Caleres Inc. is bolstering its management team with a VP of diversity, equity and inclusion.
The St. Louis-based parent to Famous Footwear, Sam Edelman, Naturalizer and other footwear brands said that it has tapped Amy Hunter for the post, effective Oct. 21.
As part of her new role, Hunter will help drive the company’s DE&I strategy, including its affirmative action plans, as well as guide efforts surrounding the recruitment of candidates from varied backgrounds. She will also lead the development of current programs, partnerships and activities to support the Caleres community.
“Earlier this year, we made a commitment to our associates, partners and customers around several initiatives to recharge our DE&I efforts,” explained chairman, president and CEO Diane Sullivan. “This included refining our diversity statement to use as a guide in everything we do, identifying and activating an inclusion and diversity advisory council, providing mandatory unconscious bias training for all associates and hiring a senior-level executive who could focus on these initiatives.”
She added, “We were fortunate to find Amy, and her extensive experience, tremendous expertise and proven track record of success will be essential as we move forward with our efforts. We look forward to her leadership as we seek to elevate our focus and accelerate our initiatives in the most meaningful way possible.”
Prior to joining Caleres, Hunter led global D&I as well as corporate groups for Boeing Defense and Space. She spearheaded international women’s initiatives, consulted with the executive team on the implementation of diversity strategies, managed the company’s business resource groups (or BRGs) and created tools and resources to promote racial equity across the organization.
Before Boeing, she drove D&I strategies at BJC Healthcare’s St. Louis Children’s Hospital and served as the chief diversity officer for the YWCA Metro St. Louis. She has also held various roles of increasing responsibility at Edward Jones, Monsanto and Bank of America.
Hunter has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and currently is in the School of Education doctoral program, focusing on social justice.
Spurred by national unrest over racial injustice that stemmed from the May death of George Floyd, scores of footwear and fashion brands have stepped up in recent months to accelerate their D&I hiring efforts: Late last month, Reebok named Jean-Raymond, founder of the Pyer Moss label, as its VP of creative direction, and in August, the Council of Fashion Designers of America appointed CaSandra Diggs as its new president. (She became the first woman and first person of color named to the role since the organization was founded in 1962.)