Her name is Renée Tirado.
In late July 2019, Tirado was hired by Gucci’s CEO Marco Bizzarri to be the global head of diversity, equity, and inclusion, a first-time appointment in the brand’s 98-year history. By July 2020, Tirado has resigned.
The position was created as part of a company-wide initiative that Bizzarri first put into action after Gucci came under fire for producing an $890 balaclava sweater that shoppers claimed to resemble blackface.
The company subsequently issued an apology and pulled the sweater off the market. Then in March announced a new program called Gucci Changemakers, which includes an internal volunteering initiative to help get Gucci employees into their local communities, a scholarship program and fund for students, and a grant program for community non-profits.
“I am one of very few people in the diversity, equity, and inclusion discipline that is directly reporting to the CEO of the company,” Tirado says. “Some companies have had diversity and inclusion departments for 10, 15 years, but more often than not, this department is sitting in another space, in another building.” She adds, “The fact that Marco said, ‘No, no, you are going to report to me,’ I mean, that’s a game-changing conversation for diversity, equity, and inclusion. He wants me engaged, he wants me at the table.”
She grew up in Brooklyn’s Gowanus projects to Puerto Rican parents, graduated from Rutgers University School of Law, and practiced intellectual property law in Harlem before going to work at AIG and the male-dominated Major League Baseball corporation. While at MLB, Tirado was charged with launching the Take The Field initiative, which helped women seek out operational positions as coaches, umpires, and scouts.
More information can be found here for the 2021 Program.