People Moves: Leena Nair Is Chanel’s New CEO
“Inclusion is at the heart of everything I do,”
When you talk about branded luxury goods, of course, we would include Chanel in the list. Be it bags, attires or perfume, this brand is as iconic as it can get.
However, things are about to get even more interesting at this haute couture label as they recently named Unilever's former Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) Leena Nair as their chief executive officer and the first woman to hold this position. Even more impressive as an Indian-born British Citizen, she is one of the few women of colour who are in the industry’s top positions.
Leena Nair started her career at Unilever where she climbed the ranks and in 2016, Leena was Unilever’s "first female, first Asian, youngest ever" chief human-resources officer where she helped to achieve the company’s goal to be more inclusive and diverse.
In a podcast episode by the World Economic Forum, Leena has said that the title of being “the first” is both “a privilege and a burden.”
“You get to do things you didn't think were possible before, but also there's the burden of making it easier for those who come after you, and the burden of success," she said.
"What tends to happen to you when you're the first is that people tend to think that you represent all women or all brown people, or that you represent all Asian people. But that's not true."
She further elaborates the underlying meaning of the title to her: "What happens is your successes get amplified massively, and your failures get amplified massively. When you fail, they say, 'That's why we shouldn't put a woman in the role.'"
Even though it is a tough job to bear, the iron woman embraces it with open arms and she will continue to make inclusivity the core of her values. In a 2019 interview, she said, "Inclusion is at the heart of everything I do."
We are definitely very excited to see the changes that she will bring to Chanel and the path she will forge for female leadership in the fashion industry.
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