National Vision Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYE), one of the nation’s largest optical retailers providing quality, affordable eye care and eyewear, announced today that Chief Executive Officer, Reade Fahs, has become a signatory to the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion™ (CEO Action) pledge. National Vision is the first optical retailer represented in the growing coalition of nearly 2,000 business leaders across 85 industries committed to advancing diversity and inclusion goals in the workplace.
“I am proud that over 50% of National Vision’s total associates and 45% of optometrists in our network identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC). We feel it is important for patients and customers to feel represented and included when they come to our stores and entrust us with their vision, so we want to continue to attract diverse perspectives and talents and be a great place to work for everyone who comes to the optical industry,” said Chief Executive Officer Reade Fahs. “Signing the CEO Action pledge is a public acknowledgement of how serious these efforts are to our mission and values, and our intention to continue taking meaningful action on these commitments going forward.”
In the pledge, National Vision committed to a series of actions related to diversity, equity and inclusion across its company, industry and communities, on many of which National Vision has already made progress. In 2020 and 2021, National Vision focused on formalizing its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts, including:
- Created a new department, including dedicated staff and leadership, tasked with leading company-wide DEI efforts.
- Formed the National Vision DEI Council, which strategically guides DEI efforts in four focus areas: Employment Branding/Recruitment, Training & Education, Mentoring & Career Development, and Community Services.
- Implemented a company-wide Diversity Calendar to create a hub for intentional conversation opportunities, training and resources around highlighted observations throughout the year.
- Reviewed recruitment and hiring practices to increase opportunities to attract, support, and retain a diverse pipeline of talent.
- Committed more than $425,000 in scholarships, grants, and philanthropic donations focused on supporting BIPOC students and students from communities with historical underrepresentation in the optical industry.
- Increased minority representation and achieved a gender balance among the independent directors on the Board of Directors.
- Built DEI efforts into the core framework of National Vision’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, which is designed to extend and formalize the company’s commitments to DEI initiatives.
Jacqueline Grove, National Vision’s Senior Vice President of Talent Development, Culture, DEI, and Philanthropy, has led the development of these ongoing initiatives. “It is my honor to lead National Vision in its proactive DEI strategy,” said Ms. Grove. “It’s important that we are intentionally striving to create an inclusive environment that respects and celebrates differences, and engages the full value these many perspectives bring to the table. We have work ahead of us, and I’m proud that our CEO Action pledge publicizes our commitment to staying on this journey.”
About National Vision Holdings, Inc.
National Vision Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYE) is one of the largest optical retail companies in the United States with over 1,200 stores in 44 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. With a mission of helping people by making quality eye care and eyewear more affordable and accessible, the company operates five retail brands: America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Eyeglass World, Vision Centers inside select Walmart stores, and Vista Opticals inside select Fred Meyer stores and on select military bases, and several e-commerce websites, offering a variety of products and services for customers’ eye care needs. For more information, please visit www.nationalvision.com.
About CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™
CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace, and will continue to be a meaningful voice and accelerator for action with the business community, signatories and employees. This commitment is driven by a realization that addressing diversity and inclusion is not a competitive issue, but a societal issue. Recognizing that change starts at the executive level, nearly 2,000 CEOs of the world’s leading companies and business organizations are leveraging their individual and collective voices to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Learn more at CEOAction.com and connect with us on Twitter: @CEOAction.
Contact: David Mann, CFA