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Nissan champions diversity at all levels of the company

Nissan champions diversity at all levels of the company
Yetunde Faparusi, Nissan’s director of brand, marketing and performance strategy (Video screenshot by rolling out)

Nissan is dedicated to diversity on every level of the corporation.

Last month, Yetunde Faparusi and Keri Kelly spoke to rolling out about the company’s unique structure. Faparusi is Nissan’s director of brand, marketing and performance strategy, while Keri Kelly is the company’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion for its North American branch.

What is going on at Nissan now?

Yetunde Faparusi: There’s a lot going on at Nissan. We are obviously in the second year of [a] brand campaign on the marketing side. We’re also getting ready for a couple of new big launches coming up toward the end of this year, [an] all-electric crossover, the Nissan Ariya, so we are gearing up and preparing for that.

Keri Kelly:  [With] the [diversity, equity and inclusion] space, everything’s new. We’re building a team, we have a completely new team, we have a chief diversity officer that was named Nov. 1 of last year and it’s really exciting. Now it reaches across the entire organization and across our Americas region, so it’s a really exciting time in the DEI space.

Visiting the Canton, Mississippi, plant, the diversity of  the employee roster from the executive level down is evident. As Black women, how does it feel to work for such a progressive company?

KK:  It’s really an exciting time, it really is. …There are actions that are being taken, very intentional actions, and it’s a great time.

YF: I would completely agree with Keri. I think, for those of us who have been at Nissan for any extended amount of time, we have seen the progression to this point. To see it culminated a lot of real key actions like Keri said, with the addition of our new chief diversity officer and what’s going on. The plan is definitely very exciting for us as an organization and for Nissan, in particular. Knowing how much multicultural sales mean to us as an organization, 40% of our sales come from multicultural consumers, so it’s so important our organization reflects the consumers we are trying to reach out to. For those of us who work in that space, and being of that audience, it’s extremely exciting to see.

What do you all think is the next step for increasing diversity within Nissan, especially on the executive level?

KK: Our chairperson, who actively owns all things DEI, was our first step of getting that executive commitment. He continues to demonstrate that ongoing commitment to our DEI journey. I think that’s the second thing there is recognizing that this is a journey, none of this happens overnight. Consistent, repeated actions is what really makes the change, and so internally we’re committed to having what we call better conversations like [in] any relationship or friendship.

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