Saks has named Alicia Williams, Ph.D., as VP of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), the company said today.
Williams joins the luxury e-commerce platform with more than 15 years of experience in talent and diversity. She most recently served as head of diversity and inclusion for U.S. banks at Morgan Stanley since November of 2020. In her new role, Williams will help develop and further Saks’ DEI commitments as a member of the company’s ESG team, which is led by ESG SVP Cara Chacon. Williams will also work with Saks’ DEI council, inclusion advocates and ERGs.
“I’m thrilled to be joining an organization with a longstanding commitment to supporting the growth of every team member, using its platform to drive forward change and providing a best-in-class experience for its employees and customers,” Williams said in a statement. “Saks’ progress on its DEI commitments is impressive, and I look forward to accelerating our efforts to champion diverse voices, foster a culture of belonging and increase our impact for our stakeholders and communities.”
Hudson’s Bay Co., Saks Fifth Avenue’s parent company, split off the retailer’s e-commerce business (“Saks”) into a separate business from its stores last year following a $500 million infusion from a venture capital firm. Like other retail companies, Saks has ramped up its DEI efforts in recent years.
Saks Fifth Avenue last year outlined a roadmap to achieve certain DEI goals, including growing BIPOC leadership, investing in black designers and diverse marketing and donating money to support underserved communities.
This roadmap also includes Saks’ emerging designer accelerator program, The New Wave, which is designed to emphasize BIPOC voices. Saks ensured that each year, at least half of the participating brands would be BIPOC-owned. In the second year of the program this year, six of the eight participating designers were BIPOC.
“Delivering on our DEI commitments and ensuring an inclusive culture are priorities for our leadership team and our entire company, as they are the key to being a great place to work and best serving our diverse customers and partners,” said Saks chief people officer Sarah Garber in a statement. “Alicia has an exceptional track record in launching and implementing DEI initiatives, and we look forward to benefiting from her deep expertise as we build on the progress we have made to date and strengthen our efforts across our business.”