Commit to change, change will come

Commit to Change, Change Will Come.

Fellow Humans

We believe if you Commit to Change, Change will Come.

Two years ago we published an open letter titled Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes, outlining our commitment to fighting racial and social injustice. The initiative was considered a priority for DECIEM, after our eyes were opened to the harmful inequities that we witnessed on a systemic level. Last year we shared an update on our progress in, Something Changes if Something Changes. Now, we'd like to present the third chapter in our journey: Commit to Change, Change will Come. This third letter is a result of asking ourselves the tough questions, listening to our colleagues, our communities, and taking an honest look at where we can still improve in order to be the best version of ourselves.


We recognise that there are no overnight solutions to dismantling racism and inequality on a systemic level and so we need to stand firm in our conviction to change, especially when that change takes time.

That means humbly celebrating the small victories, from welcoming our first-ever Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, to integrating an extensive DEI framework into our company DNA. It also means working harder where we have not made as much progress as we had hoped: as mentioned last year, one such area was increasing BIPOC representation in our leadership team. The latest results from our DEI survey demonstrated that BIPOC leadership has increased from 39% to 45%, with BIPOC making up 66.5% of our total workforce. We recognise that the increase at leadership level is not huge but a step in the right direction. And we don’t want the work to stop here. Based on these results we have created new commitments for BIPOC leadership representation for the next 5 years. We intend to:

  • Maintain a workforce of at least 50% BIPOC team members, focusing on Black and Indigenous peoples
  • Increase leadership representation to at least 50% BIPOC, focusing on Black and Indigenous peoples

Looking Forward

Our reflections and soul searching identified one clear action step: a need to reframe our action plan into a 5-YEAR DEI ROADMAP, categorizing action into short-term and long-term work. This roadmap demonstrates how achieving equality is critical to DECIEM’s future

Commitment 1

Safety to be our authentic selves

Disrupt norms to foster a psychologically safe and inclusive environment where our DECIEM team members can belong

1: Engage team members in an inclusive employee experience


We re-structured our employee-driven DEI board by empowering members with advisory roles. Advisors can impact initiatives based on their unique lived experiences.

We re-designed our annual employee engagement survey to align on key inclusion outcomes.

We benchmarked our DEI sentiment survey results by demographics to better understand the experiences of those from historically underrepresented groups within DECIEM and shared our action plans with our DEI advisory board for their feedback.

2: Educate on DEI by upskilling on inclusion and emotional intelligence capabilities across the organisation


We formalised emotional intelligence and inclusive leadership behaviors in our competency model and annual performance review cycle. This was introduced in our “Human Leadership” program which focuses on emotional intelligence and is tied to DEI outcomes. Each new team member has a DEI introduction in their onboarding now too.

We created a monthly Global Awareness Days Celebration Toolkit to foster awareness for key cultural and religious observances, and to encourage team members to celebrate, connect, and learn.

3: Empower employee-led ERG voices and activities


We advanced DECIEM’s ERG’s by defining their missions, structure, budgets, and annual plans. Each ERG (BIPOC, Mental Health, and LGBTQIA2S+) has an executive sponsor to champion its vision and progress.

4. Make psychological safety and wellness a top priority


We introduced a Safe and Brave Space Declaration to align on how we create positive engagement and psychological safety at official meetings. We also launched a one month mindfulness program featuring weekly live sessions with a guest meditation instructor.

5: Demonstrate sustained commitment to Indigenous communities


We began a partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business to identify key opportunities we can action through their Progressive Aboriginal Relations program.


Commitment 2

Leverage diversity as our strength

Expect all career levels to be reflective of our communities and ensure all DECIEM team members can succeed

1: Inclusive hiring practices that reduce bias and remove inequities


We implemented AI tools to reduce biased language in our job postings, to encourage applications from different demographic groups. We also launched an anonymous survey for applicants to help gain insight on demographic applicant data.

We introduced a diverse recruitment slate for all roles at the Head-Of level and above to ensure we maintain a diverse pool of qualified candidates and we discussed DEI expectations with all of our recruitment search firms and agencies.

2: Equitable employee-owned and leader-engaged career development


We used our new competency model focused on emotional intelligence and inclusive leadership (described in our first commitment), to support our team member’s growth by identifying strengths and opportunities.

3: Consistent and clear promotion criteria and process


Linked our competency model to performance objectives to ensure we don’t focus only on “what” people do, but also “how” they do it.


Commitment 3


Connect with consumers and suppliers to understand needs, remove barriers, and amplify changes in society

1: Ensure DECIEM presents no barriers for suppliers to do business with us


  • We conducted a current state assessment of our supplier diversity program to determine strengths, gaps, and next steps. To better understand DECIEM’s fit with our current state assessment, we held exploratory calls with all Canadian supplier diversity councils and formed a supplier diversity partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
  • We included DEI dimensions in DECIEM’s sustainability survey sent to a subset of our vendor community to understand the diversity of our suppliers and their organisational commitment to DEI, which will inform our partnerships.

2: Integrate DEI in our customer and brand experience


  • We outlined our current product testing processes to understand gaps in diversity and inclusion, and held a learning session on inclusive beauty to talk about diversity and the science of skincare, which will be applied to in-store education for our retail teams.
  • We expanded our range of The Ordinary Serum and Coverage Foundations, from 15 to 36 shades, with greater coverage for mid to deeper skin tones.
  • We introduced “celebration kits” in stores to include gift wrapping options for a greater breadth of observances such as Nowruz, Pride, Lunar New Year, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Eid, Diwali, just to name a few.

3: Play an active role in driving societal change and ending the cycle of inequities


  • We granted ERG funds for employee-directed giving and continued the work of the DECIEM Community Fund, now in its second year, as we deepen our relationship with various organisations and causes across the US, UK, and Canada.
  • We integrated DEI into the Good Fund, DECIEM’s fund for giving, to ensure that we are taking a global approach to supporting causes both small and large from a variety of backgrounds.

Commitment 4


Ensure internal leadership accountability and be transparent about our progress as a company

1: Drive leadership accountability in DEI


  • We began the process of transitioning our diversity data collection from an anonymous survey to our confidential HRIS in locations where it is permitted and developed tangible DEI metrics across the DECIEM employee experience as well as our 5-year roadmap objectives.

2: Report on DEI progress internally and externally


  • We have shared our annual DEI progress publicly, i.e., this update ;-)

Thank you for taking the time to read through our commitments and updates. This is still the beginning. There remains so much to learn, and unlearn, but with focus and dedication, the impactful, sustainable change we want is ahead. I look forward to including you on our path to progress, and sharing these ongoing insights along the way.

With gratitude, love, and a deep sense of hope for our future.

Nicola Kilner