The People at OVS

We should all feel involved, because we are.

There are over 7,000 of us working at OVS, which includes our head offices, stores and international branches. We are all equally committed to achieving our shared goals by making the most of our individual talent and potential, united by a strong sense of belonging and animated by a collaborative team spirit. We promote a culture of sharing and participation, which is reflected in all business processes, including sustainability.

Training and engagement

Back in 2018, we organised training for all our employees working in Italy on sustainable innovation issues, so that they could acquire the basic knowledge and tools needed to actively contribute to these themes. Hundreds of ideas emerged in these training sessions to improve our corporate sustainability profile in terms of impact on the environment and people.

In 2021, we paid special attention to the protection of human rights in the supply chain. In November 2021, we partnered with an organisation that campaigns on specific issues and intervenes urgently to resolve violations in the textile industry in production countries. Together, we delivered training to more than 100 employees (product managers, sourcing managers, etc.) on labour law and international supply chains to raise awareness of the conditions and challenges faced in production countries.

Individual objectives

With the 2020 sustainability plan, specific MBO goals were set for the key business functions that deal with products, supply chains, store planning and human resources such as, for example, the percentage of #wecare products in the entire range or the number of suppliers verified through the HIGG platform linking a portion of variable pay, 20% in 2021, to the achievement of these targets

The CEO reports to the Boad of Directors about the accomplishment of the sustainability goals outlined in the plan, and a portion of his variable pay is linked to the achievement of these targets.

Day-to-day activities

In addition to the training and awareness programme on sustainability launched at our head office, we have initiated activities to strengthen our #wecare strategy messages among employees on a daily basis.

We have launched a car-pooling platform for employees in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with people travelling to and from work.

We have installed microfiltered water dispensers to reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles. All employees have also been given a water bottle, thus helping to reduce waste generated by plastic bottles by around 60%, saving over a tonne of CO2.

In order to improve employee well-being within the company, we have launched a "Health & Wellness Package”, which aims to promote knowledge on self-care and well-being via the following topics: first aid in the home, nutrition, smoking and its impact on health, concentration exercises.

Furthermore, our office is now completely smoke-free. It is forbidden to smoke both indoors and on the external company premises.

We aim every day to maintain an inclusive work environment where human rights are the priority and there is no room for discrimination.

We recognise the value of all people and are committed to providing equal employment opportunities without discrimination with regards to ethnicity, religion, opinions, nationality, gender, physical condition, age and social status.

The inclusive approach was particularly appreciated at the "Diversity Media Awards" event where in 2020 OVS won the prize for the best advertising campaign with the commercial "Love People. Not Labels" for “having managed to convey a vision of diversity and its complex valorization, touching on increasingly topical issues such as body shaming, the relationship between generations and the fight against gender stereotypes. A conscious celebration of the concept of identity."

Consistent with the rejection of any form of discrimination, OVS does not allow any difference in pay between genders, for the same role and seniority.We have implemented policies to reduce the gender pay gap between 2021 and 2023. We are also working to ensure that wages are in line with the cost of living.

Pay gaps

Over time, great attention has been paid to being an equal opportunity employer, not only in recruitment, but also in the periodic salary review process.

A detailed analysis was carried out with regard to the annual pay of various company levels. As can be seen from the table below, there is no gender pay gap at managerial level (Executives and Middle management), while there is a 16% difference in remuneration in the professional cluster. The professional cluster is very diverse in terms of seniority, functions and responsibilities, so we will analyze individual cases in more detail and take action if necessary.

Annual Average Gross Salary
Cluster Ratio women/men
Senior managers* 106%
Middle management 100%
Professional 84%
Store manager 88%
Other store roles 98%

Thanks to a specific professional development programme for women in the role of Store Manager, the gender pay gap in the stores workforce (which represents more than 85% of the group workforce) has been reduced to zero over the last five years. In fact, as the table below shows, the gap only exists for those with more than 10 years' seniority.

