The Brief

C&A Foundation not only wanted to communicate their work empowering women to every C&A employee worldwide but also involve and get them all to act too.

The Challenge

With over 50,000 employees in over 28 countries speaking 23 languages and each with their own culture, it was a huge challenge. Added to that, the benchmark for employees participating in employer schemes is set by the global Fortune 500 companies at 21%; it’s much less for companies working in most of the countries C&A worked in: a worrying 5%. And this was to be C&A’s first global volunteering event.

What We Did

As a first step, we talked to over 30 members of C&A senior staff and internal stakeholders from across the world. We heard that whatever we did had to both resonate locally and connect people globally. It had to be fun, make people feel pride in the company, connect to the cause, be meaningful and have social impact. All while not taking people away from the workplace or infringing on employees’ personal time. No small ask.

We recommended that C&A Foundation adopt one single action to involve every one of their employees. So, we conceived the Inspiring Women campaign: over two weeks, employees across the globe would meet to share their story of and pay tribute to the woman who inspires them. By taking and sharing a selfie that included words, drawings, photographs – and sometimes the woman herself – each employee would trigger a donation to the charity of their choice, working to empower women around the world.

Next, with C&A management, we met and spoke with employees around the globe. We shared and tested our ideas with them and got feedback on how to best implement the action, then fine-tuned our concept. We worked together with them to figure out how to inform, inspire and enable every employee, in every country, office, store and distribution centre, to deliver the highest possible participation and greatest benefit to women’s charities.

The Result

Less than six months later, we went live with ‘Selfie Fortnight’, which achieved an unheard-of 51% participation rate.

The two-week campaign involved 23,600 inspiring stories told by individual C&A employees in 28 countries and raised over a million Euros to empower women worldwide.

An independent evaluation was overwhelmingly positive, with every target met. For instance, employees were significantly prouder of C&A and more aware of C&A as a global, socially responsible company. They were more aware of charities helping women. And they were happier at work. Team work improved as this brought employees together. C&A said their employees were “visibly moved” by taking part and we are now working with C&A Foundation to run the campaign again.

The campaign was a nominee and finalist in the “Employee Communications” category of the 2016 Sabre awards.

* Fiona and the Halton Bridge team worked on this campaign through Philanthropy in Action, Fiona’s enterprise that incubates new approaches to giving.
Read more about the Spark Effect here

In Their Words

How the campaign has boosted morale for employees

Inspiring Women 2015

See what happened during the Inspiring Women campaign in 2015

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