Creating a Culture of Belonging: Neiman Marcus Group’s Journey to Becoming More Equitable, Inclusive, and an Employer of Choice

  • Defining Belonging and how NMG took a differentiated approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • NMG’s 18-month journey to implementing an effective Belonging program, resulting in Belonging being the highest-rated component of NMG’s Associate Value Proposition
  • Leveraging NMG’s lessons learned for your own DEI journey to create a workplace where everyone belongs

Eric Severson
Chief People & Belonging Officer
Neiman Marcus

Eric Severson is Chief People & Belonging Officer at Neiman Marcus. For more than two decades, Eric has built evidence-based systems to manage talent and drive organizational performance, enabling companies to differentiate their employment brands and drive competitive advantage through talent.

Some of the people innovations Eric has implemented include GPS, the Fortune 500’s first performance management system based on mindset psychology and neuroplasticity; the largest implementation of the Results Only Work Environment in retail; the first publication of gender pay statistics by a Fortune 500 corporation; and the establishment of Belonging as a next-generation Diversity/Equity/Inclusion capability.

Prior to Neiman Marcus, Eric was Chief People Officer at DaVita Inc. and Co-CHRO at Gap Inc., and held positions as SVP of HR for Gap, VP of HR for Gap Inc. Outlet, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, and Director of Employee Relations. Prior to Gap, Eric spent 8 years at Macy’s in various HR and operations roles.

Eric’s public service roles have bridged the public, private, and non-profit sectors. In 2014, Eric was appointed by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to a 2-year term on the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE). For nearly 20 years, Eric has served as a Director on the boards of various organizations, including HR People + Strategy; Society for Human Resource Management Executive Council; The Felton Institute; La Napoule Art Foundation Advisory Board; and the IM Human Advisory Board.

Eric’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Washington Post, Huffington Post, HR Magazine, HR Executive Magazine, and People + Strategy Journal, as well as in the books Future Work, The Diversity Advantage, Pull: The Power of Magnetic Leadership, The True Happiness Recipe: How to Stop Your Job From Killing You and Create Work-Life Harmony Everyday, Why Work Sucks and What to Do About It, and Why Managing Sucks and What to Do About It. Eric has also appeared on the Living Corporate, Future of Work, Purpose at Work, Talent Talk, Build on Purpose, We’re All In This Together, Pop Health, Working Gratitude, and Celebration of You podcasts.

Eric holds a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and an M.A. in English from Arizona State University.