Target Pledges to Increase Number of Black Employees by 20% Over 3 Years
In conjunction with the release of a racial and gender breakdown of its team across all levels of the company, Target last week announced plans to increase representation of Black team members by 20 percent over the next three years by sharpening its focus on advancement, retention and hiring. Target said it has had diversity and inclusion goals for many years to drive equity for all team members, but its report shows that more work is needed to increase representation and advancement opportunities and reduce turnover with Black team members. To do this, the company is making a number of systemic changes, including:
- leveraging its stores, supply chain and HQ experiences to provide broader leadership pathways for Black team members to develop and advance;
- developing programs to hire and retain Black team members in career areas with low levels of representation, including technology, data sciences, merchandising and marketing;
- increasing Target’s network of mentors and sponsors to help Black team members accelerate and advance their careers;
- ensuring Target’s benefits and partnerships drive wellness and safety for Black team members; and
- conducting anti-racist training for leaders and team members that educate, build inclusion acumen, and foster a sense of belonging.
“The changes we’re making are going to have a meaningful impact on the careers of our Black team members and prospective team members,” said Kiera Fernandez, Target's vice president, human resources and chief diversity and inclusion officer, in a statement. “A diverse and inclusive team at Target is one where there’s equity in how we promote, retain and hire team members."
Today’s announcement is part of Target’s commitment to social justice and racial equity, and was launched by its Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) committee. This group of senior leaders from across the organization represents a diverse range of perspectives and expertise, and guides the retailer’s efforts to engage in the fight to end systemic racism in the U.S.
Total Retail's Take: Target's plan to increase representation of Black team members across the company stems directly from its Workforce Diversity Report, which shows the retailer skews white, particularly among its top executives. Based on 2019 information, 75 percent of Target's leadership team is white and 8 percent is Black. That number rises to nearly a quarter, however, when including all people of color like Latinos and Asians. Target's overall workforce — which includes hourly store employees — is more diverse, comprised of 50 percent white workers, 25 percent Latino, and 15 percent Black. While pledging to do better, Target also referred to strides it has made in this area. The retailer said it has doubled representation of company non-white officers in the past five years to nearly 30 percent. Of that, however, only 5 percent are Black. Other retailers signaled their support for racial equity, too, by announcing new initiatives, donating to civil rights causes, or setting new goals for recruiting and hiring. Among them, Walmart and its corporate foundation committed $100 million over five years to create a new center on racial equity. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the retailer would also increase recruitment and support for people of color, but he didn't quantify that goal.