Operating Vice President of Diversity
New York City
Just about everything in a successful person’s experience can be a precursor to achievements in their career. That is certainly the case with Nicole Cokley, operating vice president of diversity and inclusion at Bloomingdale’s. Her focus is to develop a strategic approach to diversity, inclusion and community service within the organization, as well as attract a diversified customer base. Cokley gets excited when she talks about her role and the recent Black History Month campaign at Bloomingdale’s, “B the change,” which featured a bracelet handcrafted by women in South Africa living with HIV/AIDS. Sales of the bracelet helped support children through Mentoring USA, one of Cokley’s favorite organizations, as well as orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa.
Cokley joined Bloomingdale’s as an intern and later became an executive trainee at the 59th Street flagship store in the men’s division. Prior to her current role, she was the human resources director for Bloomingdales.com.
A graduate of Howard University with a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology and audiology, Cokley maintains a robust community service schedule. She volunteers with numerous organizations and serves on the board of directors of BRAG (Black Retail Action Group), where she is vice president of operations. She previously served on the board for the Gay Men’s Chorus and Opus 118, Harlem School of Music. She is also a YMCA Black Achiever in Industry honoree. “When I was at Howard, I developed a passion for volunteering and served as a GED tutor and mentor to high school dropouts,” she says. Quoting Goethe, she adds, “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and help them become what they are capable of being.”
Favorite singer: Whitney Houston
Favorite book: Mandela’s Way: 15 Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage
Favorite charity: Black Retail Action Group