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Shake Shack’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Jan 29, 2021

What We Stand For
We believe diversity and inclusion are vital to Shake Shack’s success. We aspire to be a company where all people feel a sense of belonging—one that values diversity, not only in our words, but in our actions as we bring our mission, to Stand For Something Good, to life each day.

In 2018, we launched All-In, our formal diversity, equity, and inclusion program with the goal of making Shake Shack a great place to work for everyone who walks through our doors. Ensuring equal opportunity for success, diversity in leadership at all levels, and a culture that embraces different backgrounds and ideals has been the focus of our efforts since day one.

Thanks to our committee of volunteers, we’ve been able to launch employee resource groups, roll-out unconscious bias training to over 7,000 Shake Shack team members, and facilitate dialogue on critical diversity and inclusion topics through our Stand Together Series.

 

Looking Back, Moving Forward
Back in June, we shared a list of commitments in our fight for equality and racial equity as a company. These commitments included:

• Donate $100,000 to Equal Justice Initiative
• Host ongoing company-wide forums on racial injustice for open dialogue and difficult conversations
• Accelerate the work of our internal diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative, All-In, to get more representation in leadership roles
• Require unconscious bias training for all team members
• Continue to invest in the education and professional development of our Black employees
• Introduce Employee Resource Groups to create safe spaces and ensure that we hear all ideas for positive change

We continue to prioritize these commitments and are taking even more steps to deepen our impact, but we thought now would be a good time to update our community on where we are and where we’re heading.

Team Members at Topanga Shack

 

A Dedicated Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team
Since June, we’ve established a dedicated diversity, equity, and inclusion team within our Human Resources department to drive our strategic efforts and hold us accountable for progress. The team is working to establish our DE&I goals with metrics and measures of accountability, which will focus on three critical areas of impact: attracting, developing, and retaining diverse talent across all levels of the organization. Our focus here will help ensure a workplace that is diverse, inclusive, and values the contributions of every individual. We also hope to strengthen the communities where our team members live and work through collaboration with diverse chefs and brands and giving back to communities in need.

Enabling a culture of inclusion, belonging, and diversity is a top priority across the company. All team members have developed individual goals for 2021 to increase their cultural awareness, actively foster inclusion, and support recruitment and development of people from diverse backgrounds.

 

Investing in our Team Members
Our commitment to our teams and their success is steadfast. We prioritize listening to our teams and recently engaged our front-line team members to better understand the challenges they may face in advancing their careers. As a result, we launched our new personal and professional skill development program, Shift Up, designed to equip our team members in Shacks with the skills they need to advance to the next management level.

We partnered with an external educational institution to develop a curriculum that covers topics such as business writing, financial literacy, and effective leadership capabilities. The program targets the highest potential talent in our Shacks, giving them tools and empowering them to develop the confidence they need to excel in their careers. Seventy-five percent of our inaugural cohort of shift managers participating in the program are women and people of color and we are committed to having future classes mirror the diversity of the people in our Shacks.

We expanded our formal mentorship program to provide the opportunity for more of our team members working in the Shacks to be paired with a mentor. The program tripled in size and the number of Black, Hispanic and Asian team members being mentored increased by 90% in 2020. These cross-functional and cross-cultural pairings enable our team members to increase their business acumen, exposure across the company, and their ability to interact with people from different backgrounds. Each member of our Executive Team serves as a mentor.

 

Our Four Pivotal Employee Resource Groups
Our employee resource groups (ERGs) are company-sponsored, employee-led groups that actively work to support their membership both personally and professionally while fostering a stronger sense of community for all Shake Shack team members. We launched these four groups in 2020 with a focus on women, Black, Hispanic, and LGBTQ+ identifying team members. The goals and activities of each ERG align with company objectives and strategic diversity initiatives. Since launching, our ERGs have fostered a positive employee experience through education and awareness, networking, mentoring, and professional development activities.

Our Black ERG was instrumental in driving crucial conversations and demonstrating our support of the Black community. The group designed a work shirt that we distributed to our 7,000+ team members to wear in our Shacks and corporate offices to show our support for Black lives.

Father holding child & wearing "We Stand Up for Black Lives" t-shirt

 

Important Conversations in our Stand Together Series
In the wake of summer protests and the Black Lives Matter movement, we launched our Stand Together Series to have open and honest dialogue about the personal experiences of team members from marginalized communities. The company-wide sessions served as an open forum and safe space for sharing personal stories to help heal and deepen the collective understanding of diversity issues in this country while strengthening our community and team.

We hosted nine live sessions on topics such as racial discrimination and injustice, gender equity, LGBTQ inclusion, voting, and more. We had over 36 unique speakers sharing their stories and over 2,000 team members voluntarily participating in these events. In February, we will welcome Equal Justice Initiative to the series for a discussion on their important work and to drive greater awareness and understanding about the experiences of Black Americans.

 

Unconscious Bias Training for 7,000+ Team Members
We rolled out unconscious bias training to all team members in June 2020 to help reduce the impact of bias in the workplace and to encourage more inclusive behaviors and attitudes. The training helped our team members understand the mental processes underlying bias, how it shows up, and the business and human impacts of not addressing them. We will provide our teams with more tools, including micro-learnings, one-on-one coaching, and resources, to facilitate self-examination and action planning towards a more inclusive environment. We will address additional topics with our teams in 2021 to support individual diversity awareness and education, such as inclusive leadership, effective allyship, and sponsoring diverse talent.

 

We’ve Still Got Work to Do
We have made some great progress to ensure a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce. Still, we know we can do more, which is why we are putting a stake in the ground and setting short and long-term goals for the representation of women and people of color. Just as we set goals for every other aspect of our business, we do the same to attract and grow talent from diverse backgrounds.

We look forward to sharing these goals with our community to demonstrate our commitment and for you to keep us accountable.

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