Header Image

Campaign Updates

| Improving Job Quality

Stitched with Prejudice: Zara USA’s Corporate Culture of Favoritism

This paper reports the findings of our original survey aimed at understanding whether retail workers’ experiences of their opportunities at New York City Zara stores was different based on skin color or race. Zara, the world’s largest fashion retailer, has faced several complaints about racially insensitive designs over the years.

This report finds that employees of color in Zara’s New York City stores face unequal conditions within the company:

  • Black employees are more than twice as dissatisfied with their hours as white employees.
  • Darker-skinned employees report that they are least likely to be promoted.
  • Employees of color state that they are reviewed with harsher scrutiny from management than white American and European employees.
  • Of workers in the lower prestige back-of-store roles, 68 percent have darker skin.

While Zara employees report experiencing discrimination in the workplace, they have also witnessed
discriminatory practices against Zara customers of color.

  • According to surveys across Zara’s New York City workforce, Black customers are 7 times more likely to be targeted as potential thieves than white customers.

In order to address problems of discrimination, this report recommends that Zara recommits itself to non-discrimination in employment, promotion, and service in New York City.

We recommend the following steps:

  • Institute a practice for workers to have access to a neutral, third-party arbiter to address their grievances, particularly relative to color and race discrimination.
  • Recognize and respect workers’ basic labor rights, including regular and reliable schedules regardless of race, equal opportunity to be promoted, and a living wage.
  • Allow New York City Zara employees to choose to represent themselves in grievances through real bargaining agents, such as labor unions, without interference.

Down the full report here: