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“Lululemon Founder Confronts Company on Diversity and Inclusion

Chip Wilson, the founder and CEO of popular fitness-apparel company Lululemon, recently had some harsh words when it came to his company’s stance on diversity and inclusion. Wilson’s scathing remarks were made during an interview with the Vancouver-based magazine, Georgia Straight. During the interview, Wilson was asked about his thoughts on the company’s push for greater diversity, his response was, “I think they’ve got it all wrong. I mean, they don’t need to recite some nonsense about diversity and inclusion – the whole thing.” The comments sparked immediate rebuke from activists and other concerned parties who felt Wilson had stepped out of line in making his views known. Some Lululemon customers took to social media to voice their displeasure with Wilson’s words, believing they undermine the company’s efforts towards creating a more equitable playing field. In response to the backlash, Lululemon released a statement clarifying Wilson’s remarks were in no way representative of the company’s official stance on diversity and inclusion. The statement went on to say that Lululemon has long been invested in this cause and continue to work towards bringing a greater level of representation and inclusion to its workforce. Whether it’s through its hiring practices, internal training, or collaboration with outside organizations, Lululemon has made it clear they are committed to making sure everyone is included in their journey to “Deliver human potential to people of all genders, races, nationalities, sexual orientation and backgrounds”. It’s unfortunate that Wilson’s comments diverted attention away from the impactful work Lululemon continues to do with regards to diversity and inclusion. Moving forward, it’s important for both the company and its employees to prioritize the goals and initiatives they’ve established in that area and focus on the progress that’s been made rather than dwelling on Wilson’s unsavory words.