In our “Power of Us” series, we are highlighting associates from around the world who are going above and beyond in their jobs and communities.
In this edition, we interviewed Janá Neal, Director of Visual Merchandising, and Rose Bailey, Director of Transformation Enablement for Technology Process Group (TPG), who were recently appointed as the new Building Resources for African American Voices and Empowerment (BRAAVE) Business Resource Group (BRG) Co-chairs.
Describe your day-to-day role at PVH:
Janá: I am the Director of Visual Merchandising for Tommy Hilfiger North America. My team and I ensure a consistent customer experience across the chain of stores in North America. We achieve this through partnership with our cross-functional business partners (Marketing, Store Design, Merchants, Planning, Allocations and L&D) and bringing that to life for the customer in an in-store experience. Creating compelling presentations, displays and mannequins that provide our customers with an elevated experience.
Rose: I am the Director – Transformation Enablement within our Technology and Process Group (TPG). As a team, our role is to help provide guidance, governance and methodologies for the efficient and effective adoption of transformative technology solutions within the business.
You are being highlighted for being appointed a new BRAAVE co-chair. Why was choosing a leadership position in BRAAVE important to you?
Janá: It’s important because BRAAVE is an amazing resource, not only for the BIPOC community, but for PVH as a whole. Since its inception, the achievements of this BRG is truly inspiring and it motivates me to help take it to the next level. I’ve worked for Tommy/PVH for almost 12 years and have felt that PVH has shown that it truly values diversity and inclusion. It’s more than just words – it’s shown in the development of more BRGs, their stance on social issues and other resources they provide their associates. BRAAVE and PVH were already seeking ways to improve Inclusion, Diversity and support of their Black associates before it was trending on social media and became popular in the news, following the recent events in 2020. It was also important for me to support others in my community within the PVH family. I have always found support and mentorship in my journey here, but I didn’t have a person who looked like me to guide me. Lastly, I like a challenge. I think it will be a great test of the leadership and development skills I have been refining throughout my career.
Rose: This is important to me as I am very passionate about making sure we continue to have a voice and an impact in PVH. In these challenging times, for all groups that constantly face marginalization and sadly, abuse, this is not the time for us to go silent. If I can make a difference to what we at PVH can do to change the landscape of inclusion and diversity, then I am ready to step up and use my skills to show the Power of Us.
How long have you been a member of BRAAVE?
Janá: I have worked in the corporate office for about 3 years and I became a member as soon as I was able. Coming from the field, I was excited to hear that this BRG existed!
Rose: I have been a member of BRAAVE since 2018. It started in New York and even though I was based in NJ, I knew that it was important to make the trip to be involved, to contribute to the work and to be a part of the network. Last year when I returned from furlough and I was made a Be BRAAVE Ambassador, I decided to join the BRAAVE leadership team to help continue to build our brand and influence in the I&D vision at PVH.
What do you hope to accomplish in this position?
Janá: I hope to be an advocate and a voice to other Black associates across PVH, to ensure they feel heard and are a valued part of the PVH organization. I will support BRAAVE members as they navigate through their career journeys. The challenge/opportunities: I’ve always been a person who dives head first into a challenge. The opportunities that BRAAVE presents are expanding my leadership and development skills, taking someone else’s work and growing it with respect to the foundation that has been laid. Encouraging engagement and building “bench strength” of future leaders and co-chairs. The partnerships: I have had the amazing opportunity to nurture and build partnerships throughout my time at Tommy Hilfiger. I look forward to expanding those partnerships and expanding my family from Tommy to all of PVH. I am excited to learning from and collaborate with the BRAAVE leadership team.
Rose: My first priority is to make sure that we continue to build on that strong foundation and elevate the community, culture and career pillars even higher. Then, there are two main things I would love to accomplish. One, that all our African American staff (and allies) are actively involved in BRAAVE, and encouraging each other to succeed. Two, that we not only lend our voice to the issues we face as a community, but also to the creative and strategic thinking of PVH. The fact that I work for an organization that gives you the opportunity to lead in this way is amazing. It is a huge privilege to be trusted with this important baton to help us break down the walls that breed fear, bias and distrust. Working with great people is always a blessing and with my new co-chair, Janá Neal, the ongoing support of our pioneer leaders and continuing to work with the exceptionally creative leadership team, I am feeling very excited indeed.
What do you see as the future of BRAAVE, and BRGs as a whole within PVH?
Janá: Expanding resources and opportunities for the BIPOC community in PVH that reinforce the three pillars of BRAAVE (Career, Culture and Community). For BRAAVE to expand its position as a resource to PVH leadership - to provide the unique prospect of the Black associate across all aspects of the business. I had the opportunity to join a global BRG meeting and it was so exhilarating to see the expansion of the groups globally and the passion and insights to the demographics that they represent. I left that meeting excited by potential collaborations with other BRGs and what we will able to accomplish together. The expansion of BRAAVE NY to North America – including Canada and supporting more regional specific initiatives. I think BRAAVE and other BRGs offered have the potential to set the standard in the industry of implementing strategies that have a lasting impact on underserved communities. Allyship across all BRGs - leveraging our experiences and unique perspectives to drive change with PVH and within the industry.
Rose: I have watched as new groups have been started, such as LOLA, and existing ones like BRAAVE and UPWARD develop internationally, and it definitely highlights the Power of Us. While the groups may have formed to find safety in numbers and to help each other overcome and find our voice, very quickly they have become a powerful asset for motivation and change. I see these BRGs becoming a catalyst for change, and the better understanding that together we are stronger.