Rashmi Verma, Global Head of DE&I at HUGO BOSS, shares her journey, employees volunteer, and more for AANHPI Heritage Month
To celebrate Asian American Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, our North America Inclusion Team and LEAP Employee Resource Group (ERG) collaborated to host a series of initiatives, including an inspirational conversation with Rashmi Verma, the Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at HUGO BOSS.
Rashmi grew up in India during a time when women faced high levels of gender discrimination beginning from birth. She recounted how society was always quick to see her failures and view her as less-than, something her brother never faced. Despite this, Rashmi forged an impressive career in tech.
In the mid-2000s, Rashmi became a mother and made the choice to leave work to raise her son. Soon after, the family moved to Germany to pursue a job opportunity for her husband. She spoke to the loss of independence she experienced relying financially on her husband for the first time, the struggle to raise a child in a country where you barely know the language and have no social network to fall back on, and the cultural differences they had to learn and manage.
Rashmi has since returned to work, where she forged a powerful German support network, and recently pivoted her professional path by taking on a role in DE&I, which she’s more passionate about.
In speaking about inclusion in the workplace, she said, “To really have allyship, there needs to be a certain openness in the culture and freedom to explore and fail.”
Additionally, our teams held a virtual scavenger hunt aimed at educating employees about different Asian cultures and immersing them in new experiences, like reading or watching content created by AANHPI authors and directors, visiting AANHPI restaurants and museums, and trying different activities like yoga and Feng Shui.
They also partnered with the Supply Chain Business Unit from our parent company, HAVI, and the Northern Illinois Foodbank to sponsor a mobile market that helps distribute, package, and provide food to high-need areas in Illinois.
The Marketing Store's North America (NA) Inclusion Team was founded in 2020 to support the global goal of establishing the company as a deeply inclusive top place to grow through equity, access, belonging and inclusion. The team is comprised of NA-based volunteers from across the organization and is responsible for actioning inclusion, promoting diverse voices and building awareness. Its four pillar groups — Culture, Communications, Progress & Operations — spark change through events, initiatives, educational materials and more.
Leading and Empowering Asian Professionals (LEAP) is an employee resource group for employees who identify as Asian. Their mission is to increase the representation of Asian professionals at all levels within the organization, to impact organizational innovation and growth. They do this by promoting allyship, and leading empowered dynamic leaders.