Pamela Culpepper made history during Black History Month by becoming fashion giant Prada S.p.A. (Prada’s parent company) first-ever Black board member.
The organization was founded 109 years ago.
“People who know me and know what Prada stands for, quickly see what connects us – status quo is simply not an option. I’m proud to be a part of that challenge,” Culpepper told ESSENCE.
“One of Prada’s principles is to go where the risk is. Prada has stepped out front to lead the industry in ESG. It would be easier to fast follow, but that would be counter to both of our instincts. Prada is at the intersection of authentically connecting their values and purpose with the needs and will of their key stakeholders.” She adds, “My role is to help strategically navigate that intersection.”
Culpepper is now the brand’s Independent Non-Executive Director.
Culpepper is also the co-founder of female-owned and minority-led culture consultancy, Have Her Back. The company works to tackle Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) differently and authentically; for women and for all historically excluded groups.
Culpepper owns the consultancy firm along with Erin Gallagher and Caroline Dettman.
Speaking on the “Fearless Creative Leadership” podcast, Culpepper addressed the corporate world’s shift towards diversity following the summer of 2020 riots following the murder of George Floyd.
“Having spent 25 years in corporate America, in progressive roles that all included some level of diversity, equity, inclusion, this is a moment, I think, we all have been looking for and waiting on, so that we could operate in a much broader fashion than we’ve operated before,” she explained. “Inside an organization, you’re an internal agitator, but you don’t have multiple platforms like we do now to really leap into the heart of the issues. So I, this is, while it’s still exhausting and uncomfortable at times, it’s the right moment for Americans to be in.”