Levi Strauss & Co. is not new to the fight for equality. Here are are some of the ways we’ve made an impact in this space over the years.
Through our history of doing what’s right:
- We employed Black employees early in our history — starting in the 1920s at our Valencia Street factory in San Francisco, and we integrated our factories in the South a decade before the Civil Rights Act.
- In 1991, the Levi Strauss Foundation launched the Project Change initiative, aimed at fighting racial prejudice and institutional racism in the communities where we do business. Our groundbreaking work resulted in former LS&Co. CEO and Levi Strauss Foundation President Bob Haas accepting on behalf of the company the Ron Brown Award for Corporate Leadership, named after the first Black U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
Through the advancement of social justice:
- Levi Strauss & Co. has a deep commitment to advancing social justice — one that positions it as a unique leader in the business community. This includes robust support through the Levi Strauss Foundation for the leaders, organizations and movements on the front lines of advancing racial justice in the United States.
- Today, we are leaning into our longstanding partnerships through the foundation’s 2020 Pioneers in Justice initiative, which supports next-generation social justice leaders as they innovate through the power of networkers and technology to mobilize underrepresented voices across sectors.
- Voting is a fundamental tenet of democracy, and we believe in the participation of all people — especially disenfranchised and marginalized communities — in the issues that impact them. In 2020, more than $1 million in efforts to engage communities of color and remove barriers to voting.
- Eighty-five percent of the Foundation’s grantees in the United States are led by persons of color, a reflection of its commitment to social justice. Going forward, we aim to deepen our financial support, capacity building and engagement with leaders and organizations at the forefront of racial justice and creating change for the Black community.
- Over the last five years, our company and the Levi Strauss Foundation together have invested more than $37 million in organizations advancing social justice and equality globally.
By empowering our employees:
- For the last two years, we’ve had a dedicated Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging program focused on creating an inclusive culture, advancing women in leadership, ensuring pay equity and recruiting diverse candidates from underrepresented groups.
- We’ve established 10 employee resource groups, not only creating communities for employees to connect but also opening dialogues with leaders to understand how and where we can do better — influencing everything from our product and marketing decisions to our employment policies.
- We rolled out Unconscious Bias training to all leaders and made it available to the broader employee population as well. We’ve also started offering allyship forums and resources so all employees understand how they can be part of the fight for equality.
- To help amplify the impact of our employees’ donations to the causes they care about the most, the Levi Strauss Foundation provides employees with up to $2,000 a year in matching funds for donations and volunteer time. In addition, in response to timely or urgent causes, we occasionally run 2:1 campaigns where we give $2 for every $1 contributed, and at times we amplify employee giving with donation credits to gift to the nonprofit of their choice.
With our policies:
- We’ve expanded our paid leave programs, allowing employees to take time to care for themselves and family members — whether it’s a child or elder parent — which traditionally has had a heavier impact on women in the workplace. We also extended paid sick leave to cover all employees in 2020, and we commit to continue advocating for the FAMILY Act in U.S. Congress.