The Body Shop has announced it will invite a ‘youth collective’ to present ideas and opinions to the retailer’s executive leadership team.
The collective will comprise 12 people, with six from the Body Shop itself and the other six from other B Corporations. All members will be under the age of 30.
Companies can gain B Corporation (B Corps) certification when they meet high standards of social and environmental performance and show themselves to be transparent and accountable.
The company said collective members would work with chief executive David Boynton and his team on long-term strategy, activism campaigns and how it innovates for the future.
It tested the youth collective model during environmental conference COP26 last year, and the aim is to boost the voices of young people in business – in 2020, the average age of a FTSE 150 board member was 59.
A number of other companies have formed boards of less senior employees, including law firm Pinsent Masons, which has a “Spark Board” that supports senior partners in ensuring their decisions are inclusive.
Boynton said: “I believe one of the most important roles today’s business leaders have is to ensure that we act as custodians of our companies. We must do everything possible to make sure that they are fit to pass on to the next generation of leaders.
“Whilst we may not always feel comfortable with the feedback from the Youth Collective, I have no doubt that creating a new formal mechanism to allow them to voice their opinions will be invaluable and make us a better business.”
Antonia Toni-Fadipe, inclusive hiring lead for the company, added: “Being a member of the Youth Collective provides an invaluable opportunity to be heard in a forum where young people don’t usually have representation.
“Not all organisations would be as willing to be challenged by young people.”
Earlier this month, the Body Shop announced it would extend its “open hiring” scheme, which involves asking candidates just three questions during the recruitment process: are they legally authorised to work in the UK?; can they lift up to 11kg?; and can they work up to eight hours in one shift?
The company argues this will encourage people who have previously faced barriers into the job market to apply, opening up opportunities to marginalised individuals.