International Market Centers (IMC) announced that it will present a series of four hour-long webinars highlighting diversity and inclusion issues impacting retail. The series, which debuts on Feb. 1, is presented in partnership with Diversify Retail Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to conversation, self-reflection and strategic action to increase diversity in all facets of the retail industry.
“IMC’s digital sessions are designed with a finger on the pulse of the industry and in an effort to highlight timely societal and business issues,” said Dorothy Belshaw, IMC’s chief customer and marketing officer. “As diversity and inclusion continues to be an issue for our society-at-large, we hope this webinar creates a forum for ideas that will improve inclusiveness and representation in our industry.”
During Diversity in Retail Part One and throughout the series, Diversify Retail Inc. founder DeAnna McIntosh will discuss the importance of diversity for retail stores, give insight into what companies are doing to combat inequality and provide a deeper look into best practices in diversity and inclusion. The first webinar, which is presented by Atlanta Apparel, Atlanta Market, Las Vegas Market and IMC High Point Market, takes place on Monday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. (EST) on IGTV via Atlanta Apparel’s Instagram page.
McIntosh launched Diversify Retail Inc. in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd and the awakening of retail companies to their own lack of diversity. The organization is dedicated to increasing representation of people of color in the retail industry through driving economic empowerment, financial sustainability and community building.
In June 2020, IMC created a Diversity and Inclusion Network, an internal taskforce compromised of 12 employees across the company’s departments and campuses. The Network seeks to achieve four primary goals: create community for diverse professionals at IMC; develop programming and forums addressing diversity, inclusion, human rights and social justice; implement policy changes at IMC supporting diversity and equal opportunities for advancement; and provide a platform for thought leadership in the gift, home furnishings and apparel industries.
With education as a key component of its diversity and inclusion efforts, IMC first partnered with McIntosh in August 2020 to present A Conversation about Diversity in Retail. A recording of the session, which was co-presented by Terence Morris, IMC’s Diversity and Inclusion Network co-captain and senior vice president of gift and tradeshow leasing, is available.