Gucci hires global head of diversity, equity & inclusion
By Robyn Turk
30 Jul 2019
Gucci was serious when it announced plans to improve diversity. The Italian luxury brand has appointed Renée E. Tirado as its first global director of diversity and inclusion. She will lead international efforts to position Gucci as a diverse, multi-cultural brand.
Tirado's first plan of action will be the design, development and implementation of a global strategy to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace, according to a press statement emailed to FashionUnited. This strategy will continue to impact the company's recruitment approaches, along with initiatives to to review and promote talents internally. Her work will intertwine values of diversity, equity and inclusion throughout all levels of Gucci's organization.
She will be based in New York, reporting directly to president and CEO Marco Bizzarri.
“I am in the business of making human connections that start with the foundations of inclusivity, respect, and diversity to ensure Gucci remains culturally relevant and economically competitive," Tirado said. "I am honored to join a company that puts these non-negotiable values at the forefront of their business model, not as ‘a nice to have’ but as a key component of its business strategy."
While her appointment with Gucci will be her first foray into the fashion industry, Tirado has held directorial roles in diversity and inclusion throughout her career. Most recently, Tirado was chief diversity and inclusion officer for Major League Baseball for three and a half years, according to her LinkedIn profile. Prior to this, she served in similar positions with AIG and the United States Tennis Association.
Gucci's long-term plan for global inclusion
Gucci announced in February that it would bring about long-term strategies to improve its diversity initiatives following a controversial design for which creative director Alessandro Michele accepted blame. The Kering-owned company had begun its search for a global director for diversity and inclusion at this time.
In March, the brand launched Gucci Changemakers, a global scholarship to support industry change and unity through community action. Gucci also launched a Cultural Awareness Learning Program program to educate its 18,000 international employees to "increase awareness of unconscious cultural bias."
“[Tirado's] appointment is a fundamental building block to further our commitment and support the initiatives already in place," Bizzarri stated. "As a learning organization, we have challenged ourselves over the last few months to accelerate our vision to develop a stronger organization. I am confident that Renée will help us create the meaningful change we want to see not only in our company but in the fashion industry.”
As Gucci's director of diversity and inclusion, Tirado will now oversee the Cultural Awareness Learning Program for all global employees and serve as a member of the Gucci Changemakers Council. She will also oversee Gucci's Global Multicultural Design Fellowship Program, the Internal Global Exchange Program and Employee Resource Groups.
"Diversity is on the agenda of many companies, but Gucci has now assumed a leadership role in the industry through the breadth of initiatives it is undertaking and the prioritization it has placed on it as a part of the overall business," Tirado said.