Erica Lovett

Cartier North America has named Erica Lovett head of diversity and inclusion, a new role for the French luxury house, WWD has learned.

Lovett — who has been recognized by the National Diversity Council as one of 2020’s Top 50 leaders in entertainment — will partner closely with the executive leadership team, reporting directly to Mercedes Abramo, Cartier North America president and chief executive officer.

“Erica will be working closely with me, the executive committee and our human resources team to develop and implement a diversity and inclusion roadmap for Cartier North America that results in real, meaningful impact,” Abramo said. “This plan will include strategies that touch on four key areas — company culture, recruitment and retention, employee engagement and partnerships.”

Historically the Compagnie Financière Richemont-owned jewelry and timepiece house has kept executive movements close to the vest, but Abramo explained, “The past six months — during which time we’ve faced a global pandemic and an urgent uprising against racial injustice — have created a new environment in which we are all operating. With this, we knew we had to take a step back, to further engage and listen to our employees, partners and clients, and take a hard look at what we, as a maison, could be doing better.”

Abramo said Lovett’s appointment is a critical step forward in the company’s diversity and inclusion journey, and toward tackling discrimination and racism in all forms, “from our corporate offices to our boutiques,” she said.

“It was deeply important to me, and so many others within our organization, that we take ample time to listen to what our employees — especially employees of color — were feeling and experiencing at Cartier,” she said. “Those conversations were emotional and challenging, but also very constructive, underscoring the fact that we have work to do. While we have already taken some concrete steps forward, we know that we need an actionable strategy and plan for improving diversity, equity and inclusion within our maison, both in the short term and long term.”

The ceo said the brand has “some ideas in terms of what our goals should be,” reporting that Lovett will hit the ground running, “helping us to create realistic, actionable and measurable goals. In setting these goals, a major priority is to hold ourselves accountable — and to be able to measure our progress — as we advance on this journey.”

Abramo added that senior leaders at Cartier North America are committed to being as transparent as possible with employees and other stakeholders about the firm’s D&I efforts, “by publicly sharing these goals, we want to ensure that everyone within our organization is prioritizing and is involved in these efforts.”

Lovett comes to Cartier from Condé Nast, where she held the position of director of inclusion and diversity for the U.S. market, overseeing inclusion and diversity strategy for the portfolio of brands, the technology arm and the entertainment division.

“The creation of this new position is a clear indication of the importance Cartier has placed on its commitment to building a more inclusive culture, and I look forward to working across the company to ensure we are living up to this promise,” Lovett said. “Mercedes has empowered me to advocate for real change within Cartier, and I am excited to bring my past experiences to this role and create meaningful, long-term transformations with a maison whose heritage, mission and values are aligned in providing a welcoming and empowering experience to all.”

The Cartier Mansion on New York’s Fifth Avenue.  Courtesy

According to the ceo, Cartier’s commitment to building a more inclusive company culture will see Lovett coaching teams to help them become stronger champions and advocates for inclusion, “both inside and outside of the maison.” Lovett will also support Cartier North America in attracting and retaining diverse talent in addition to supporting current employees of color with career development, through training and mentorship programs.

“With that in mind, Erica will work collaboratively across the company to raise awareness of our diversity and inclusion activities by developing employee engagement strategies and programs that capture diverse perspectives and ideas and ultimately highlight our ongoing progress.”

Lovett will also work on developing partnerships with external diversity and inclusion experts, “who can help Cartier North America learn new approaches, gather insights and generate fresh ideas,” she said.

“At this particular moment in time, we have a responsibility to drive Cartier and its values forward,” Abramo said. “Change must be continuous.

“One thing I’ve learned throughout this process is that we don’t always have the answers to our questions,” she explained, “but I know that what we are doing in this moment, including Erica’s hiring, is a big step forward for Cartier North America.”

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