Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at L.L.Bean
The outdoors doesn’t judge. It doesn’t discriminate or patronize. Instead, it provides a haven for all to enjoy its restorative powers. At L.L.Bean, we cultivate this same environment of inclusivity and growth for all our employees. We are committed to ensuring that the outdoors is for everyone – and so is our company. Because, at the end of the day, we know it’s our differences that make us stronger.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: What We’re Doing
Since 1912, we’ve grown from a single employee (our founder, Leon Leonwood Bean) to over 7,000. Throughout our 110-year history, we’ve continued to work towards building a culture of belonging for all employees regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, abilities, or sexual orientations. Here are just some of our recent actions in building a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.
We aim to recruit and serve diverse people, offering opportunities such as literacy and mentoring programs that create pathways for underrepresented groups, close gaps in opportunities, and advance career trajectories. Participants support and advocate for others, develop meaningful relationships, and broaden their understanding of the company. In addition, we champion freelance talent and external agencies led by or inclusive of underrepresented groups, including BIPOC, women, and LGBTQ+.
Due to limited access, exposure, or familiarity, some employees haven't had many opportunities to participate in outdoor activities. Our New Outsider initiative aims to inspire employees from different backgrounds and abilities – and their families – to experience the joy of the outdoors, and the many benefits that come along with it. Recent New Outsider events include a Learn to Kayak Discovery Course and a Rangeley Camp Experience Weekend.
Supporting employees’ mental and physical health is imperative to our values as an outdoor company – and in building a successful workforce. L.L.Bean partners with Mental Health America and has an Employee Assistant Program, providing live therapy services, hotlines, and other resources to all employees free of charge. Fitness centers are also available in every building at L.L.Bean headquarters, and the Health and Wellness Department offers free health screenings as well as live follow-ups to any employee.
With a workforce of individuals from across the globe, we share information about a number of important holidays and cultural moments with employees to recognize and celebrate our diverse L.L.Bean community. For instance, we commemorated the exciting Costa Rica-New Zealand World Cup soccer match with a festive gathering in our Costa Rica office!
EBRGs are an opportunity to connect with others who share similar identities and experiences in a friendly, supportive, and inclusive environment. Members build community, develop and share resources, and engage in local outreach. We currently have Veteran and LGBTQ+ EBRGs, and a BIPOC EBRG is in the works!
L.L.Bean is a values-driven company, and those values are shared globally – we’re known for our Maine roots, but we have a presence around the world! From our teams in Japan and Hong Kong to our Costa Rica offices, you'll be collaborating with geographically diverse colleagues – a wonderful way to become a global citizen.
In Our Own Words
At L.L.Bean, we welcome unique perspectives and open conversations, maintaining the belief that our varying backgrounds are the key to business success and a welcoming, engaging workplace. Case in point, we shine a spotlight on a few of our own team members.
Chanyoung WooHe/Him/His Talent Intern
I am impressed by how often DEI is discussed at L.L.Bean – everyone from recent hires to our President and CEO take it as a point of focus. DEI offers a space for growth – an opportunity for all to experience the joy of the outdoors. I used to think that there are not many people who look like me and share my enthusiasm for being outside, but my time at L.L.Bean has proven me wrong. Meeting other Asian-Americans who are passionate about the outdoors has been a wonderful experience.
Tahira KhanShe/Her/Hers Senior Photo Art Director
My approach to DEI as a Photo Art Director is grounded in our brand statement, Made for the Shared Joy of the Outdoors. My role allows me to help change the perception of people of color in the outdoors. I've worked to include models with a range of skin tones, and I've introduced more black and brown models into our photography. I've also sought diverse behind-the-camera teams. This approach has offered diversity of thought and brought authenticity to the work we produce.
Daniela EsquivelShe/Her/Hers HR Specialist
DEI means that I can be my true self and feel entirely accepted while doing so. As a proudly bisexual woman, L.L.Bean is a safe space for me – I’ve been here for about seven years, and I’ve felt welcome every single day. This welcoming, inclusive atmosphere is one of the things I love most about L.L.Bean. I don’t need to hide any part of myself here – L.L.Bean encourages me to be who I am.
Sarah CoxChief Human Resources Officer
DEI has to be more than sentiments that sound great on paper. Our work — creating an environment that welcomes and values each person, recognizes every voice, and creates opportunities for growth, must run deep through our entire company. DEI is about meeting employees where they are and providing each person with a voice. Just like we offer many styles of Bean boots and multiple fits for jeans to suit all types of customers, we’re striving to nurture a company culture that embraces and empowers every employee.
Tony DonnellySenior Design Consultant
For me, DEI at L.L.Bean is about awareness. Time and again, information from DEI conversations enlightens me to new learnings and offers perspectives that I had not previously been aware of. I appreciate the opportunities for growth and awareness that L.L.Bean offers in this space. I also appreciate that these opportunities are largely voluntary – we choose how and when to participate in them.
Fatuma HusseinPack Problem Resolution
No matter what your background is, how you look, or what religion you might believe in, at the end of the day, we are all here to ensure that our customers are happy. To do so, we must prioritize DEI – all employees must feel seen, heard, respected, and valued in our workplace in order for us to achieve our potential and reach company goals.