The talk about the lack of diversity in the fashion world is long overdue. But in the past nine months sparked by the George Floyd assassination, the dialogue has finally reached a place where companies seem to be listening and, moreover, swear to change. In terms of retail and consumer behavior, this means a call to tackle the inequalities that exist in everything from hiring practices to the casting of advertising campaigns to the creation of shelf space. As brands share their action plans, most of the work seems to fall on the (relatively) newly formed role of the Chief Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Officer. Given that racism is rampant in the industry, the loaded title begs the question: what exactly does a D&I officer do?
Given that companies are in the hot seat asking for more diversity, roles that focus on diversity and inclusion 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 has more than doubled in the past six years. To better understand the roles and goals of such departments and what consumers expect from companies with D&I executives, we asked D&I employees at Nike, Macy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch and H&M to cut their jobs, which, it turns out, are quite complex. Before doing this, do some research on the steps some of your favorite brands are taking to address the lack of diversity in the fashion industry.