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Volume 26 No. 208
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Gucci's Renee Tirado On Diversity & Inclusion Across Sports Business

Tirado said that companies must focus on mentoring and developing diverse employees
Photo: Marc Bryan-Brown
Tirado said that companies must focus on mentoring and developing diverse employees
Photo: Marc Bryan-Brown
Tirado said that companies must focus on mentoring and developing diverse employees
Photo: Marc Bryan-Brown

Gucci Global Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Renee Tirado was a featured Q&A during Day 1 of the Octagon Sports Marketing Symposium, and the former MLB and USTA exec talked about issues she is seeing in the D&I space.

On organizations providing a leadership voice to D&I execs: “I had a great experience at Major League Baseball reporting directly into the deputy commissioner, which was amazing. And Dan (Halem) by far was the biggest champion of the agenda. But is it a priority for your leadership, your CEO, to be front and center on this conversation at all times? And the success that I had at baseball was directly correlated to the fact that I had Dan available to me at any given time around the diversity and inclusion conversation. Now to get in front of global level, to be in front of the (Gucci) global CEO, he's carrying the water for me as well. He's injecting it in his conversations and he's speaking in public. He's talking about how this is a priority and he wants to learn about it.”

On diversity hiring: “Gender is a little bit less intimidating than getting into the racial, ethnic, even LGBT conversation in diversity and inclusion. ... You will be surprised at how many diverse candidates and women don't really understand what careers in sports look like.”

On the difference between diversity and inclusion: “At the end of the day, diversity is a numbers game. It really is. This is just a head count. Who are we bringing in? What do they look like? Are they representative of the different communities that we're trying to engage? ... We can all get diversity in our organization pretty quickly. Inclusion is the heavier lift because now you're dealing with culture change. You're dealing with making sure that the diversity that you do bring in or that you already have at the organization are actually at the table. They're being developed. They're being mentored. They're being retained.”