H&M names Ezinne Kwubiri as first ever head of inclusion and diversity for North America
H&M has created a new role in its executive suite, adding Ezinne Kwubiri as the retailer's inaugural head of inclusion and diversity for North America.
In a press release, the company said the new role is intended "to find new ways to make an impact and further ensure that inclusion and diversity occurs at all levels, and in all areas of the talent lifecycle at H&M North America."
In her new role, Kwubiri will report to H&M's new North American president, Martino Pessina, and work closely with H&M's global leader of diversity and inclusiveness, Annie Wu, who is based in Stockholm. Kwubiri will work to develop strategies that will facilitate diversity within the company's corporate hiring process and marketing strategy, in addition to managing the company's system of tracking and communicating the progress of these initiatives.
Previous to joining H&M, Kwubiri worked for over 11 years in varied management roles at media company Viacom, in addition to serving as a fellow of the Council of Urban Professionals.
H&M has previously shown itself to be aware of the importance of its social and environmental image – collaborating on collections with luxury houses and designers like Moschino, Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney, and promoting sustainable collections, the retailer has worked to offer both high-end and eco-friendly fashion at an affordable price point.
Now with this newest addition to its upper executive team, the retailer may aim to recover from past shows of political and cultural insensitivity – most recently in January of this year, when H&M was met with accusations of racism after dressing a black child model in a hoodie that read "coolest monkey in the jungle" in its campaign. The flub would go on to cost the company its partnership with singer The Weeknd.
Kwubiri's work for the company will begin immediately.
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