River Island: Fashioning an inclusive workplace

River Island are at the forefront of UK affordable style, their passionate employees are united by a love of fashion. After a challenging 2020 which saw many staff furloughed, redeployed, and intensely affected by the death of George Floyd, River Island needed to invest in their committed workforce.

The need to feed an inclusive culture

Already a diverse business, River Island now required an inclusive workplace culture to support staff throughout the organisation. With ambitions to become the most inclusive fashion retail employer in the UK and to build a team that celebrates and reflects the customers they serve, River Island approached Blueprint for All’s Building Inclusive Futures consultants to help them.



“At River Island we believe it’s our people that make us what we are. We want to be diverse at every level, we want to reflect the customers we serve and the communities in which we operate. We are on a journey with Blueprint for All to ensure we continue to build a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. This is a board level priority, and we are setting goals throughout the business, beyond recruitment targets, to reflect the change we want to see.”
Chief People Officer, River Island.

A journey of self-reflection

Blueprint for All executed a detailed business audit through the lens of ED&I reviewing processes, policies, and procedures. In addition, we also interviewed over 50 team members across the business, from the shop floor to the operating board.

Working directly with the CEO and Chief People Officer we took River Island on a journey of self-reflection, challenging them to enhance their position as a truly inclusive organisation. Our recommendations included streamlining their people management systems and recruitment processes along with intensive training and companywide communications campaigns.



Training the top team to take charge

Our specialist consultants facilitated training sessions for the 60 strong senior leadership team to uncover their own unconscious biases and give them the tools and techniques to impact the recruitment process and beyond.

“The mandatory development workshops have enabled our senior leadership team to consider how we remove barriers and take personal accountability. The fact these workshops were not optional meant conversations about equality, diversity and inclusion are now commonplace and part of the fabric of our culture enabling us to better celebrate difference and embrace unity.”
Chief People Officer, River Island.

Creating impactful change

As a result of our work, River Island are now well on their journey, having set strategic ED&I goals driven by the CEO. Their streamlined recruitment process is already proving successful, and we continue to support them make sustainable, long-term improvements towards full inclusivity.



Building Inclusive Futures Consulting

We offer a bespoke combination of consultancy, training, coaching and workshops to help businesses, leadership and employees create purposeful change within their organisation.

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