The ultimate premise of design is to create better environments, utilities and tools that help people thrive – whoever they are and wherever they live, work and play. The ingrained diversity of humankind means that to design for a varied, global audience successfully, inclusivity, diversity, and equality have to drive not only the design process, but also manufacturing practices, operational procedures, and leadership style of any design brand aspiring to build a better experience for all.
March 4th, 2021
With their mission firmly anchored in creating great places to work, heal, learn, and live, Herman Miller believes that inclusivity and diversity are vital to creating better, more innovative designs that are more in tune with the needs of the global customer. But above all, the brand believes these attributes are paramount to making the world a better place. ”We know from experience that building an inclusive corporate culture filled with diverse people and perspectives has made us a stronger company,” says Andi Owen, Herman Miller’s President and CEO. ”But most important, creating an equitable world is the right thing to do,” adds Andi.
And while the brand has been scoring 100% on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index since 2008, they don’t consider their work on creating an inclusive and diverse environment anywhere near done. In fact, Herman Miller’s commitment to playing an active part in contributing to a fair and equal reality shines through various actions and initiatives the organization is undertaking not only within their own company but also within the broader industry.
From increasing representation and retention of a diverse workforce and ensuring equal pay for equal work regardless of race, ethnic background or gender to guaranteeing fair, bias-free career opportunities to all – fostering inclusive workplace culture is one of the main points of focus for Herman Miller. But it is certainly not the only one. Holding both themselves and the wider industry accountable, Herman Miller aspires to ensure that the design industry is inclusive and offers equal opportunities, education and exposure to those from underprivileged backgrounds. Similarly, the brand is committed to nurturing a vast and diverse suppliers network to create a stronger community.
A prominent aspect of Herman Miller’s commitment to promoting inclusivity, equality and diversity is their celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. Their internal LGBTQ+ Inclusiveness Resource Team – alongside their allies – actively advocate for equality and inclusion in the workplace and engage with local communities to foster LGBTQ+ initiatives. And with visible results – as the Australian LGBTQ+ community awaits the iconic Mardi Gras celebrations, Herman Miller earns the perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index as a ”Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality” for the 14th year running.
This drive to promote equality and inclusiveness has also found its expression in Herman Miller’s product range. The classic monochromatic Eames Hang-It-All coat rack has been re-released in a much more vibrant palette as a physical token of appreciation of the LGBTQ+ community. Adorned with all colours of the rainbow, as well as black and brown to represent the inclusion of LGBTQ+ people of colour, the Eames Hang-It-All is a way to make a bold statement promoting equality and inclusivity in a home setting or at a workplace – and it’s just as sturdy as Herman Miller’s conviction to use their leadership, resources and influence to strive to create a better world for all.
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