The reckoning with racism in the U.S. earlier this year, triggered by the killing of George Floyd, spread to all aspects of American life, including publishing. Condé Nast was criticized for several accounts of workplace discrimination and for its failure to promote diverse content.
On Wednesday, the legacy publisher made a deeper push to show it's taking diversity and inclusion efforts seriously on Wednesday by naming Yashica Olden as its first-ever global chief diversity and inclusion officer. In this new role, Olden will be responsible for developing and implementing diversity and inclusion strategies across the company's global portfolio of brands and divisions.
Olden comes to Condé Nast from WPP, where she served as the executive director of inclusion and diversity on its global culture team. Before that, she was the interim global inclusion lead for London-based insurance company Aviva. Olden also served as the first head of diversity and inclusion for the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Rome. At WFP, she was responsible for creating and implementing initiatives to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals for zero hunger, gender equality and reduced inequalities. Olden has also worked on diversity and inclusion teams for Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse and Sandoz.
Though Olden has served as an agent for change outside of the U.S. for more than 20 years, she is originally from Nashville, Tennessee and attended Wellesley College.
"Yashica brings a wealth of experience in helping elevate diversity and inclusion strategies in large companies like ours and I'm looking forward to her insight and counsel in helping move our workplace culture forward," said Stan Duncan, chief people officer of Condé Nast, in an official press statement.
Olden will report to Duncan and her appointment will take effect on Oct. 26.
"Condé Nast plays an important role in shaping culture and people's opinions about the events taking place in our world today," said Olden in the press release announcing her appointment. "I'm excited to join the team and work with the incredibly talented editors, writers, designers and marketers to embed a global diversity and inclusion framework into every aspect of the business."