A long-time Levi Strauss & Co. executive has spoken up about the corporate culture she experienced while working at the apparel company. Levi's brand president Jennifer Sey has revealed that she was forced out of her tenure at the well-known company and forced to resign for publicly speaking out against school closures brought on due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a recent interview, Sey said, "For me, this is not so much about Levi's, but the stifling of speech and dissent. I think so many people have felt stifled and that they couldn't say what they believed for fear of this mob coming for you. At this point, if your views in any way depart from the orthodoxy, it's seen as an HR violation."
The former Levi's president also said she thinks people in the world and especially those pursuing corporate jobs feel they can't really speak out about what they believe in. So, that's meaningful to people to see someone take the step. "They feel, 'Maybe I can say it,'" Sey said.
In her latest post on Twitter on February 15, Sey mentioned, "More than 20 years ago I joined Levi's. Yesterday I resigned my post as president so that I can use my voice."
"It's easy to say 'be authentic' or 'stand up for what you believe in,' but it isn't actually easy to do. Our hope is to inspire others to undertake this journey," Sey added saying that she really meant that.
Sey revealed that she even gave up a $1 million severance package to be allowed to be vocal about matters she feels strongly about.
"'Do we value this notion of open dissent and free speech, and can we work together if we have opposing views? Should someone not be able to work if their views do not align with the current ideology.' That seems not right to me," Sey expressed in another Twitter post of hers.
Who is Jennifer Sey?
Jennifer Sey was serving as the brand president of Levi's since 2020. Sey, who is a mother of four, quit from her role on Sunday (February 13) after giving more than 20 years to the apparel company. Sey, 52, was vocal about her views on social media. She frequently tweeted on COVID-19 related matters and did media interviews to discuss her opposition to School closures through the pandemic.