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Culture

Be Human, and make a home

By Alison Awoyera
Alison Awoyera
Like Ms FENTY, has a way with words. Founder: ITSBLACKOWNED.COM showcasing brilliant, Black-owned brands.
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Be Human, and make a home
I’ve been a Farfetcher for 6 years and can remember the first day I stepped into the office. A few things stood out: 1) how modern the office environment felt (‘wow, no desk telephones – just Skype?!’), 2) seeing everyone, including the CEO work in the same room and 3) Stephanie Horton.

You may wonder why our then CMO (and now member of FARFETCH’s Board of Directors) was so significant for me.  As a Londoner, I’m accustomed to meeting people from all walks of life in the office, and embracing our different backgrounds. But it was the first time I’d seen a Black woman at a senior level of a company – and to be interviewed by her? I was as much in awe as I was nervous!

Once the grilling was over – (awe aside let’s face it: it’s still an interview!) – I learned that FARFETCH really is a unique place to work. And what makes FARFETCH work, is its people. We pride ourselves on honing our values – Be Brilliant, Amaze Customers, Think Global, Be Revolutionary, Todos Juntos and my personal favourite: Be Human. Without that last value, it’s far too easy to lose sight that the people you work with all play a part in achieving the overarching goals. More importantly? It feels a lot better to work together than it does alone.

Six years later, and FARFETCH has grown significantly. We’ve achieved IPO status, launched FARFETCH For All, and remembered it’s our people who are the foundation of the company, by creating FARFETCH People Communities. I’m a proud member of two: The Black Employee Network (BEN) and FARFETCH Parents. Within BEN, we’ve created a group that embraces the sheer joy of seeing others you can relate to, while also thinking; let’s not stop there. How about having more Stephanie Hortons in the room, for younger versions of us to look up to?

This year has been a big year for all of us. But particularly for the BEN group. We’ve seen data that says Covid-19 affects us more than any other ethnicity, and weeks later the whole world saw first hand what we’ve seen countless times: Sandra Bland, Mark Duggan and George Floyd all but a few. As a group, BEN have sat (virtually!), cried, laughed together, and spoken with the leaders of our business to support the cause we’ve been fighting.

I’m so grateful to have this in a place of work, and hope you join a community that resonates with you, too. There’s no place like a workplace that can also feel like home.

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