Annual Average Gross Salary of Store managers
Seniority Ratio women/men
< 5 100%
5 - 10 95%
10+ 83%

OVS does not collect data related to the ethnicity of the people working in the company, but it analyzes possible differences in pay according to the country of birth. The percentage of OVS employees not born in Italy - in 63 different countries - is 5%.

  Annual Average Gross Salary Number of employees
Cluster Ratio Born in Italy/
Born in a different country
Ratio Born in Italy/
Born in a different country
Executive 140% 10%
Senior managers - -
Middle management 100% 0
Professional 100% 0
Store manager 90% 0
Other store roles 90% 10%

From the analysis conducted, no critical situation was identified. The pay gap of store employees is related to a lack of statistical representation of people born in a different country apart from Italy, but this will be the subject of an in-depth analysis to prevent possible risks of discrimination.

Recruitment in the South of Italy

For OVS, inclusion is also about engaging with disadvantaged areas in Italy.
Thanks to our widespread network of shops throughout Italy, we can provide excellent employment opportunities to young people and women living in areas with high rates of unemployment. Thanks to our in-store recruitment programme, we offer skills-based, secure employment opportunities as part of a targeted training scheme.

In addition, we offer management training to employees from disadvantaged areas, who can develop their skills throughout Italy on our Trainee Scheme, before returning to their home regions.

OVS, in line with the ILO Convention 190, recognises that any harassment or violence in the workplace is a severe violation of human rights and constitutes a threat to the development of equal opportunities.
We strive to provide our employees with a Code of Ethics and adequate training in the prevention of sexual harassment as well as the procedures to follow in the case of harassment.

To combat gender-based violence and protect the women who work within our group, we have launched a free service that provides legal advice and support in strict confidence to those who need it.

Work-life balance

In line with the ILO Convention 132, the right to annual paid leave is a guarantee in enhancing human capital and social protection. As well as promoting the psycho-physical recovery of our staff, it also increases their motivation. Furthermore, if public holidays fall on a Sunday, we tend to move the compensatory rest to the next holiday, thus creating a calendar of company closures that coincide the long weekends, to ensure that each employee has breaks to relax. In addition, any overtime is handled freely by the employee, in line with the relevant legislation, through a procedure that requires the employee to request authorization to work overtime.

OVS offers a parenting training programme to its collaborators that aims to redefine the concept of maternity and paternity leave as a time of learning and to develop soft skills for when they return from their leave.

Contracts & Terms of Employment

OVS, in full transparency adopts all the measures provided for by the regulations and by the collective contract of the category signed by the main trade unions and Federdistribuzione, available at the link https://www.federdistribuzione.it/cosa-facciamo/il-ccnl-della-dm/, which defines every characteristic of the employment contract. In addition, agreements have been signed for supplementary health care.

OVS has also signed with the same trade unions, further supplementary agreements which reinforce the exercise of trade union freedoms for its employees. (see integrative contract and the minutes of the agreement).

Finally, with the aim of integrating the basic compulsory social security provided for by law, OVS, through the collective agreement of reference, makes available to its employees the possibility of joining a negotiated pension fund which, if activated through the payment of the severance pay, provides that the company integrates the employee's contribution with an additional percentage at its own expense.

Other initiatives
Sustainable Cotton

Creating a truly natural cotton industry for both farmers and the environment.

Responsible Manufacturing

We count on thousands of people, and they count on us.

Sustainability Report

With this inaugural sustainability report, OVS begins an important journey of sharing.

Community

We promote projects that create shared value within the community.

High-Value Garments

Quality products mean quality lives.

A Circular Approach

Adding value to used garments.

#Wecare overview

We are aware of the role that we can have in taking care of a more sustainable future for the environment.

Sustainable Shops

Shops are our window onto a better world, built on respect for the environment and care for the people around us.

Natural Resources

Saving resources produces value for the company.

Animal Welfare

At OVS, animal welfare is always in fashion.