Known for Domyos, B'Twin, Artengo, Caperlan, Aptonia, Geonaute, Fouganza
Decathlon S.A. is a major French sporting goods retailer with 1,647 stores across 56 countries. The company has 88 signed sports under its brands and employs more than 96,000 people. Its revenue in 2019 was $13.3 billion.
There is limited information regarding Decathlon’s overall commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment across its full value chain. The company has not disclosed a gender strategy that goes beyond general support for diversity and inclusion nor has it identified any specific, time-bound targets that are related to gender. No information was found regarding whether Decathlon engages its employees or external stakeholders on gender issues. However, its Quality of Life at Work employees devote 30% of their time to educating, issuing alerts and working on diversity issues, including gender equality, as well as workplace wellness and equal opportunities.
There is no information available to suggest the company has a grievance mechanism that reflects an understanding of gender roles and the inequalities women face in the workplace, for instance by allowing concerns to be reported confidentially and anonymously to someone other than a direct supervisor. However, suppliers are required to establish their own grievance mechanisms for workers to report concerns.
Decathlon screens for gender-related issues among its suppliers as part of its audit processes, including sexual harassment, gender-based violence and discrimination against women based on their pregnancy or marital status. The company uses an internal and external auditing system to ensure that its code of conduct is being applied, along with regular site visits from local Decathlon production teams. Furthermore, the company requires suppliers to take corrective action if these issues are identified.
There is limited information available to indicate that Decathlon considers the fair representation of women in the workplace. With a workforce that is 47% female, the company nearly maintains a gender balance – 40-60% women – among its middle managers (38%). However, no information was found regarding the gender balance of the company’s board of directors, senior executives or senior management. Neither were details available about the gender composition of its workforce across occupational function or the gender breakdown of employee turnover or absenteeism rates.
Decathlon offers professional development programmes with specific support for women through its Female Leadership training programme and the Boost’elles programme that helps women employees gain self-confidence and develop their career goals. It has also established a mentoring system to provide support and advice to women who want to further their careers.
In the supply chain, Decathlon addresses the systemic discrimination that women face by requiring its suppliers to have a non-discrimination policy that explicitly protects pregnant and married women workers. No details were available concerning gender equality in leadership in the supply chain or whether the company actively procures from women-owned businesses or takes specific actions to increase the procurement spend directed to these businesses.
Though no details were available regarding recognition agreements with local trade unions or collective bargaining agreements currently in place, the company expects suppliers to respect the rights of workers to establish and join organisations without risk of discrimination, harassment, interference or retaliation.
No publicly available information was found regarding how Decathlon considers the fair compensation of women in either its workplace or supply chain or specifically addresses the gender pay gap. Neither were details found on how it considers key family-friendly benefits to support the unpaid care burden carried by its employees or workers in the supply chain.
No information was found to suggest that Decathlon covers additional costs surrounding the maternal, mental or sexual and reproductive health needs specific to its women employees.
Only limited details were available regarding the company’s efforts to address the specific health, safety and hygiene needs of women workers in the supply chain. While it requires suppliers to provide personal protective equipment and ensure factory facilities are adequately lit, there were no details on whether the company requires access to drinking water or toilets separated by gender. Furthermore, Decathlon has not made a public commitment to provide workers with gender-responsive health information and services, for example by requiring suppliers to have an on-site clinic with credentialed health providers.
While there is not a publicly available violence and harassment policy, Decathlon seeks to prevent violence and harassment in the workplace through its Blow the Whistle campaign that encourages employees to raise awareness and concerns. Furthermore, the company requires its suppliers to prohibit violence and harassment, including sexual harassment. However, no details were found regarding effective remedy for violence and harassment grievances reported by its employees or supply chain workers, such as not requiring private arbitration or silencing agreements.
No information was found regarding how Decathlon addresses non-discriminatory practices in marketing and advertising, for example by committing to avoid harmful gender stereotypes or ensuring gender-responsive communications and engagement with its customers to support gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Decathlon drives support for gender equality and women’s empowerment in the communities where it operates through its Ginkgo Sport project, which runs a programme aimed at young women from underprivileged areas. The company also designed and launched a sports programme focused on the co-existence of boys and girls at schools in India to promote gender equality and mutual respect.
Decathlon has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic through increased cleaning and sanitisation measures in its retail stores, warehouses and offices. The company has also equipped its stores with as much low-touch technology as possible, with express payment options via customers’ phones or smartwatches as well as robots that help with shelf inventory, minimising employees’ contact with products. Additionally, it has cancelled all non-essential business travel and large business meetings.