Tommy Hilfiger, Best Buy, Nordstrom and more on building diverse communities

At NRF Retail Converge, retail leaders will reaffirm their commitments to change in their workplaces and on their shelves

Diversity, equity and inclusion was an important topic of conversation among retail leaders long before 2020. But social movements and events of the past year have brought a new sense of urgency to the issue.

DE&I in the retail community

NRF is committed to furthering the discussion on DE&I in the retail community. The topic will be a big part of NRF’s new virtual show, NRF Retail Converge, where retail and brand leaders will discuss the realities of responding to real-time diversity and inclusion challenges and share best practices for incorporating DE&I within the fabric of their company cultures.

Here’s a preview of six strong sessions featuring great brands who are making workplace diversity, equity and inclusion a top priority.

Inclusivity in apparel

Adaptive and inclusive apparel is a billion-dollar fashion market that remains largely untapped. The Phluid Project and Runway of Dreams Foundation are two organizations pushing the fashion industry toward acceptance and values that affirm the queer and transgender community and promote people with disabilities. Retail pioneers such as Zappos and Tommy Hilfiger have taken note and are leading the market forward. Join leaders from all four of these organizations during “Design for all: Time to amplify the inclusion agenda,” as they discuss progress and plans to make inclusivity more prominent.

Technology and DE&I

For retailers to make smart DE&I decisions that will attract and retain top talent and build loyalty with customers, they need data on all aspects of their business – from supply chains to products to employee training and pay practices. In “How technology can be a powerful lever to attain DE&I,” Michael Colaneri, vice president of industry solutions, retail at AT&T Business, and Shamoun Siddiqui, chief information security officer at the Neiman Marcus Group, will discuss how technology can help retail industry leaders better incorporate DE&I practices into their brands.

Scaling and sustaining

Advocating for DE&I approaches in the workplace requires making bold, tangible commitments. Best Buy Co’s Chief Inclusion, Diversity and Talent Officer Mark Irvin and Diageo North America’s EVP of Human Resources Laura Watt join PwC Chief Purpose and Inclusion Officer Shannon Schuyler during “Reimagining workplaces: Scaling D&I efforts for maximum impact” to share their experiences on how to scale, sustain and embed strategies that have far-reaching impact.

Fostering belonging

In August 2020, Nordstrom announced details of its new diversity, inclusion and belonging strategy – the results of an extensive, months-long listening campaign involving employees, customers, partners and the community. Hear from Nordstrom’s Fanya Chandler and Gemma Lionello and Fayetteville Road’s Jessica Couch in “Nordstrom ‘Building an organization that better reflects the communities we work in and serve’” as they explain why the retailer’s initiatives are integral to business strategy.

The Equality Lounge virtual pop-up

Open to all pass holders, the Equality Lounge is a series of virtual sessions focused on diversity within the retail industry. The Equality Lounge is part of a multi-year partnership between NRF and The Female Quotient, an organization that creates experiential pop-ups with the aim of uniting people to activate change together.

Discussions range from strategies for women on how to talk about finance and leadership goals in the workplace to how offices can support employee health and remove mental health stigma.

In “​Hacking diversity: How to retain talent when change is the only constant,” attendees will hear conversations about the best way to attract, promote and retain diverse talent. Executives from Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ralph Lauren and Lyft will discuss making the right investments in the right people, especially during these uncertain times.

A diverse and inclusive workplace doesn’t just happen. Retailers have to plan for and pursue it. During “The pursuit of a diverse and inclusive workplace ,” leaders from Cartier North America, Gap Inc., The Vitamin Shop and Sephora join NRF’s Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel Stephanie Martz for a conversation on where D&I fits into their 2021 priorities.

Learn more about these sessions and register for NRF Retail Converge, taking place virtually June 21-25.

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