From the beginning, Dior has striven to highlight and promote women, to make them “not only more beautiful, but happier, too,” according to the formula set out by Christian Dior in his memoirs.
“We wanted to celebrate International Women’s Day, and we quickly decided we should be empowering the young,” says Emmanuelle Favre, senior vice president of human resources at Dior.
Dior has since become a vocal supporter of gender equality and female empowerment both on and off the runway. This year, in celebration of its 70th anniversary, and to coincide with International Women’s day on March 8th, the Parisian maison launched Dior’s first mentorship programme: ‘Women@Dior’: a year-long project that pairs female Christian Dior employees with female students interested in their area of expertise.
Business of Fashion:
The year-long programme seeks to empower young women to achieve their career ambitions by pairing them with Christian Dior employees who will provide face-to-face career advice and guidance once every three months. These mentors, all under thirty years of age, and working in different departments at Dior, marketing, retail, design, merchandising, architecture or communications, represent the diversity of the professional activities in the house of Dior. They welcomed students from various academic backgrounds, from applied arts to business and from engineering to marketing.
This global project, ‘Women@Dior’ is designed to enable cross-cultural, cross-generational and cross-functional interactions. “Young women want to own their professional destiny, to be guided, and to share generously their experience,” says Karin Raguin, director of talent development at Christian Dior. At the time of writing, the mentorship programme has been extended to encompass 200 female students from 10 global cities, including London, Shanghai, New York, Dubai, and Tokyo.
For Favre, the benefits to both Christian Dior and the mentees are clear. “It is a way of showing them the professions of the business, and to show them that even as an engineer or a scientist there is a role for them in a company like Dior.”
Read more at Business of Fashion at Dior.com.