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PVH, CFDA examine roles of inclusion and diversity

Jan '19
Courtesy: PVH
Courtesy: PVH
The fashion industry rates itself as only average when evaluating inclusion and diversity (I and D) efforts, says a briefing by PVH and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) who have joined hands to examine the roles I and D in the sector and start a meaningful industry dialogue. The goal is to identify issues to convert awareness into action.

The Dagoba Group, a global consulting practice specialising in I and D and engagement served as advisers.

America is a diverse country made of people from all races, ethnic backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles, yet the fashion industry has so far struggled to reflect the country’s diversity across all levels in its workforce. PVH considers diversity to not only be defined by age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference and physical ability but also by an individual’s unique perspective, cultural traditions and personal journey. With the release of this co-authored industry briefing, PVH and the CFDA are calling on colleagues, peers, and consumers to hold American fashion accountable to be both inclusive and diverse.

“Inclusion and Diversity isn’t a function that checks a box; it’s part of our DNA and central to how we do business. I and D touches all of our PVH core values — individuality, partnership, passion, integrity and accountability — in different ways. It’s important that we not only talk about those values but live them, support them in others, and evolve with them as the face of the world changes,” says Dave Kozel, EVP and chief human resources officer.

PVH, CFDA and Dagoba also held an industry forum on October 29, 2018 in New York City. The intention of the forum was to guide the industry towards inclusion in the workplace with best practices. The topic of I and D was explored through a candid and productive working session and an interactive industry panel discussion among an audience of CEOs, designers, and HR, communications and talent executives from across the industry.

Leveraging findings from the forum, key statistics and best practices, the briefing being released seeks to explain the importance of I and D and inspire organisations across the industry to build their own inclusive and diverse cultures. It draws attention to concepts including “insider-outsider” groups and unconscious bias that need to be understood and managed in order to create sustainable change.

Insights gathered from 50 forum attendees from over 30 fashion companies concluded that the fashion industry rates itself as only average when evaluating I and D efforts. The briefing suggests ways to remedy this through additional efforts, including individual-level programmes such as inclusion training, as well as organisational-level efforts focused on policies and practices.

“We have been witnessing a long overdue change in fashion where people at all levels of the industry are increasingly tuned in to the need for inclusion and diversity. As an organisation, we keep an ear to the ground and work with our designers on topics that are important to them on both a personal and professional level. We are committed to seeing this through, both as the governing body of American fashion and as an employer, with the mission to create an industry that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable,” says Steven Kolb, CEO and president, CFDA. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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January 2019

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