GUESS continues to strive towards creating a diverse and inclusive work environment, improving workers’ safety throughout our supply chain, and engaging with our community.
Diversity and inclusion have always been hallmarks of the way we operate. With a brand presence in more than 100 countries, we value diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives and the creativity they bring our business.
Since founding GUESS, the Marciano brothers have drawn creative inspiration from cultures around the world. Inherently diverse as a global organization, we work hard to cultivate an inclusive culture through our company values, hiring and career advancement policies, associate training and development programs.
We expect everyone at GUESS to cultivate a fair and inclusive workplace, and promptly investigate reports of possible discrimination, as appropriate. Our open door policy fosters honest and open communication, a critical element when handling sensitive issues. Associates are encouraged to discuss work-related concerns or issues with their manager, department head, Human Resources, or Executive Management without fear of repercussion. Our global whistle-blower hotline also enables associates to report unethical behavior or other potential conflicts.
In FY2019, GUESS established a Council for Diversity and Inclusion, starting in the U.S., to oversee the implementation of diversity and inclusion practices throughout the company. The Diversity Council is currently reviewing policies related to inclusivity and has launched on-campus events to more prominently celebrate diversity. Starting in FY2020, we launched our World of GUESS: Food and Culture events that feature cuisines from around the world, and celebrated our first annual Pride month.
We will continue to reinforce our leadership in this area by:
Through these efforts, we aim to empower all associates to reach their full potential.
We want our associates to feel empowered to take ownership of their work, pursue new ideas, and develop successful careers within the GUESS community. To attract and retain talented individuals we have developed an attractive benefits program, as well as several initiatives that support early career development and associate recognition.
Our Guess U.S. incentive-based wellness program promotes a healthy, balanced lifestyle and supports associates’ personal wellness goals. Associates receive points for engaging in health-related activities and are rewarded based on the points they earn. Examples of our point-based activities include gym visits, health cooking demonstrations, nutrition seminars, meditation classes, and biometric screenings.
In addition to our dedicated walking groups, which are a popular part of the wellness program, we have a fully equipped gym at our headquarters campus offering an extensive line-up of workout equipment and daily classes in activities like cycling and yoga. Associates can also purchase healthy food options including vegetarian meals in our GUESS Café daily, and our onsite nutritionist helps associates meet their dietary needs and lifestyle choices.
Our wellness programs are currently running in Los Angeles, Kentucky, and New York.
District Training Manager Program – recognizes store managers in North America and Europe with a passion for training and the ability to deliver exceptional in-store results. These managers receive continuous development in leadership and training to support their role of onboarding new managers.
Future Leaders Program – develops high potential sales associates in the U.S. for succession into management roles. The program is designed to build the strength of the store team, encourage internal promotions and improve the customer experience. In FY2018-2019, 30% of our new retail assistant manager positions were promoted internally as a result of this program.
Career Development Plans – provides retail associates in the U.S. and Canada with step-by-step guidance, checklists and e-Learning resources that help them understand how to advance in their careers.
We continue to expand and strengthen our Supply Chain Corporate Social Responsibility program through improved transparency, training and oversight to protect the safety and dignity of all people making our clothes.
GUESS requires its suppliers to comply with all applicable laws in the country in which products are manufactured. However, we believe it is important to go above and beyond regulatory requirements, recognizing that issues like business ethics, human rights, health, safety and environmental stewardship transcend geographic boundaries and some countries have more stringent regulations than others.
Our Corporate Social Compliance Program focuses on supplier education, training, sharing best practice resources, action planning, and continuous supply chain improvements. All suppliers must sign and agree to our detailed Supplier Code of Conduct, which include requirements on human rights, health and safety, labor, ethics and decent work, payment and administration. We ensure conformity with the standards by focusing on four core areas:
• Supplier factory approval
• Supplier education
• Supplier factory monitoring
• Remediation and industry collaboration
All supplier factories go through a strict approval process before they are authorized to work with GUESS. Factory management must review and sign our Supplier Code of Conduct and we require factories to provide evidence of their social compliance record with audit reports and certificates issued by peer companies, third-party certification bodies or multi-stakeholder organizations. Supplier factories located in high risk areas are asked to provide additional social compliance evidence. These audits assess compliance and allow us to engage and educate new suppliers on our standards and create the groundwork for strong relationships based on continuous improvement.
