Lydia Smith is Victoria' Secret's Chief Diversity Officer who developed the company's first DEI team, launched a DEI Council, and integrated DEI into every aspect of the organization.
Lydia influenced leaders to disclose workforce representation metrics, develop DEI training, create a supplier diversity strategy, and identify DEI goals. She also launched an Inclusion Resource Group and partnered with external parties to bring this work to life. Her efforts have transformed Victoria's Secret and have been instrumental to set the groundwork for meaningful and sustainable progress in the years to come.
Lydia Smith is Chief Diversity Officer at Victoria’s Secret & Co., where she spearheads the company’s DEI efforts to welcome and celebrate every associate, partner and customer from all backgrounds, abilities and life stages. After joining VS&Co in June 2021, Lydia led the work to develop the company’s first Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Team and launch a DEI Council, while integrating DEI into every part of the business through a strategy focused on People, Experience and Purpose. Smith’s work has been instrumental to VSCO’s brand transformation and is setting the groundwork for meaningful and sustainable progress in the years to come.
During her first year in the role, Smith influenced leaders and empowered teams across the organization to:
o Integrate DEI into associate annual performance goals for the first time.
o Disclose workforce representation metrics by race, ethnicity, and gender.
o Roll out DEI training, including but not limited to Cultural Competency and Inclusive Hiring. o Partner with external parties to provide multicultural expertise.
o Integrate DEI into existing product development, marketing, and creative processes. o Launch an Inclusion Resource Group (IRG) focused on People with Disabilities, their caretakers, and allies.
o Develop a supplier diversity strategy.
o Identify DEI goals and metrics, which will be revealed in our 2022 ESG Report, expected to be released in Spring of 2023.
To bring this work to life, Smith led and partnered with the DEI team, DEI Council, Board of Directors, Human Resources, Analytics, Legal, Talent Development, Supplier Diversity, Marketing, Creative, Product Development, IRGs, and more.
Prior to this role, Lydia was the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Kohl’s, where she was responsible for implementing the company’s internal strategy for attracting, developing and advancing a diverse workforce and their external strategy for connecting to a more diverse customer population. Prior to Kohl’s, Lydia held DEI leadership roles at Northwestern Mutual and General Electric.
Lydia received her MBA from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. She holds certifications for effective decision making from Yale University and diversity and inclusion from Cornell University.