Gucci launches action plan to increase diversity after Blackface Sweater's excuses



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Gucci does not waste time repairing after being accused of selling a sweater that looks a lot like Blackface.

The luxury brand quickly apologized and immediately removed the design from its shelves. In the wake of the storm, Gucci designer and collaborator Dapper Dan told Instagram that the situation was "outrageously wrong" and "an insult". The famous designer also confirmed that Gucci's president and CEO, Marco Bizzarri, would travel to New York. City for a meeting in Harlem to discuss solutions with community and industry opinion leaders.

This meeting of minds, which also included several top Gucci officials, took place on Thursday. Twenty-four hours later, Gucci announced the first series of initiatives that it will implement to address its recent transgression and deliver on its promise to create institutionalized change within the company.

The initiatives:

• Hire Global and Regional Directors for Diversity and Inclusion

• Create a multicultural design grant program

• Launch an awareness program on diversity and inclusivity

• Establish a global exchange program.

"We accept full responsibility for this incident, which has clearly highlighted the shortcomings of our ongoing strategic approach to integrating diversity and inclusion into our organization and into our business," said Marco Bizzarri , president and CEO of Gucci, in a press release. "Over the past few days, we have conducted a thorough review of the circumstances that led to this situation and we have also engaged with all our stakeholders, particularly our employees and leaders of the African-American community, to identify immediate actions that will contribute to better the diversity of key functions in our central and regional offices, as well as increased cultural awareness throughout our global organization to prevent such situations will not breed in the future. "

Bizzarri continued, "I am particularly grateful to Dapper Dan for the role he has played in bringing community leaders together to offer their advice at this stage. The initiatives we are announcing today represent the first phase of what will become a new long-term systematic plan of action to ensure that diversity and inclusion are organic in everything we do. . "

This is the kind of thoughtful and urgent action needed to assure the public that Gucci is synonymous with business. It is also an important example for the rest of the industry that a public apology is not enough. Prada, who is also in damage control mode after being accused of selling race-insensitive goods, recently announced the creation of an advisory committee on diversity and inclusion.

But let's be clear, the diversity within all divisions of a company – especially at the company level – is essential. We hope that these steps of Gucci will be imitated by other brands that fought against diversity and thus avoided future accidents.

Below you will find a detailed overview of the four initiatives proposed by Gucci …

RENTAL OF TALENTS:

  • GLOBAL AND REGIONAL DIRECTORS OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Gucci strives not only to recruit talented and diverse candidates, but also to create positions within the company whose sole responsibility is to ensure that the company achieves these standards. Gucci is currently launching a research on the newly created role of Global Director for Diversity and Inclusion, based at Gucci America in New York. As a member of society

The Executive Director Committee reporting to the Director of Human Resources, the Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion will be responsible for developing and implementing Gucci's diversity and inclusion strategy to ensure that the vision is actually deployed on a global scale. This role will also focus on recruitment practices, the ongoing development of Gucci's education programs and the alignment of Gucci Changemakers Global Volunteer Initiative in support of the local communities in which the brand operates. . Directors for Diversity and Inclusion will also be appointed in each region of the world, reporting to the Global Director.

  • SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM IN MULTI-CULTURAL DESIGN

Gucci launches a scholarship program on multicultural design that aims to attract new talent. In partnership with fashion schools around the world, this 12-month accelerated program will expand opportunities for underrepresented talent groups leading to full-time employment to create a place to work. more diverse and inclusive work. The target schools will be in New York (Harlem), Nairobi, New Delhi, Beijing, Hangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Beirut, London and Dubai.

Meanwhile, Gucci will immediately hire five new designers from around the world to fill positions within the Rome design office to increase the diversity of perspectives with immediate effect. Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele will be personally involved in the selection process.

All recruited talents will be paired with an individual mentor to ensure seamless integration within the department.

GLOBAL LEARNING:

  • DIVERSITY AND INCLUSIVENESS AWARENESS PROGRAMGucci is creating a new global learning program that aims to increase awareness of the unconscious cultural bias and create a more inclusive workplace. The program will be launched in early May for 18,000 employees around the world and will be completed by the end of June, initially focusing on Italy and the United States. It will be taught in a full day with the follow-up required by all participants. The company will also introduce a specific module on diversity and inclusivity as part of its new employee integration program, developed in collaboration with regional experts.
  • GLOBAL EXCHANGE PROGRAMGucci will launch an internal Global Exchange program to promote a multicultural and diverse workplace by offering internal mobility to talent from the regions and working in the central offices in Italy. Participants selected to the program will have the opportunity to develop their skills and experience, always paired with a mentor to ensure seamless integration.

    As a result, head office employees will enhance their cultural sensitivity and may later incorporate this information into the company's work methods. This exchange program will be launched with immediate effect.

    In developing the thinking behind these immediate initiatives, Marco Bizzarri met with Dapper Dan and other community leaders, as well as other experts and industry leaders, in Harlem to gather their insights and ideas. . Gucci will continue to engage with this group as it develops its long-term plan to ensure that diversity and cultural awareness is an integral part of Gucci's culture and business.

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