Best Buy: Committed to Addressing 
Underrepresentation and 
Expanding Career Opportunities

by Savoy Staff

Best Buy, one of the nation’s leading technology retailers, announced actions they were taking as a company to better address underrepresentation, technology inequities and educational and career opportunities for those who need it most.

In June 2020, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said “we will do better.” The company committed to making systemic, permanent changes that address social injustices to improve our company and our communities.

Best Buy spent several months throughout 2020 making plans for how they can make meaningful impacts, including setting major company goals to address how they recruit, hire and retain their employees, and how they’re expanding opportunities for youth across the country.

“We know it’s incredibly important to our employees, customers and communities to show that we are committed to doing all we can to further economic and social justice,” Corie said. “In many ways, we have engaged in these issues for years — but now we’re being bold about our commitments to hold ourselves accountable for this work we’ve promised to do.”

Those goals, that they aim to achieve by 2025, include:

  • Filling one out of three new non-hourly corporate positions with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color — specifically Black, Latinx and Indigenous) employees. Additionally, one out of three new, non-hourly field roles will be filled by women.
  • Fostering inclusion among all employee groups to create parity in retention rates, including transforming our senior leadership ranks to be more in line with our board of directors.
  • Reaching 30,000 teens annually from disinvested communities across the nation, including building a network of at least 100 Best Buy Teen Tech Centers to teach skills and build a talent pipeline for a modern economy. Teen Tech Centers are places where teens can develop critical skills through hands-on activities that explore their interests in programming, filmmaking, music production and design.
  • Providing $44 million to expand college prep and career opportunities for BIPOC students, including adding 16 scholarships for HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) students and increasing scholarship funding for Teen Tech Center youth.
  • Expanding opportunity for BIPOC teens in our home market of the Twin Cities by investing in more local Teen Tech Centers, creating a scholarship fund specifically for Twin Cities-based teens, committing to hosting 400 high school interns from Teen Tech Centers and other program partners, and offering 
340 jobs across the company to teens.

How they will do it

To expand representation throughout the company, Best Buy is providing leadership-in-training roles to BIPOC and women employees. They are also investing in mentorship opportunities and match all BIPOC directors and officers with sponsors and coaches to enhance the employee experience, increase retention, and help their current and future leaders create meaningful connections.

Within the communities they serve throughout the nation, Best Buy is intensifying their focus on disinvested populations and communities by partnering with BIPOC-serving organizations for new Teen Tech Centers across the country so youth can learn new skills, nurture positive adult and peer relationships, and discover future careers. They are also looking to pilot a rural Teen Tech Center model to address the unique needs of geographically isolated communities.

To support youth after their high school careers, the company is increasing post-secondary support at Teen Tech Centers, including trained guidance counselors and financial aid navigators. And because not everyone’s career path looks the same, Best Buy will also partner with community colleges, credential programs and tech bootcamps to create opportunities for teens to explore all types of post-secondary options that will prepare them for future success.

Other company actions

Best Buy’s purpose is to enrich lives through technology, and they know they can’t do that without employees. The company’s goal is to foster an inclusive company culture that embraces employee’s differences and fosters an environment where employees can bring their whole selves to work.

The company has created a network of Inclusion and Diversity Steering Committees (IDSCs), cross-functional groups of leaders that focus on attracting and investing in top talent and fostering an inclusive workplace. They are also growing their investments in Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that bring employees with shared life experiences or characteristics together to focus on recruitment and advancement of underrepresented employee populations.

Additionally, Best Buy is continuing to move forward with their Task Force for Racial Equity, which formed in June with the intent to drive constructive enterprise-wide change. That task force, made up of 19 employees from across the company, is bringing forward even more actions for Best Buy to take. This includes addressing issues such as the career development and advancement of BIPOC employees and how the company is supporting BIPOC tech businesses.

Other recent company actions include:

  • Committing to hire 1,000 new employees to their technology team, with 30% of them being diverse, specifically Black, Latinx, Indigenous and women.
  • Signing the ParityPledge in Support of People of Color and the ParityPledge in Support of Women, which is a commitment to interview at least one qualified woman and person of color for every open role, VP and higher, including the C-Suite and the Board.
  • Making Juneteenth an official company holiday
  • Holding a Day of Unity for employees to come together to show that they are one and support social justice.

During the pandemic, the company also took action to ensure teens from disinvested communities across the country had the technology they needed to participate in distance learning. One of their very first moves was to outfit 2,500 teens from 35 Teen Tech Centers with a home computer and internet to attend school virtually. And many Teen Tech Centers opened to provide safe centers for local students to complete schoolwork, get meals, access mental health counseling, and stay connected to caring adults.

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