Kering names new diversity & inclusion chief

Kering names Kalpana Bagamane Denzel new diversity & inclusion chief
Kalpana Bagamane Denzel joins Kering several months after its Gucci brand was caught up in a blackface scandal.
// Kering names Kalpana Bagamane Denzel as its new new chief diversity, inclusion and talent officer
// Announcement follows Kering-owned Gucci appointing Renée E Tirado as global head of diversity, equity & inclusion
// Luxury retailers have made a flurry of senior hires to improve their diversity credentials after a string of controversies

Kering has appointed Kalpana Bagamane Denzel as its new chief diversity, inclusion and talent officer as part of a pledge to promote diversity between now and 2025.

Bagamane Denzel, a US citizen, has 25 years of international managerial experience, including a stint with Procter & Gamble.

Her most recent role saw her in charge of diversity and inclusion at recruitment agency Russel Reynolds Associates.

Describing her responsbilities, Kering said that “working with the Houses and global group functions, Kalpana will align and execute Kering’s global diversity and inclusion mission and strategy.


“This will include identifying and prioritising initiatives to help create an environment that embraces and encourages diversity.

“Kalpana will also take the lead on developing a talent strategy where diversity and inclusion will be at the core of attracting, recruiting, developing and retaining talent.”

Bagamane Denzel will report Kering chief people officer Béatrice Lazat.

The news comes shortly after Gucci, which is owned by Kering, hired Renée E Tirado to take on the role of global head of diversity, equity and inclusion as part of its own efforts to address a fallout of a racism row earlier this year.

In February, Gucci was criticised for selling a balaclava-style turtlenck jumper that featured a mouth slit outlined by cartoonish red lips, which some felt evoked racist blackface imagery.

Gucci also invested $10 million (£7.63 million) into a new programme in March which aimed to encourage diversity and inclusion within the company after being embroiled in a blackface scandal.

Other luxury retailers have also attempted to demonstrate their diversity values through new campaigns or senior appointments.

In February, Prada formed a diversity council, headed by director Ava DuVernay and artist and activist Theaster Gates, after its use of blackface imagery in its Pradamalia range was met with controversy.

Meanwhile, Fiona Pargeter was appointed as global head of diversity and inclusion at Chanel.

Kering said it was only luxury group appearing in the first ranking of the 100 best-performing businesses listed in the European diversity and gender index created, which was created by the European Women on Boards and Ethics & Boards organisations.

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