Ezinne Kwubiri has been appointed as H&M’s Head of Inclusion and Diversity for North America.
H&M is reportedly one of the world’s biggest and most influential retailers, with over 4300 stores and 120,000 employers in 71 markets. In January this year, the brand was accused of racism after dressing a black child model in a hoodie that read, “coolest monkey in the jungle” in its campaign.
So, to prevent past mistakes and make itself more inclusive and diverse, H&M appointed Ezinne.
As the new Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Ezinne will report directly to the president of H&M North America as well as working closely with Annie Wu, the global head of inclusivity and diversity who is based in Stockholm.
Coming from a completely different organization, Ezinne wants to challenge the status quo.
“I see myself as the new blood, the new person in the office that is coming with a fresh perspective. I want to challenge the mindset across the board, from the way we do our promotions, to our hiring process, to how we interact with our employees and customers, as well as their communities who all deserve our support and celebration,” she tells Business of Fashion in an interview.
Before joining H&M, Ezinne worked as a Production Auditor at MTV Networks. She also served as the Director of Global Business Services Change Management, where she leads and manages strategies for people development training, communication, and business cultural development.
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Stepping into this holiday season extremely thankful for where I am today! My new role as North America Head of I&D at H&M (first of it’s kind at H&M) has been provocative, eye-opening, encouraging & adventurous! More on that to come…but THANK YOU for all the love & encouragement (and shopping😂, I kid I kid 👀). People see these career announcements & don’t fully grasp everything that comes with it. Especially as a #BlackWoman in a room where people aren’t used to seeing you in. Not because they don’t respect you or want you there but because their “formula” has always worked. But now (oh honey!) that formula is being disrupted, challenged & thrown out the window & companies have to aggressively change #WeArePowerfulPeople. I appreciate H&M for recognizing that & bringing I&D back into the forefront of their business. However, it doesn’t happen overnight. Real, long lasting change is never does. ▪️▪️ I want to encourage everyone to keep pushing, networking, & strategizing. In 2017, I said 2018 would be my last year at Viacom. I needed to shake things up in my life & career. And I did just that! Your goals & dreams are achievable. Stay hungry! Keep learning! ▪️▪️ Continue to ride with me as we cultivate change in this industry. #IssaGoal #EziFavThings #CatalystOfChange #ASeatAtTheTableWithTheMicInMyHand #HungryAndHumble #ChangeAgent #InRealLife #Educate #Advocate #Challenge #DisruptTheNorm #RepresentationMatters #InclusionAndDiversity #HMXMe #FashionGameChangers #EzinneKwubiri