Diversity & Inclusion


We embrace the diversity of our associates to create an inclusive culture in which everyone belongs, innovates and collaborates to provide fashion and inspiration for women and girls to live confidently every day.
Our corporate mission is to provide all women and girls with fashion and inspiration for living confidently every day. Our ambition is to empower women and girls to be their best selves. This includes our associates—comprised of 95% women with 61% women in executive leadership because they are the key to delivering a customer first experience.

With 50% of our Board of Directors being women, we have strong voices that align with our mission and set the tone for our Diversity & Inclusion initiatives.

We are proud to be named one of the 2019 Best Employers for Diversity and 2019 Best Employers for Women. As we look forward, ascena retail group, inc. plans to enhance our culture of inclusion by focusing on the associate experiences that drive engagement and ensure associates feel a greater sense of belonging.

Our D&I initiatives include:

  • D&I Committees, hosted at each local campus. These committees work with senior leaders, human resources and the enterprise diversity & inclusion team within the Responsibility Center of Excellence to assess and implement inclusive culture initiatives. Diversity & Inclusion committees are the fuel to creating a workplace community and a sense of belonging for all associates. Each Committee is co-chaired by a business lead and a human resources lead.
  • Associate Resource Groups (“ARGs”), voluntary, associate-led groups created to support a common interest. The mission of ARGs is to promote an inclusive and productive work environment, enhance professional development, build a sense of community and create a work culture where all people are valued, empowered, and given opportunities to contribute to the business and culture. Currently, our ARGs include ascenaPRIDE, Working Parents and Patchwork Multicultural.
  • Women@ascena Leadership Initiative – Enterprise-wide initiative with the mission to “intentionally and authentically empower ALL women at ascena, our customers and the communities we serve by seeking diverse perspectives, providing resources, opportunities and inspiration to elevate HER unique voice and purpose now and in the future.”
Our key focus areas include:

  • Leadership engagement to drive accountability and integrate D&I with talent and marketplace initiatives
  • Delivering D&I trainings, such as Respect In the Workplace and Unconscious Bias, to build awareness, fuel conversation, shift mindsets/behavior and cultivate more inclusive leadership and teams
  • Encouraging associate participation through Associate Resource Groups (ARGs) across the enterprise
  • Expanding key partnerships that align with our mission and D&I strategy
As our journey unfolds, we keep benchmarking top of mind as we build out programs and infrastructure to sustain diversity and inclusion over time. As a member of DiversityInc Best Practices we leverage the knowledge of expert practitioners across industries to fuel our efforts.
Gary Muto, CEO of ascena retail group, inc. is proud to join the coalition of more than 800 CEOs committed to making a difference in the workplace, marketplace and human race.
In 2017 ascena signed on to support the Human Rights Campaign Business Coalition for Equality. In 2018 we earned 100% on the HRC Corporate Equality Index and consumer buying guide.
Through Associate engagement, we developed products and marketed programs activated with a portion of proceeds benefiting GLSEN– dedicated to Safe Schools for All.
With the growth of the U.S. Hispanic population our brands must leverage the talent we have and broaden our considerations relative to our customers. The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility helps us grow talent and enhance our cultural competence.
Our commitment to Women and Girls is aligned with the inclusive culture and change work that Catalyst champions everyday.  As Catalyst members, we work toward accelerating advancement of women and ensure growth for all.
Through our Open to All commitment, we pledge that when we open the doors to our stores, and corporate offices, we are open to all, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other background.