For LVMH, Diversity and Inclusion Drives Business Success

World leader in luxury, LVMH views diversity, inclusion as source of creativity and performance. It is everyone’s business, says HR Lead Chantal Gaemperle

Employee diversity is good for business.

That’s the conclusion of an ever-growing list of studies that show companies with a socially diverse workforce are more innovative, productive, and boast better financial performance.

LVMH, the world's leader in luxury goods, is a case in point.

Counting among its 196,000-strong workforce more than 190 nationalities and people from four generations in over 80 countries, LVMH's luxury goods empire includes 75 prestigious brands (Louis Vuitton, Dior, Loewe, Guerlain and Dom Perignon), more than 3,000 stores, and reported sales of €79.2 billion in 2022

Not to mention ranking first in the CAC 40 stock market index by market valuation and in the top 20 of the world's largest companies. 

Its Founder, Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault is the second wealthiest person in the world – with an estimated net worth of US$200.7 billion, per Forbes.

While the success of LVMH is based upon numerous factors – diversity is at the heart of the French conglomerate, with a business model marked by a creative and long-term momentum to develop its 75 Maisons as ‘distinctive identities’.

Similarly, this is how LVMH treats its people too.

‘People make the difference’ underscores the approach the Group takes to everything, from guiding the Group’s HR policy to its choice of suppliers, retailers and partners.

Seeing diversity and cross-fertilisation of perspectives as a tremendous source of creativity and performance, LVMH strongly believes in people’s uniqueness, in their talent, and singularity, whatever their background, and values the differences of perspectives that make the business more innovative.

Among DEI goals, LVMH is looking to these workforce targets by 2025:

  • 50% Women in Group Key Positions and Pay Equity
  • 30% Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in key positions in North America
  • 2% People with Disabilities

But the Group also recognises that diversity alone is not enough to create an inclusive corporate culture.

“Inclusion is a choice we all make and that must be felt through our behaviours and actions every day,” says Vanessa Moungar, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at LVMH.

“As a group, we are committed to providing an inclusive experience to all our stakeholders – our employees as well as our partners and clients.”

In showcasing its vision of a corporate culture that is “diverse by essence and inclusive by choice”, LVMH recently launched a new series (It’s Everyone’s Business) of inspiring and moving portraits of the Group’s talented people – from a management trainee at Louis Vuitton to the Chief Commercial Officer NA at Parfums Christian Dior.

Inside LVMH's Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

Spearheaded by the Group’s HR Department, for more than 15 years LVMH has delivered on its D&I strategy to not only foster an inclusive culture where everyone can thrive and innovate – but also offer an inclusive experience beyond the work environment where everyone feels “welcomed, respected and represented”.

This is carried out across LVMH and its Maisons by embedding inclusive practices into the entire employee journey, the entire supply chain, marketing campaigns and store experiences.

As Chantal Gaemperle, LVMH Executive Vice President of HR and Synergies, puts it: “An inclusive culture cannot be decreed – it’s something that we build together every day, through our acts and behaviour. This is a day-to-day commitment, upheld by our drive and renewed areas of action because diversity and inclusion are everyone’s business.” 

But then each Maison deploys actions, initiatives, programmes and employee networks aligned with its culture, values, and strategic priorities and these are rolled out regionally.

To further enhance and recognise the impact of these year-round global initiatives, the Group has created tools and platforms to recognise and stimulate impact.

Chantal Gaemperle, LVMH Executive Vice President of HR at Voices Inclusion Week @ Boby Allin

Measuring Impact and Enhancing D&I

Launched in 2018, the LVMH Inclusion Index provides an observatory of the DEI initiatives undertaken by the entire Group – with the most impactful initiatives and the talents behind them rewarded during ‘Voices of Inclusion Week’, held annually since 2022.

During 2023’s Inclusion Week, nearly 200 initiatives were submitted, with the jury awarding six initiatives across everything from LGBTI+ to disability to gender equity.

Sephora was recognised as the company with the best diversity and inclusion performance indicators. Here are some of the Group’s other award-winning initiatives:

  • Dior Open Day – Christian Dior Couture holds regular ‘open days’ for individuals from diverse backgrounds looking for a job, to identify and recruit talents. Eight recruitments took place in 2022 across two Parisian stores.

  • Travel with Pride with Belmond – In 2022, luxury hospitality company Belmond curated two rail travel experiences for LGBTI+ travellers, including the British Pullman train which took guests to join Brighton’s 30th anniversary Pride festival.

  • Moet Hennessy Ageless Conversation – a match-making programme to foster a collaborative and agile workplace by bridging the gap between generations.

LVMH Stance on Gender Equity, Female Leadership and Pay Equity

Unveiled in 2007, the Group’s initiative for gender equity EllesVMH encourages true gender diversity spanning recruitment, training, pay equity, career appraisal interviews, mentoring, maternity and paternity leave.

Among DEI targets, LVMH has pledged to reach gender equity in Group Key Positions by 2025 – with 45% female representation, as of 2022. Women also make up 65% of Executives and Managers at LMVH and hold 18 CEO roles, including Delphine Arnault (Christian Dior Couture) and Veronique Courtois (Guerlain).

The Group is also targeting pay equity by 2025, achieving in 2022 a Gender Equality Index score of 91.8/100, as per the French government – and further encourages the professional development of women and men through various programmes (training, coaching, mentoring).

Take Shero, an internal digital platform created to empower LVMH women and men through learning modules and inspiring content with the goal of boosting Gender Equity, such as articles, videos and podcasts.

Among recent initiatives, a collaboration by Louis Vuitton in Asia with regional NGOs to hire women from underprivileged backgrounds.

As CEO of Christian Dior, Delphine Arnault is one of 18 Female Chief Executives at LVMH

How LVMH Approaches Disability Inclusion

Disability Inclusion has been part of the Group’s DEI strategy since 2007 – and after signing the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Global Business & Disability Network Charter in 2021, LVMH committed to increasing the percentage of people with disabilities in its global workforce from 1.4% currently to 2% by 2025.

Among successes, Louis Vuitton’s team in China has brought on board 40 employees with disabilities to work across retail over the last three years. While in the US, at Sephora, one in 10 employees at its distribution centre workforce has a disability – with a goal to climb to one in three.

Armed with a network of 200 CSR and disability officers across the Maisons, the Group delivers an ongoing roster of initiatives to suit the needs of each region and its employees.

One initiative, a work-linked trained programme in France has enrolled more than 100 people with disabilities over the last decade.

Among other initiatives: a Tiffany & Co. apprenticeship programme within HBCU institutions; a Loro Piana project involving a team of young people with severe cognitive disabilities working on recycling disused garments; and the Guerlain Human Programme, a partnership with VETA to assist and recruit adults affected with moderate to severe autism, with six recruits joining by 2025.

Beyond the workforce, LMVH supports Runway of Dreams, a non-profit that is changing the way the fashion industry views people with disabilities by recruiting disabled models and designing clothes for them.

As a premium sponsor of the Paralympic Games Paris 2024, LVMH is also providing direct support to athletes, with French gymnast Melanie Jesus dos Santos an ambassador for Christian Dior and fencer Enzo Lefort representing Louis Vuitton.

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