Bed Bath & Beyond hires ex-Macy’s D&I professional Nicole Cokley Dunlap as Chief Diversity Officer

Nicole Cokley Dunlap brings over two decades of retail industry D&I and HR experience to the new role

US retail store chain Bed Bath & Beyond has announced that Nicole Cokley Dunlap will join its leadership team as Chief Diversity Officer, leading the Company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.

Her new Chief Diversity Officer position will begin in September 2021, where she will report directly to Lynda Markoe, EVP and Chief People and Culture Officer at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Cokley Dunlap brings over two decades of experience to the new role and has worked with other major retailers, including Macy’s Inc and Bloomingdales. At Macy’s Inc, she helped increase leadership responsibilities across Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s Inc in human resources, employee giving, diversity and inclusion, and store management. She had served as Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion Strategy since 2019 and built strategies that helped drive diversity, engagement, performance, and business growth.

Before that, she was Bloomingdale’s Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion, Employee Giving, and Human Resources Business Partner. She also serves as Co-President of BRAG, a non-profit organisation that prepares and educates people of colour for executive leadership roles in retail, fashion, and other related industries.

Cokley Dunlap’s appointment is in keeping with Bed Bath & Beyond’s ESG strategy, where they committed to becoming a Top 10 retail employer by 2030 by creating an equitable and inclusive work environment “where all associates feel at home and can thrive.”

The retailer has set diversity, equity, and inclusion goals to reach at least 50% female representation and at least 25% racial and/or ethnic diversity at all levels by this time.

In her new role, Cokley Dunlap will oversee the strategy and execution of these goals as well as “partner across the enterprise to build stronger relationships with customer communities and diverse business vendors.” It is hoped that her focus on implementing programmes that foster inclusion and belonging will “further advance the company’s people-powered focus as well as create and sustain its talent engine.”

Lynda Markoe, EVP and Chief People and Culture Officer, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc, said: “Nicole is a consummate leader with tremendous relationships and expertise in DEI and will help us deliver change that is needed within our company and the communities we serve.

“Building our community, both inside and outside the company, is of paramount importance as we execute against Bed Bath & Beyond’s transformation plans. One of our five key practices in our strategic transformation framework is championing diversity and community, and we are pleased to appoint a Chief Diversity Officer as talented and proven as Nicole.”

Cokley Dunlap added: “As a values-driven company, I am excited to be a part of Bed Bath and Beyond’s transformation to advance the DE&I goals. With an emphasis on associates, customers, and communities, I look forward to working across the organisation to optimise DE&I initiatives to drive innovation and business results.”

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