Responsibility

HER, AT THE HEART OF US

Our goal is to double our impact—in support of women, girls and the causes they care about—by 2025

Together with our associates, customers and partners, we aim to raise and contribute $250 million by 2025 in support of women and girls globally to help them be their best selves through opportunities to lead, strengthen communities, and live well.

ascena’s core purpose is to provide all women and girls with fashion and inspiration for living confidently every day. As one of the largest U.S.-based specialty apparel retailers focused exclusively on women and girls, ascena and our brands seek to drive positive change for the women and girls we serve.

OUR APPROACH – RESPONSIBILITY AT ASCENA

We focus on inspiring women and girls—our customers, associates and suppliers—as well as the communities and environments where we do business. Our strong foundation is based on the responsible sourcing of our products and the sustainable operations of our enterprise. We believe that caring for women around the world and providing them with opportunities to lead, give back and live well, will lead to a better future for us all. Our connection to our associates and customers is deeply rooted throughout our business to bring Her, at the Heart of Us to life.

Our Ambitions

INSPIRING LEADERSHIP AND OPPORTUNITY

Through education and training, we help give women and girls what they need to find their voice and lead. We inspire women in their lives, their work and their communities through our leadership training, mentorship and grants.

We bring this commitment to life by:

  • Launching D&I as a strategic business imperative and introducing mentorship programs for women and diverse Associates to drive engagement and retention
  • Training the next generation of women leaders through HERlead Fellowship
  • Reporting 61% of VP-and-above executives are women, 98% of our stores are led by women and our Board of Directors has gender parity
  • Impacting over 135,000 women and girls directly and indirectly with financial and in-kind product donations through HERlead, as well as support for Girls on the Run and Dress for Success

STRENGTHENING COMMUNITIES – INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY

We aim to strengthen women to care for their communities by giving back and paying it forward—for our associates in our corporate campuses and store locations, our supplier workplaces and our customers—supporting the communities in which we work and live. This year we achieved a giving record of $25.5 million on behalf of women and girls and the causes they care about – putting us 62% of the way to our goal to raise and contribute $250 million by 2025.

We bring this commitment to life by:

  • Supporting our associates and communities through ascenaCARES, the collective charitable initiatives and endeavors of ascena, it’s brands, ascena Foundation and Dimes From the Heart
  • Showing pride through our partnership with GLSEN
  • Making product donations to women in need through Delivering Good
  • Cycling for cancer research through Pelotonia
  • Providing access to clean water through Planet Water

For more information visit Giving Back page

PROMOTING HEALTH & WELLBEING

Photo Credit: St. Jude Patient Cohen

We invest in women and children’s health and well-being by helping them live their best lives through our long-term health and charitable partnerships and supporting causes that are important to her.

We bring this commitment to life by:

Highlights

Photo Credit: © Better Cotton Initiative

Sustainable Materials

Committed to increasing sustainable material sourcing, the volume of cotton sourced through the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in Premium Segment brands increased from 15% to 18%, equating to 1,400 metric tons of Better Cotton

Charitable giving

Raised and contributed over $150 million, putting us 62% of the way toward the 2025 goal of $250 million.  An additional $6.3 million of in-kind donations went to 20 organizations geared to empowering women and girls.

Diversity & Inclusion

Named to Forbes’ America’s Best Employers for Diversity and America’s Best Employers for women, launched mandated Unconscious Bias Training, and seven new Associate Resource Groups (ARGS) including ascenaPRIDE.

For more information visit Our Culture page

Photo Credit: Planet Water Foundation

Water

Ascena associates and vendor volunteers installed three AquaTowers and five AquaHomes, providing approximately 3,000 people with access to clean drinking water in Vietnam and India.

Carbon Foot printing and Pledge

Completed enterprise-wide carbon footprint analysis of ascena operations, including stores, corporate campuses and distribution centers and set a baseline to inform carbon reduction target – to be announced in 2020.

Supply chain

As members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s since 2013, we have engaged with all Tier 1 suppliers as well as strategic mills on their environmental performance through completion of the Higg Facilities Environmental Module (Higg FEM), a sustainability assessment tool that standardizes how facilities measure and evaluate their environmental performance. One of our many commitments to set environmental reduction targets for our supply chain.

Developed our first enterprise-wide Responsibility Report

Some of our memberships and stakeholders:

Committed members since 2016

Committed since 2014

Since 2014

Since 2018

First women’s specialty retailer to sign onto the SAC

Committed members since 2019