H&M Names New Head of Inclusion and Diversity
H&M, one of the world’s biggest retailers, has named Ezinne Kwubiri as Head of Inclusion and Diversity for its North American stores. The 2004 Howard University graduate and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. joins H&M from Viacom, where she worked for 11 years, most recently serving as Director of Change Management, Global Business Services. She joins the company after it faced strong criticism for an image appearing in its online store that showed a Black child model wearing a hooded sweatshirt that said “coolest monkey in the jungle.” The company’s response was, "Our position is simple — we have got this wrong and we are deeply sorry. This incident is accidental in nature, but this doesn't mean we don't take it extremely seriously or understand the upset and discomfort it has caused." Seeking to prevent any similar mistakes from happening again, the company is now rolling out a series of new initiatives designed to increase diversity of representation at all levels of the business, and ensure that the shared experiences, cultures and expertise of its workforce adequately inform its commercial and strategic activities. “We are seeking to do three things, to educate and raise awareness, to become better advocates for the communities we are a part of, and finally to challenge the status quo and accepted mindset about how we achieve things,” Kwubiri said. The company launched a new program called Champions of Change, which is essentially an employee resource group. “To challenge the mindsets of our management teams, and all of our employees, we have also developed an internal advisory council, which will drive our strategy for inclusivity and diversity throughout our work and our workplaces,” she continued. The company reported revenues of over $25 billion in 2017. More here.