WNA Blog

Wed 28 Feb 2024

MBA Study Journey – Part 3 – an honest review

Business Planning & Strategies
Read here an update from Kath Kemp on her MBA Study Journey!

I handed in assignment two on People and Culture yesterday, which marks the end of Term 2. I was a lot more relaxed leading up to this assignment, I wasn’t shaking like a leaf with anxiety when I went to press submit! I must be growing up and getting used to the style of academic study; let’s hope so, anyway. People and Culture was such an interesting subject. The assignment was a business plan on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)  in our own company, a chosen company, or a hypothetical company.

Sadly, I couldn’t do it on Ruby Red Jewellery as this time it was about critiquing the existing DEI policies in a major company with a large staff and suggesting new strategies for them. I chose to do it on Tiffany & Co. (Tiffany) to see how a giant of my industry does it.

Honestly, this was SO interesting; I learned about job design, HR factors and what that encompasses (way more than I presumed), performance and training and the flow on effects of that, and strategies for managing a diverse team, which is so relevant in Australia, especially with our a beautifully diverse population. Even though I’m a solo band currently with contractors, I know that as soon as I open my doors for valuing jewellery, I will need my first staff member, so this term has been invaluable to the future of my company.

It was nearly impossible to get to the bottom of Tiffany’s DEI policy, which is not available to the public. Currently, Australia and America lack specific DEI regulations for compliance, yet numerous companies voluntarily disclose their policies. We are moving closer to laws being laid down to require transparency in DEI, which is great.

After no luck in hearing back from the head of DEI at Tiffany’s and being rejected by our Brisbane flagship store to speak with a Manager, I decided to walk on in and conduct my own research! It just so happened to be Valentine’s Day when I went in, which I thought would be so busy and a good opportunity to observe service and diversity in the store.

Long story short, there wasn’t a soul in there! However, I was pleasantly greeted by a team leader and a client advisor, to whom I expressed what I was doing there and what I’d like to know: what kind of DEI training they receive during onboarding, whether their staff reflect diversity? How is their training implemented? And more. Both staff members were happy to answer my questions to the best of their ability and share information about their experience of onboarding with Tiffany, which was interesting.

The Team Leaders are required to do a six-month DEI training program and meet twice a year online with other Team Leaders across the Asia-Pacific region to be updated on the many impressive DEI programs and campaigns Tiffany runs in America.

It wasn’t all good, but it was great to see that since the acquisition by Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (LVMH) in 2021, there have been huge changes for the good in this area, largely in thanks to their new 31-year-old executive vice president, Alexandre Arnault, who is taking risks, breaking rules and creating incredible programs for young, underrepresented minorities in the US, and forming bonds with stars such as Beyonce and Jay-Z as ambassadors for this luxury brand. It would be even more impressive to see Tiffany implement and tailor their DEI programs in the Asia-Pacific branches as well. Watch this space!

See you all at the WNA IWD event, which is going to cover inspiring inclusivity! How wonderful is it going to be? I cannot wait to hear this panel of extraordinary women speak.

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