Our supplier factory training program is designed to increase supplier awareness and understanding of the Supplier Code of Conduct, with the goal of preventing social and environmental issues before they occur.
In FY2019, GUESS completed a series of trainings for supplier factories in five key sourcing areas (China, India, Mexico, Guatemala, and Bangladesh) that focused on transparency, and sharing best practices for continuous improvement. Our team conducted these trainings both independently and with the support of third-party consultants and/or local civil society organizations (CSO) for 289 representatives from 146 suppliers or factories. We received positive feedback from our suppliers who told us the training helped them better understand GUESS policies and the importance of audits and self-monitoring.
The ongoing monitoring and auditing of our supplier factories is a central aspect of our global Social Compliance Program. We assess finished product manufacturing factories, for compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct on a regular schedule determined by each factory’s compliance history and assessed level of risk. To conduct audits, we use internal or accredited third-party auditors that reflect our standards. The GUESS Social Compliance Team also conducts oversight audits on a regular basis at key supplier factories, and as determined by risk, for our licensees and private labor vendor factories.
Many improvement opportunities or non-compliance issues in the supply chain reflect wider social conditions in developing countries, such as a culture of excessive working hours or local labor shortages. That’s why we believe remediation is preferable to terminating relationships with suppliers.
We develop supplier partnerships based on mutual trust and an understanding that compliance issues can be discussed openly and remedied in collaboration. We work closely with suppliers, and sometimes factories directly, on the remediation process which includes root cause analysis, goal setting, corrective action planning, follow-up and on-site training. GUESS holds its suppliers to strict and highly detail-oriented audit standards.
Our role in the global fashion industry presents opportunities to educate our associates, suppliers, customers and communities on environmental and social challenges, promote responsible fashion, and create guidance and tools that make it easier for everyone to take action.
GUESS Foundation – Founded in 1994, the mission of the GUESS Foundation is to pursue social, health and educational opportunities that enhance the well-being, development, protection and assistance to men, women and children in our global environment. We use our iconic brand to create positive social change in our communities and promote our belief that every person deserves an equal chance to live the life he or she desires. After more than 25 years of community work, the GUESS Foundation has become an integral part of the GUESS culture and vision.
GUESS Cares – In 1996, we established our corporate GUESS Cares program in the United States and Canada, which provides a platform for associates to volunteer their time and skills in the local community. Every year we support a wide range of community initiatives that reflect the diversity of our associates and the issues they care about.
Here are a few examples of our associate contributions in 2017 and 2018:
Violence Intervention Program Back to School Event – 35 GUESS volunteers filled 275 backpacks with school supplies that were donated to the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) and Cherished Hands Foundation. Backpacks were distributed to children aged 5-18 in foster care and families struggling to overcome violence to ensure these children had the necessary resources to have a successful school year.
Heal the Bay Coastal Cleanup – In the last two years, 63 GUESS volunteers participated in the International Coastal Cleanup at Dockweiler State Beach in Los Angeles, California as part of the Heal the Bay initiative. Through Heal the Bay, close to 20,000 volunteers collected a total of 23.12 tons of trash stretching across 54 miles of coastline.
Medical Research for Children in Need – In lieu of annual holiday gifts, Guess Europe associates in Italy have chosen to donate to the Meyer Pediatric Hospital in Florence every Christmas since 2007 to support medical research that will benefit children in need.
Project Night Night – 25 GUESS associates donated 50 packages containing security blankets, books, and stuffed animals to Project Night Night, which provides over 25,000 Night Night Packages each year to homeless children 12 and under who need childhood essentials. The GUESS Cares Crochet Club has met during lunch breaks for years to make blankets and stuffed animals for Project Night Night.
Corporate giving is one of the many ways GUESS demonstrates its values and supports community initiatives. GUESS supports the rights of all people and therefore it is GUESS policy that no donation or charitable giving (financial, in-kind, employee matching donations, etc.) is allocated to organizations known to discriminate against people of the LGBTQ community, including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.