Attract and Hire More Diverse Talent
True progress toward systemic change starts from within - meaning more ethnically inclusive teams, especially in the C-suite. On some level, then, recruiting and hiring becomes a focal point for nearly every D&I officer.
Gabrielle Royal, Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion at Abercrombie & Fitch, started the process early by launching an initiative to engage with historically Black colleges and universities. Since last fall, A&F has attended virtual career fairs for Howard University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Florida A&M, and North Carolina A&T, among others.
For Felicia Mayo, Chief Talent, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer at Nike, keeping a close eye on the recruiting process is a big priority. "I always bring a perspective that weaves in talent with diversity, equity, and inclusion," she says.
The conversation about lack of diversity in the fashion world is long overdue. But in the last nine months, kickstarted by the killing of George Floyd, the dialogue has finally reached a place where companies seem to be listening, and more than that, vowing to change. In terms of retail and consumer behavior, that means a call to dismantle the inequities that exist in everything from hiring practices to casting ad campaigns and creating shelf space. As brands share their plans of action, the bulk of the work seems to fall on the (relatively) newly formed role of Chief Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Officer. Considering that racism is prevalent across the industry, the loaded title begs the question: what exactly does a D&I officer do?
With corporate entities in the hot seat amid calls for more diversity, roles centric to diversity and inclusion efforts may feel fresh to some, but they actually existed long before the current peak, albeit on a much smaller scale. According to HR Dive, the number of D&I roles more than doubled in the last six years. To better understand the duties and goals of such departments, as well as what consumers can expect to see from companies who boast D&I leaders, we asked the people leading D&I efforts at Nike, Macy's, Abercrombie & Fitch, and H&M to break down their jobs, which, as it turns out, are pretty layered. Ahead, find out the steps some of your favorite brands are taking to tackle the lack of diversity in the fashion industry.