Jo Butler: Should it be mandatory for employers to report on their ethnicity pay gap?

At Asos, we believe that sharing our ethnicity pay gap data is an important step towards understanding and improving ethnic minority representation and building a truly inclusive culture. Our data shows that we still have a long way to go, we’re not shying away from that.

Over the past year, we’ve looked at every aspect of Asos from the perspective of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) from the brands we stock and the models we use on site, to the way we recruit and the DE&I training and development opportunities we provide our people. We have already started taking action in the areas that matter most.

Through our Be Diverse goal within our Fashion with Integrity programme, we aim to reach more than 15% ethnic minority representation across our combined leadership team by 2023, alongside 50% female representation, reflecting UK demographics. Earlier this year, we launched Future Leaders, a 13-month development programme prioritising the 200-plus ethnic minority women in mid-level roles across the business. Some 71 Asos staff are on the first cohort, with another cohort launching in January.

There are a lot of things that go into creating an inclusive and equal workforce. Simply publishing the data won’t drive inclusivity, taking action will. But we have a goal as a business to have a truly inclusive and diverse workforce and we think making this data public will help us achieve that and that’s what’s most important to us.

We’d encourage every business that has that same ambition to consider sharing its data. It might feel uncomfortable, but we believe it’s ultimately the right thing to do. We think people should be able to measure our progress and hold us accountable and we’d like to see more businesses take the step to publish their ethnicity pay gap data. Rather than waiting for legislation, businesses can help drive change faster, that’s what we’re aiming for.

Jo Butler is chief people officer at Asos