The Body Shop Engages the Power of Gen Z through a Dynamic Youth Board

**Creating a Gen Z-Approved Business: The Body Shop’s Approach**

**The Gap in Representation on Boards**

In a world where over 40% of the population is under 25, there is a significant lack of representation of young voices in positions of power. The Body Shop, a leading B-Corp company, recognized this gap and realized that it needed to take action to ensure that its business was truly aligned with the values and needs of the next generation.

**Introducing the Youth Collective**

To address this issue, The Body Shop created a secondary board called the Youth Collective. This advisory board is made up exclusively of individuals under the age of 30, providing them with a platform to share their perspectives and insights directly with the company’s leadership team.

**Learning from Past Mistakes**

The first attempt at engaging with young activists to critique the company’s practices was met with criticism and challenges. The activists had a fundamentally negative view of commerce, making it difficult for their feedback to be constructive. The Body Shop quickly realized that in order to benefit from the input of young minds, they needed to bring in individuals who were supportive of sustainable business practices.

**Building a Diverse Youth Collective**

The Body Shop decided to hire 50% of its Youth Collective board members from within the company. These individuals had a vested interest in the success of the business and were more likely to provide constructive criticism. The remaining 50% were recruited from external B Corp firms, ensuring a diverse range of perspectives.

**Impact of the Youth Collective**

The under-30 board members of The Body Shop have already made significant contributions to the company. They have helped modernize the brand’s social media strategy, communicated the company’s inclusion program, and brought fresh insights and ideas to the table.

**Establishing Clear Guidelines**

To ensure the effectiveness of the Youth Collective, The Body Shop established clear guidelines for its operation. Without proper governance, the board could become more of a social club than a working advisory board. It was crucial to create an environment where everyone understood the rules of the game and felt valued for their input.

**The Power of Every Voice**

Every voice in the Youth Collective is considered valuable and their suggestions are taken seriously. While not every recommendation may be implemented, the feedback is transparently addressed, and explanations are provided. This encourages open communication and fosters an inclusive environment where everyone feels heard.

**Overcoming Ego and Resistance**

Bringing young individuals into the boardroom requires a shift in mindset. The leadership team needs to be willing to set aside their egos and truly listen to the perspectives of younger professionals. This mindset shift allows for meaningful collaboration and bridges the gap between generations in the workplace.

**A Collective Desire for Success**

The success of the Youth Collective relies on the collective desire for the business to thrive. Rather than focusing on pointing out flaws or finding fault, the board members are united in their commitment to add value and contribute to the company’s success. This shift in perspective enables leaders to accept criticism and allows the Youth Collective to provide honest and valuable feedback.


The Body Shop’s creation of the Youth Collective is a pioneering step towards ensuring that businesses are Gen Z-approved. By actively involving young voices in decision-making processes, companies can gain fresh insights, adapt their strategies, and build a future-proof business. The success of this approach lies in establishing clear guidelines, valuing every voice, and fostering an environment of openness and collaboration.

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