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Leadership

Macy's Pro-Gay Message

Photograph by Billy Delfs
Photograph by Billy Delfs
Corliss Fong
Vice President of Diversity Strategies
Macy's
Cincinnati, Ohio

 

Corliss Fong, 59, helps the nation's largest department-store chain reach gay and lesbian customers across its 850 stores, managing everything from its shift to a more inclusive gift registry to the controversy that erupted after one of its Boston stores removed a gay-themed window display.

"Nonaction is a statement in itself. If we weren't celebrating pride or promoting our registry to same-sex couples, we'd be sending a message that we're not inclusive. When someone in Boston made a decision to take that window display down, without realizing the history that Macy's has had with Boston Pride, it was certainly not a decision that we felt good about.

This is the first year Macy's decided to take on pride as a national campaign, but we don't look at diversity inclusion as being a political statement. It's about supporting our associates and our customers, and it is, of course, about the business. You can't get away from that, particularly when you look at how diverse our communities are, from New York and San Francisco to Cincinnati and Moscow, Idaho."

A version of this article appeared in the November 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.

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