diversity and inclusion

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Mission

To intentionally make diversity, equity and inclusion embedded in how we work every day. To create a culture in which every employee feels like they can be their full, authentic self at work, and where our communities feel represented and welcomed with joy.

Starting from Within

  • In 2020, we hired a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Manager to lead our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
  • Nathan Williams, Chief Creative Officer stepped forward to be our DE&I Executive Sponsor. He is an inclusive leader who challenges the status quo and provides critical direction and support to hold us accountable to meaningful action at Indigo.
  • We have formally launched a Diversity Council, which helped activate 4 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) – Accessibility and Wellness Indigo Network (AWIN); Black Employee Initiative (BEI); Bound for Better Pride Network (BBPN); and Pan-Asian and Allies Network (PAAN)

Our Commitment

Diversity, equity and inclusion are more than words on a page. They are values core to our beliefs. We have made a promise to our communities, our customers and each other to increase our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Creating a culture of equity is not just the right thing to do, it is a non-negotiable priority. We know fostering diversity and inclusion empowers each of us to reach our full potential and creates a joyful and welcoming environment for everyone. We believe Indigo has a unique platform and responsibility to influence and enact positive change. We strive to use our platform for good – to intentionally amplify the voices and stories of our diverse communities.

Our Approach

Real systemic change in the workplace comes from looking inward first. We know that we must create a workplace that is a truly inclusive and safe space for all of our colleagues. Throughout our DE&I journey, we will continue to listen to our employees and customers and learn from experts and our communities to advance the work ahead. We are early in our journey and recognize there is much to be done.

Our Guiding Principles

A diverse, equitable and inclusive culture is good for people, communities, and business. We are on a journey of learning and unlearning. We believe that allyship is everyone’s responsibility. We will build trust with honest and transparent communication. We know that fostering a culture of connectedness and belonging creates community and enables everyone to unleash their potential.

Diversio Certification

  • We are proud to be included in the inaugural cohort of 80 organizations to receive our Diversio Certification. This means Indigo treats diversity and inclusion as a key performance driver and commits to regularly collect data on employee experience and representation and implement solutions that address bias and barriers while tracking our progress.

Employee Training

  • We enhanced our Unconscious Bias offering for all employees. Additionally, all leaders completed Unconscious Bias training, and senior leaders and select teams completed foundational Diversity and Inclusion Learning and Anti-racism training through the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI).

Our Culture

  • We are committed to ensuring that our culture is one where every employee feels they can bring their full, authentic self to work; that our workforce is representative of where we do business, including at leadership levels; and those leaders include, empower, and inspire their teams.
  • We are working to embed diversity awareness and inclusive practices into our work culture, ensuring consciously inclusive talent practices, including hiring, talent development, and measuring our progress.

Truth and Reconciliation

  • Indigo has engaged our first Knowledge Keeper to help us build a plan of action with culturally informed support and guidance, and ensure we take important steps of learning and understanding towards Truth and Reconciliation.

Amplifying Voices + Representation

We know that we have a responsibility to ensure our product assortment and marketing is representative of the population we serve.

Based on our commitments to broader representation, we are proud to be the first Canadian retailer to join the 15% Pledge. The 15% Pledge advocates for economic equity by urging major retailers to allocate 15% of their shelf space to BIPOC-owned businesses. For more information, visit 15percentpledge.ca.

As part of the pledge, we commit to take stock of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) authors and businesses we support; take ownership of our findings; and take action to define and publish a plan for growing the share of Black, Indigenous and POC authors and businesses we support to at least 15% over the next several years.

As such, we are making the following commitments:

  • By the end of 2021, we aim to have at least 15% of the books on display and new to our assortment written by BIPOC authors
  • In the next 2-5 years, we aim to have at least 15% of our lifestyle assortment from businesses owned by Black and Indigenous people, and People of Colour.
  • In the next 2-5 years, we aim to have at least 23% of the books on display and in our assortment written by BIPOC authors.
  • We will regularly reassess our assortment to ensure it represents the diversity of Canada.

As of June 2021, we have exceeded 15% representation across the majority of our business areas including in social (30%), creative studio (86%) and book displays (30%). We are continuing to expand our assortment with more BIPOC-owned businesses, as well as launch exciting partnerships with BIPOC-creators with our private label brands.

We continue to amplify important cultural moments like Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month, Pride and Indigenous History Month and highlight books by BIPOC authors and other equity-seeking creators year-round. In addition:

  • 60% of Indigo’s 10 Best Books of 2021 are written by BIPOC authors
  • 41% of our Authors of the Month in 2021 are BIPOC authors
  • 50% of our Staff Picks of the Month in 2021 are books written by BIPOC authors

We launched Mini Marche, a new marketplace of small and local Canadian brands that are environmentally friendly, BIPOC- or women-owned businesses. In September 2021, we brought on 12 new brands; 50% of these brands are BIPOC-owned or led.

We brought on a Kids Advisor, Sueann Hall, who is a blogger, reader, and a mom. Her mission is to diversify children's libraries and bookshelves so they are more representative of the world around them. She helps us rate, review, and build lists of the best BIPOC books for kids.

Investing in the Future

Indigo Love of Reading Foundation

We believe in the power of education to help create change. For over 15 years, the indigo love of reading foundation has worked to enhance opportunities for students experiencing marginalization. Through our programs we provide schools with the chance to diversity the books in their libraries, enrich their curriculum, and put new books into the hands of children who may not otherwise have access. To date, the foundation has committed $33 million, benefitting over one million students.

Since 2017 the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation has contributed over $1m to promote literacy within Indigenous communities. Most recently, over $340k in funds from Community Response Fund went to support First Nations, Metis, Inuit families promote literacy while at home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Additionally, Indigo pledged $100,000 to the Black Youth Helpline, with proceeds from our Antiracist Reading List. The helpline’s mission is to prevent social and psychological breakdown in communities by focusing on education, health, and community development.

We are dedicated to continuing this commitment to promoting equity within the Canadian education system.

For questions or comments, you can connect with the team leading Diversity and Inclusion at diversity@indigo.ca.

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