Considering Diversity in Corporate Meeting Rooms especially in regards to gender and race. has intensified over the past two years. But that’s not the only voice that deserves more representation within the C-suites of both large and small companies.
That’s why British personal care company The Body Shop supports this unique effort that has been dubbed the The Body Shop Youth CollectiveTo bring another stakeholder group to the decision-making table: a generation of youth under 30 that has little to do with creating the climate crisis. But who will live the longest by impact?
This initiative was inspired by B Lab UK’s Boardroom 2030 program, which challenges businesses Imagine what the company’s board will look like in a more inclusive future at the end of this decade. and to experiment by inviting different participants to the strategy discussion rather than to participate. About two dozen companies, including The Body Shop and London-based Coutts Bank, have participated in the Boardroom 2030 “activation” that encourages companies to Start developing a framework for such engagement.
The Body Shop hosted its first Boardroom 2030 meeting to the public in November. During the COP26 meeting in Glasgow Scotland There were seven participants under the age of 30 — three staff representatives. two researchers climate activist and a manager from another Certified B Corporation. The 90-minute session also included a personal care company CEO and two facilitators. A reporter listener was invited. Activists, consultants and other executives Join the conversation observer.
“We are facing a crisis, things have to be done differently,” David Boynton, CEO of The Body Shop, reflected during the meeting. which I have attended “We need different sounds in the room. And we need to make it a little uncomfortable.”
I think we missed the trick here. We should work together and push each other … activities are very important. But so are the people inside.
in between Glasgow debateFramed and led by Chris Davis, Director of Mobility and Sustainability at The Body Shop. The Youth Committee made recommendations on three key areas: the role of product packaging; especially the company’s refueling project The Efficiency and Value of Including Carbon Footprint Data on Specific Product Labels and what the next generation is looking for from a company that is “targeted” as both consumers and potential employees. Suggestions from the first meeting are still being considered. But the encounter prompted the group’s official launch.
“You can’t have a business model that didn’t happen on purpose. If you want to have the best,” said Celeste Leverton, who attended the Glasgow Youth Committee. Coutts’ deputy director and sustainability manager said, “If you want to have a long-term business, You have to take sustainability seriously.”
One of Leverton’s main concerns is the current business climate. She said during the Glasgow debate. It is an intense polarization between many climate activists and the companies they are trying to move in other strategic directions. “I think we missed the trick here. We should work together and push each other … Movement is very important. But so are the people inside,” Laverton said.
make it official
At the end of the Glasgow incorporation, The Body Shop executives pledged to create a more formal structure for ongoing discussions. The shape of those plans became clear in May. When the company launched a period of three years “Be Seen Be Heard” Campaign together with the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Representative Office for Youth Supporting the deep participation of youth in At the heart of that effort is research conducted by The Body Shop in December. It covers more than 27,000 people in 26 countries, half of whom are under the age of 30. Research has found that three-quarters of respondents believe politicians and business leaders are “messy” when it comes to human well-being and sustainability. of the planet About two-thirds felt their voting age. (to which people have that right) should be reduced from 18 to 16, and young people should be clearly included in all decisions.
For perspective, nearly half of the world’s population is under 30, but that age group only represents 2.6 percent of parliamentarians. Information from the Federal Parliament.More than a third of parliaments worldwide do not have a single member under the age of 30, and less than 1 percent are women, according to research compiled by the organization.
especially A survey sponsored by The Body Shop shows that interest in increasing youth in decision-making is cross-generation: data shows that people of all age groups believe that, including younger voices and views, in Policy development will improve the political system. Go to The Body Shop’s Davis.
“The thinking and the people who created this problem in the seat of power in history. It’s not the idea and the people who are going to solve this problem,” activist Clover Hogan said during The Body Shop’s first meeting at the COP. “That would be my first provocation. We have to sit in a changeable place. and actually That is an incredible invitation because it is an opportunity to rethink how we live, breathe and exist in the 21st century.”
