Designer Brands Recognized for Commitment to Women in Leadership

Company Recognized by 2020 Women on Boards Group and Ranked 27th on Forbes' Best Employers for Women 2019 List


Designer Brands Named “Winning W Company” by 2020 Women on Boards 
Designer Brands was recently named a Winning ‘W’ Company by 2020 Women on Boards for achieving at least 20% women on its corporate board before the year 2020. Winning ‘W’ Companies are cited in the 2020 Women on Boards annual Gender Diversity Index which tracks the number of corporate board seats held by women among the Russell 3000 Index. Currently, five of Designer Brands’ 8 independent board members are women.

“We are honoured by the recognition,” said Designer Brands Director Carolee Lee, “and the forward-thinking support since we know that gender balance in the boardroom contributes to better decision making and a more successful bottom line.”

“We applaud Mr. Rawlins and the Designer Brands board for engaging the diverse opinions and perspectives of both genders on their board,” said Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, CEO of 2020 Women on Boards. “Studies have shown that the varied perspectives of women are uniquely valuable to corporations and the challenges they face today.”

DSW Ranks 27 on Forbes Best Employers for Women List 
DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse, Designer Brands’ largest business segment, was recently recognized on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women 2019 List. Currently half of the organization’s senior leaders are female. Forbes compiles the list of 300 by surveying 60,000 U.S. employees including more than 40,000 women working for companies employing at least 1,000 people. Criteria included direct recommendations on general work topics considered relevant for women. Diversity among top executives and the company’s board were also factors.

A Culture of Diversity and Collaboration  
“At Designer Brands, we’re committed to celebrating our diversity and leading with an inclusive mindset,” said Roger Rawlins, Designer Brands Chief Executive Officer. “We have many voices at the table, with each perspective adding to the dialogue. The gender diversity of our Board of Directors and our leadership team not only demonstrates our commitment to inclusiveness, it clearly and directly benefits our business, and ultimately enhances the value we bring to all stakeholders.”

The company’s commitment to diversity is also evident in its support of Designer Brands’ business resource groups (BRGs). These groups bring like-minded groups of associates together to provide support and development. Each also adds business value with their unique points of view and advocacy. Recently, the company’s BRGs influenced DSW’s 2019 line of LGBTQ+ Pride merchandise, helped influence the addition of paid paternity leave to DSW’s benefits package, and also helped bring about a collaboration with Adidas on a specialty athletic shoe benefitting the national non-profit, African American Male Wellness Initiative.

“The benefits of diversity are indisputable, to our associates, our business, our communities and our world,” said Rawlins. “As leaders, we must set an example at the top while also creating a working environment that attracts and retains the best talent. In the end, we all win.”

SOURCE Designer Brands Inc.


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