How UGG is taking steps on its DEI journey
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How UGG is taking steps on its DEI journey

FEEL GOOD is a natural expression we use often to describe how customers and employees feel about the brand. We’re happy that UGG brings a sense of ease to the everyday, creating a culture where everyone feels comfortable in their own skin.

This ethos influences how we think about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as a company, too.

For us, championing diversity within our workforce and customer base is key to the brand we want to build.

At the same time, we recognize that only by integrating real equity and inclusion in the communities we are part of can we foster that feeling of belonging we stand for as a company.

In 2021, we took significant steps to transform our vision and values into action. Here’s a look at some of the highlights, and where we’re going next.

In our workplace

Having a diverse workforce influences our company from the inside which is critical to making sure we are an inclusive brand that celebrates all of our beautiful differences. That’s why we’ve been working hard to boost representation within our own teams, adopting more inclusive interview and selection practices and partnering with historically Black colleges and universities to widen the pool from which we recruit. In 2021, 43% of all the new faces that joined our U.S.-based corporate office identify as BIPOC.

But real DEI is about more than just numbers. True equity and inclusion comes from challenging existing perspectives within our business and putting in the work to learn, and unlearn and to be better. All UGG employees have now participated in mandatory courses that cover unconscious bias, allyship, and DEI fundamentals.

Most importantly, we want employees from underrepresented groups to have a seat at the table when daily business decisions are made. That’s why our parent company has pledged to increase the representation of BIPOC employees in positions of leadership – at Director level or above – to 25% in the United States by 2027. Further, any interviews for these positions are conducted by a diverse panel of interviewers.

In our community

Beyond our own headquarters, we’re integrating our DEI ambitions into the heart of our company – down to the way we design, make, and market our products.

Being an inclusive brand means ensuring the styles we design are accessible to the broadest range of consumers. In 2021, we joined The Valuable 500 – a global movement that brings together brands who are putting disability inclusion at the forefront of their businesses. We also launched our UGG UNIVERSAL Collection for Zappos, a special adaptive range which sees modifications to heritage styles to ensure everybody can enjoy our Classic footwear.

Our UGG community extends to the people who make our items, too. To champion equity, inclusion and transparency among our suppliers, we continue to invest in an ongoing partnership with BSR’s HERproject. To date, this initiative has empowered and educated over 33,000 women in global supply chains through training on health, financial inclusion, and gender equality.

Lastly, we want our brand image to mirror the values we champion as a company. We’ve pledged that at least 60% of people featured in our marketing materials are either from underrepresented groups including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities, or diverse in their body types or ability.

In our society

Our bold DEI ambitions extend past the confines of our company, driving us to address the systemic issues embedded within our society, too. We want to use the power we hold as a business to make a lasting positive impact, so we’re putting our finances behind organizations that are helping to create the world we want to see.

For the second year running, in 2021, UGG and its parent company Deckers Brands collectively donated $500,000, split evenly across ten non-profit organizations that champion inclusivity, and social and racial justice. The recipients work across a broad range of important areas, from the protection of voting rights to disability inclusion to supporting BIPOC populations and the LGBTQIA+ community.

Going forward, UGG will continue to partner with non-profit organizations that champion social and racial justice, including a recurring annual scholarship donation to the UNCF (United Negro College Fund), established in 2020 to support those pursuing careers in design, sustainable fashion, and innovation.

Visit Stories by UGG to discover our monthly FEEL You Features highlighting the often untold stories of talented creatives making a difference in their community.