Observing Boynton: “What’s important is that we don’t want to be in the reflex chamber, right?”
When I spoke to Davis about the new campaign — and the Youth Collective involved — he stressed that both efforts were very much in the way of work. It is based on evolution based on the information of the generation they want to serve and accept.
“This is inspiring governments around the world to take action to unite young people. We want to make a change,” said Davis, who had “movements” in his name for about 18 years, long before most companies started linking their organizations. Social responsibility or sustainable efforts to contribute to policy development Since then, he said, The Body Shop has helped influence policy changes in a number of areas. For example, the company worked from 2009 to 2012 to collect more than 7 million customer signatures to support legislation to stop it. child and youth trafficking which later passed through 24 countries
Welcome to the meeting room
The Body Shop Youth Collective is part of the company’s broader effort to more clearly integrate the perspectives of young people into business decisions made by senior leaders. with a particular focus on climate and sustainability issues. “We accept the fact that we have to be challenged by people who believe business is part of the solution,” Davis said.
The first official group, made up of five individuals from within The Body Shop and five from other certified B companies, will last 18 months (at least that’s the plan for now). Administers The Body Shop at least twice each year. Davis said To create a group, The Body Shop has invited applications from around the world. These individuals were chosen for their enthusiasm. business knowledge and the passion of seeing the company become “Better business” as it grows The committee selected participants using the same process that would follow for general appointments, Davis added.
“It’s not every day that young people are called to key areas to influence established business decision makers,” Antonia Tony-Fadipe, The Body Shop’s comprehensive hiring leader, said in response to my question about With the Youth Collective of which she is a member, “My passion, impulse, and way of thinking are different for everyone in the Collective, and I have been greatly encouraged by the recruitment process and how bias is eliminated from the process and the diversity of the collective. Think is the first priority. When an opportunity like this comes, you need to make the most of it to make a real impact in the local community and at large.”
The intent and effect should be clearly stated for the Youth Collective (and I hope this will inspire many people) so that both business and society are consistent in priorities.
The governance component of the group will be of particular importance: deciding where to focus and then connecting the Youth Collective with in-house experts who can turn ideas into concrete action will be critical to the probability that the group’s governance is important. Trust and Success “If we’re going to do things, we have to be able to explain why. And if we don’t do things, we also have to explain why. It is our duty to be transparent,” Davis said.
Should you follow their advice?
It is also the company’s intent to share what they have learned with other Certified B companies so they can replicate the process.
Abigail Noel Davidson, US communications specialist at confectionery company “Slave free”, said, “Being an add-on membership to The Body Shop and being part of a young and ambitious group has given me a wealth of learnings, resources, and ideas.” Here’s the Chocolate Lily “From The Body Shop, I’m giving up my valuable presentation/communication skills. and a broader perspective on other business practices. through my colleague I have a new and inspiring network of very talented and talented individuals. which I can’t wait to meet how to work together”
In their written responses, both Tony-Fadipe and Davidson shared their optimism about the initial appointment and the willingness that The Body Shop’s senior management team to hire the Youth Collective. who look for similar initiatives that good governance will be critical to avoid perceived For example, it is worth noting that the Youth Collective is not officially part of The Body’s Shop boards. Even if they are the beneficiaries from their point of view. It remains a separate initiative.
Tony-Fadipe noted: “Initiatives like this should be focused on young people. Not a business center What will the youth gain from the experience? How will they have the power of good? What skills will they develop in the future? This is not helping businesses become more innovative and adaptive. it is cultivating a group of future leaders who need space to grow.”
Adds Davidson: “The intentions and impacts should be clearly outlined for the Youth Collective (and I hope this inspires many) so that both business and society are consistent in priorities. If a business dares to create an initiative like this they need Be really open-minded. Young people are more resourceful than they are often credited with, and they can look past ridiculous projects. Finally, it is imperative that these initiatives benefit both businesses and members of the group too often. The balance is off, especially with the youth at risk of being exploited.”