Watching so many companies post empty promises on social media about diversity. Not sure if anyone saw the articles in WWD last week with transparency from many of the major fashion “big dogs” on how many BIPOC/Black employees they really have, or how many people of color hold management positions.
Was wondering if anyone has expressed a concern for this to their companies. Has anyone been able to impress upon their bosses the importance of hiring more black/POC?
It’s a complicated time where I do not want to ruffle any feathers, because I am “lucky” to have a stable job right now. But I feel more and more the industry I am actively contributing to is not holding up it’s of the bargain to make a better world.
Any thoughts on how to create a better industry with more opportunities for ALL?
I was impressed with the diversity at my last employer, fast forward to today, the only 2 BIPOC on the women’s team were laid off, as were most if not all in total remaining laid off, while in pandemic. So the remaining skeleton crew all look the same with the same POV. This also brings to question, if there will be pander hiring in the near future. A lot of big companies, being called to task on what there staff looks like, need to also call to task there joint ventures and the licensees. I think the world would be surprised with what the staff looks like.
My last job, we were doing trend, and the yoga designer wanted to do a trend based on White (white based prints, graphics, etc), and she wanted to call it White Power. Someone stopped it, before I even found about it, but the tone deaf further adds to who is sitting at the table.
The increased awareness is great, however, the problem will never go away if real genuine action is not taken to dissolve the barriers put up to put BIPOC people in positions of power and to make opportunities open for ALL. There will always be an excuse not speak up, not to take a chance, not to promote, not to risk a job or money or opportunity… but if we don’t take those risks nothing will change and the movement will mean nothing. Keeping our mouths shut and playing it safe is just as bad as actively discriminating. I understand the fear of the consequences related to standing up for what is fair and right, however, that fear of consequence does not compare to hundreds of years of oppression and discrimination that BIPOC people have faced and STILL face today.
Exactly! I’ve been hitting a brick wall with my company and want to continue to work towards change. And am feeling frustrated that the people in the company that have the power to make that change and hire, and promote just do not care.
I think I need a new tactic.
The best way to increase diversity in the fashion industry is for people to start their own companies. Make your own destiny!
What company is this? Put them on blast for their wrongdoings and find another job. As long as they are making their money they will never care. Their business needs to suffer in order for them to understand.
I may be generalizing this, but I have only seen very few black women/men in corporate. I dont think I understood why many of my former retail colleagues said they did fashion but didn’t pursue and it seems like the industry has been having very big inconsistencies with people who are qualified. It really does cause a lot people to lose their dreams in this industry.
Right now I am helping out a girl who wants to start her own brand, but she also notices that its extremely tough to start it all. I will do what I can for all the people of color who aspire, but at the same time I really have my fingers crossed that the fashion industry will blossom to something better after COVID
The senior leadership at my company initially didn’t want to come out and say Black Lives Matter because they have an internal policy to not take political stands. This resulted in an outpouring of response from employees who were upset that racism was being considered a political issue. It surprised me because the company has some very politically correct policies, diverse hiring practices, etc. It’s a very progressive environment that wouldn’t tolerate any racism (sexism/elitism is a different story). Eventually they did make a pro BLM statement with a weak financial contribution, but they instated some internal policies that seem promising. Honestly what most companies should do is hire consulting agencies owned by BIPOC people to help them craft their internal programs so that they make meaningful and lasting changes. This is a long road we’re on, not a sprint.
The hard part about supporting BLM publicly is that there are two different BLMs; the sentiment and the organization. The sentiment is easy and noble to get behind. The organization on the other hand is run by Marxists. Marxism has accounted for over 100M deaths in the last century. Modern Marxist governments like China, Cuba and Venezuela have terrible human rights records particularly along the lines of sexual orientation and religious freedom.
Unfortunately, most people just get snippets of information and cannot determine on their own if the support for BLM is the sentiment or the organization AND companies that make statements get caught in the crossfire of misunderstanding.
I’m glad you brought up the subject of Marxism as it relates to the BLM org. I’ve been hearing this over and over again, besides the interview with the founders where she says “We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories. And I think that what we really tried to do is build a movement that could be utilized by many, many black folk," what other evidence is there that they are pushing a Marxist agenda? I’ve done some research and personally haven’t come across anything credible to that effect.
The company I work for is killing the game in sells. Number 2 retailer. Posted about BLM’s and then IMMEDIATELY went on a hiring spree of white executives. Mind you, I’m the ONLY black face on the brand and I had to fight them for 2 months to get promoted and get a shitty 8k raise which is still no where close to what they paid the white girl before me. The fashion companies NEED our $1 TRILLION dollars as a consumer and they need us to wear their shit so white people will know what are the hottest brands. We are consumers and we drive sales which is the ONLY reason they “support” BLM. This issue is not new, I’ve been fighting this exact same issue for almost 20 years in this industry! The companies know, if we drag their ass 1 good time on any social media platform it’s a damn wrap! I know for fact a lot of the companies don’t support BLM they HAD to make the statement which is if you look in your own organization you will see no additional black hires, no black leadership, your pay will not be brought to scale- white folks will continue to be hired at a higher salary and title with less experience. Let’s check back in 6 months and see what changes were made!
My company made THE WEAKEST ig post that HINTED towards something of social change but made zero statement on BLM, racism, etc. It was basically along the lines of “let’s all get along.” They’ve turned off the comments on their posts since then. Disgusted, but didn’t surprise me.
Our photoshoots for product and social are 100% white and when our social media head told our creative director we should shoot for more diversity in our models, she told him “we’re not ready for that.” Disgusting.
My company didn’t even bother posting on instagram but wrote a mass email that had nothing to do with BLM or sporting words of social change for the better. They wrote the emails as if they were walking around some eggshells…it was weird. They (white CEO and his wife) basically said we need to trust each-other and forgive each-other to make the world a better place… I actually reached out and asked “HOW are you going to make this company more diverse and inclusive? What are your action steps?” One of their best response in their reply was by the CEO’s wife and she said "Don’t worry, I made my husband watch “13th”, a social & cultural documentary on Black history currently featured on Netflix. It came out very recently and I didn’t even know what it was at the time yet… but still…I’m sitting there reading that email like…right…okayyy…wow…
Wooooooooooooooow! I am dyingggggggg!!! Lmaoooo!!! She said “DON’T WORRY” lmaoooo “I made my husband watch 13th” lmaooooooo
that is a whole shame… wow… I mean kudos for educating yourself… but I mean where’s the answer to your very important questions???