only sort of focus for that market but also the reading of the results for the teams at a central level. Now looking at this index more specifically, just to quickly explain so what we did is we created an index with ratings from one to five. So this aims to see the acceptability and awareness around each of these trends in the countries. Ratings with one were very low and five very high. And here we can see some results for Germany, India, Russia and Japan. And as we can see the results vary greatly which really shows that diversity and the influence of culture and the perception overall. Some interesting readings here. So we can see that across some topics specifically they’re very different ratings from one country to the others. Taking gender here and sexual orientation with Russia and India but also within a country you could really go and look at what were the different topics that had the lowest awareness and acceptability.
Mélanie:
So with Japan specifically, we know it’s quite a homogeneous nation ethnically. So this is not a topic that is at the forefront of people’s mind because they’re not there yet and historically it’s not been something that they discuss and with mental well being. Also looking at the work culture, not necessarily wanting to show weaknesses or what could be shown or thought about as weaknesses is also something that relates to this rating around mental well being. So all in all showcasing here that we did quite a qualitative sort of review and cultural assessment for L’Occitane and now Aurélie will show us some of their more quantitative approach within the survey and some other cultural elements that came to the fore.
Aurélie:
Yes, thank you Mélanie. It was very valuable and insightful for us, so what I will do is maybe just to give you a concrete example of the outcomes of the survey and to display some key insights with an overview of our demographic data we managed to collect. It is not perfect again but it is the first great step for us, especially because in most of our markets we are not allowed to ask directly to our employees, this demographic data without ensuring anonymity. So this is what we did in all our markets apart from Canada and the US.  So for example here one of the first insight we observed was the fact that the percentage of people who answered prefer not to say let us know that we have to work both on education and diversity, equity inclusion and on what is at stake and maybe also on the level of trust on this topic. And another insight I can share with you regarding people with disabilities is the fact that it is such a low percentage and this is our interpretation because more than 80% of disabilities are not visible and sometimes people does not want to disclose it and sometimes they’re not aware to have disability.
Aurélie:
So this is something we will work on. Can you go to the next slide? Perfect. Another insight I can share with you because it was very interesting for us and what we learned is regarding the caring responsibilities. So the percentage of people in Asia who is in charge of someone elderly or someone who is ill, is really higher than in Switzerland and France for example. So you may think it is pretty easy to observe it. But for us it is again very hard to get to collect this data, especially with our HRAs because in some markets we are not allowed to ask this kind of question. So it is really a relevant for us in the way we will also build our diversity equity and inclusion roadmap. And to sum up regarding the big insight on our strength and area of improvement, the good insights we collected is that for most of our employees they feel comfortable talking about their background and cultural experiences with their colleagues and they think that the group provides an environment for free and open expression. And on the other hand we observed and we learned that we really have to focus on three main pillars around communication and values and to go even further in the feedback culture and the way we are communicating on our commitment.
Aurélie:
The second pillar is on management practises in order to increase diversity but also to build even fairer workplace in our different countries and markets. And last but not least trust and open expression. And this is what we are doing thanks to an engagement survey, D&I survey but also the pickup policy we are deploying within the group. Regarding the key outcomes we are very happy regarding the participation rate that was very high and very relevant. So today we can build a solid action plan and we will co-build it with our employees in different focus groups we are now organising in all our different markets. The second key outcomes is the fact that we manage to validate our strengths and areas of improvements and also to collect data and diversity. That is really not easy. I know that all my counterparts of the other companies are facing the same difficulty and the added value of this survey was really, I think, to confirm the intuition we already had to really focus both on inclusive practises and fairer practises because sometimes it’s very easy to attract people from minorities or underrepresented groups, but it’s very hard to keep them and remain them and to develop them among our group and then to implement some specific local action in the different countries because, as you know, one size doesn’t fit all and the index of acceptability of creative culture will be very helpful and is very helpful in the way.  Also we analyse all the different results of our survey.
Mélanie:
Great! Well, thank you very much.

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