New data shows support for equality law, including people with special needs



On June 2, 2021, The Body Shop US released new data showing that nearly 70% of consumers support the Equality Act. The data was part of a recent consumer survey commissioned by The Body Shop US to gauge consumer support and awareness of the myriad issues many, including those with special needs, face today. The survey, conducted by YouGov, interviewed a nationally representative sample of more than 1,200 Americans aged 18 and older.

The Equality Act, a landmark piece of legislation, would update federal law that protects people from discrimination based on race, national origin, sex and religion. It would expand federal civil rights laws to protect LGBTQIA + people from discrimination in employment, housing, credit, jury service, and federally funded programs, such as those for health and social work. education, as well as public places and spaces.

While the focus is on the impact this law would have on LGBTQIA + people, women and people of color, it would also protect people with special needs from discrimination.

Hilary Lloyd, Vice President of Brand and Values ​​for The Body Shop North America, is responsible for all aspects of The Body Shop North America’s marketing and corporate responsibility efforts, including strategy, digital marketing and e-commerce, loyalty, branding and customer communications. , customer insight and activism.

When asked what made Body Shop get involved and support equality law, Ms. Lloyd replied, “The Body Shop exists to fight for a fairer and more beautiful world. This is why we are proud to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ + people. , women, people of color, people with disabilities and other minority groups who will benefit from the additional civil rights protections provided by the Equality Act. The Equality Act is currently the most important federal law to protect people from discrimination, especially in states where they are particularly vulnerable.

The Body Shop and Open to All Partnership

The Body Shop US became a member of Open to everyone. Open to All is a national non-discrimination campaign focused on the idea that everyone should be welcome regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, identity and expression of gender, immigration status, religion or disability.

Calla Devlin Rongerude is the Director of Open to All and has over 15 years of nonprofit experience creating and implementing public education and communication campaigns at the national and state level across a wide range. issues ranging from the arts to equality in higher education and civil rights. Rongerude has worked extensively in coalitions, including civil rights groups, businesses, unions, religious leaders, and rights organizations.

“Open to All is a non-profit non-discrimination program that believes that everyone should be welcome regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, religion or disability, ”said Rongerude. “Our nonprofit coalition is made up of over 200 nonprofit organizations that serve communities in our engagement, including people with disabilities, and we are collaborating to develop resources and programs to educate businesses large and small. , to better serve vulnerable populations. In Open to All’s diversity, equity and inclusion work, we believe it is essential to include the more than 60 million people with disabilities living in the United States . “

“In partnering with these amazing organizations, we’ve learned that many, especially the transgender community, are under attack and need as much support as possible right now,” Lloyd said.

Improve inclusive policies

As part of The Body Shop’s mission to be more inclusive, they hired a Global Head of Diversity, Belonging and Inclusion. “We are constantly seeking feedback from our employee resource groups,” said Lloyd.

The Body Shop also has four active global employee resource groups that advocate for employees on race and ethnicity, LGBTQIA +, gender and disability. These resource groups provide feedback and also partner with the brand to develop strategic initiatives. In addition, each group has a sponsor who is part of The Body Shop’s management team and who defends this group at the board level.

“We also joined Purple Space in December 2020,” explained Lloyd. “This is a global network focused on helping employees with disabilities in different employment sectors. We engage the Purple Space community in sharing best practices, learnings, and monthly development conversations that continually shape our awareness of how best to meet the needs of our employees. . “

The Body Shop is also a member of the ENEI Inclusion Network and works with ENEI to secure the first phase of trust of people with disabilities within our company. “We aim to be inclusive for people with disabilities from the first stage of every employee’s lifecycle, the recruiting and application stage, where candidates are informed even before applying for a position that we will provide the necessary accommodations while throughout the recruiting process and then throughout their employment, ”Ms. Lloyd said.

Ms. Lloyd explained that they are constantly reviewing and improving their internal policies to ensure that all of their employees are fully accepted and supported. Examples include training and support around sexual orientation and gender identity terminology, including pronouns and the use of pronouns, replacing all gender-specific pronouns with neutral pronouns in our employee handbook, and the upcoming rollout of our work transition policy built around acceptance and covenant.

Encourage individuals and businesses to get involved

Historically, businesses large and small have moved away from politics because it was seen as controversial. In recent years, we have seen more and more companies get involved in some form of advocacy. When asked if this is something The Body Shop would encourage others to do, Ms. Lloyd replied, “I think there is an opportunity for businesses to make a commitment to supporting social progress and inclusion. At The Body Shop, we are committed to being a force for good, and we approach social progress through the prism of education, advocacy and action. In the United States, action is often achieved through policy and legislative changes, not short-term commitments. They require a sustained approach and a commitment to meaningful change. We are proud to have engaged in this action-oriented activism over the years, especially in our work supporting Planned Parenthood’s advocacy and policies that address animal cruelty in cosmetic testing.

In conclusion, Ms. Lloyd said their ultimate goal is legislative action. “We want to inspire our customers and let them know that taking action has never been so essential,” she said. “We also want to send a clear message: society right now is telling marginalized groups that they need to change. The reality is that society has to change, not them. “


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