Nasiba Adilova did something I can only imagine was extremely difficult, she had to fire her friend. She decided as a business leader she could not in good faith leave Miroslava Duma in a board position of a company that prides itself on being a safe place for all women.
I am deeply saddened and disappointed by the actions of Miroslava Duma at Paris Fashion Week overnight. We have always held a no-tolerance policy when it comes to any form of racism or discrimination. Power and influence is a privilege and it needs to be carried with humility. I take this immense responsibility very seriously and believe actions speak loudly. Effectively immediately, Miroslava Duma has been removed from the board of the company @thetot. I stand by @thetot's decision, and hope this inspires people to consider how their actions and words affect others.
She had to think about Miroslava as well. Whether Miroslava was capable of performing on her company’s board in a country as diverse as the United States of America. The truth is if Nasiba had only thought about her friend she could have tried to spin the story in a different way.
Nasiba Adilova could have easily attributed Miroslava’s actions to any number of excuses circulating on social media. She could have said Miroslava is from a different country where racism isn’t a big topic of discussion or she could have said the word “niggas” is used differently in Miroslava’s social circle. She could have defended Miroslava’s responses in the videos floating on twitter from six years ago where Miroslava dismisses people in the fashion industry who identify as LGBTQ as an unevolved Miroslava. She could have said the incident with Dasha Zhukova in 2014 was a simple misunderstanding, Miroslava didn’t mean to offend anyone. Again she is simply unaware of the implications and she lacks the cultural references that are more important to people of color in other countries. Nasiba could have said this is all one big mistake.
But if everything above is true Nasiba Adilova did the right thing removing Miroslava from the board of The Tot. She must recognize that Miroslava lacks some essential leadership abilities to lead the organization into the future. A future that is full of diverse women of different religions, sexuality, economic backgrounds, skin tones and ideologies. And the role Miraslova was set to perform is hard. She would have had to be an advocate for all those different types of people. Miroslava would need to be aware of sub-cultural differences and be sensitive to the challenges different types of women face.
Miroslava’s bias, something she does not seem to acknowledge, would hurt the company and the hard working people who believe in it. It would eventually tarnish their message of ‘empowerment to all women and all mothers’.
In her statement Miroslava acknowledges that she is growing from her past and I hope she finds her way but is it fair to the people who work for The Tot to have to wait for her to hopefully get there? Or do they deserve someone better, right now?
Her apology states that she didn’t intend to offend anyone, and I believe her. But her statement, as a global leader, lacks self reflection or a clear intent to connect more with her consumers as a business leader.
Maybe she really doesn’t understand what she did was wrong. Maybe she will be better at keeping her bias and her prejudice to herself. Of course, what we know about people who do this is their actions lead to inequality. And it eventually surfaces.
At the end of the day Nasiba Adilova knows Miroslava Duma is not the best leader for her company, for her consumers or for her team. She knows The Tot deserves much better than what Miroslava Duma can offer right now.