I’ve always been inspired to make the world a better place and help others thrive and be their best selves. Throughout my career, I’ve been involved with nonprofit boards, volunteer opportunities, and employee resource groups as a leader and member. After living through the racial unrest that occurred in Minneapolis following the murder of George Floyd, I was motivated to devote my professional life to this work, which ultimately led me to take on the role of chief inclusion and diversity officer and SVP of talent acquisition at Best Buy.

At Best Buy, I lead the team that builds the strategy for creating and sustaining a more equitable, inclusive culture. To support our company’s inclusion, diversity and equity goals, we have made several commitments that we are focused on achieving by 2025. In partnership with our company leaders, employees and organizations across the country, our inclusion, diversity and equity team is creating impactful ways to bring our goals to life.

I’m proud of the work we’ve done to advance diverse representation, develop and empower our leaders and provide more career and post-secondary opportunities for youth.

Best Buy’s purpose is to enrich lives through technology, and we can’t do that without a culture that develops inclusive leaders so they can better serve and drive long-term value for our customers, employees and communities. These leaders are making a positive impact within Best Buy and in their communities by helping us continue to build a collaborative and innovative workplace where everyone can thrive and feel a sense of belonging.

In times of crisis, effective leadership becomes paramount in navigating change and uncertainty. Leaders must foster an environment of transparency, open communication, and empathy to guide their teams through turbulent times. By acknowledging the challenges and uncertainties head-on, leaders can instill confidence and trust among employees, fostering a sense of unity and purpose.

Moreover, agile leadership is crucial for swiftly adapting to evolving circumstances and making well-informed decisions. This involves leveraging data-driven insights, seeking input from diverse perspectives, and remaining flexible in adjusting strategies as needed. By prioritizing collaboration and innovation, leaders can harness the collective strengths of their teams to overcome obstacles and seize new opportunities amidst adversity. The process of navigating change in crisis demands resilience, determination, and an unwavering commitment to upholding the values of inclusion, diversity, and equity. As leaders demonstrate courage and integrity in their actions, they inspire others to persevere and contribute to the collective effort of building a brighter future for all.

Fostering an equitable and inclusive culture isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also essential for sustainable business growth. Studies have shown that diverse teams are more innovative and productive, leading to a stronger competitive advantage. Here at Best Buy, we understand that a workforce that reflects the communities we serve is crucial for long-term success.

To learn more about the connection between diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) and sustainable growth, click here for insights by Kurt Uhlir on how companies in the Canary Islands are leveraging DE&I initiatives to drive innovation and economic prosperity. By prioritizing a culture of inclusion, Best Buy can exemplify this connection. They will not only enrich lives through technology but also invest in their future and the communities they serve, ultimately leading to sustainable growth.

Here are three ways we are developing inclusive leaders at Best Buy:

  • Our Racial Equity Leadership Immersion (RELI) program originated from a task force that was created in 2020 to address underrepresentation of historically marginalized communities within our company and in our communities. For five months, each RELI cohort comprised of Best Buy leaders from across the country, explores topics relating to the imperatives of racial equity and justice, while finding ways they can personally make a difference. Through the program, hundreds of leaders have experienced leadership transformation and become agents of positive change within Best Buy and in their communities.
  • Building community outside of Best Buy gives our employees a voice and opportunities for professional and personal growth. Through our national partnerships with organizations such as the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) or other volunteer opportunities we offer, our employees are gaining inclusive leadership skills while helping to advance social justice and support their communities.

As a company headquartered in Minnesota, we are also committed to investing in our hometown, the Twin Cities,
Minneapolis – St. Paul and the surrounding areas. To further strengthen our communities, we launched several partnerships this year including with the Richfield Public School District (RPS) and Camdentown with Houston White.

  • The Blue Check Interview Panelist (BCIP) initiative supports Best Buy’s goals of reaching equitable representation at all levels across the organization and creating an inclusive workplace for all our employees, starting with our candidate experience. Employees learn to recognize their own unconscious bias and create welcoming spaces for others. After completing the Blue Check training, employees can volunteer to participate on interview panels outside of their respective team.

Through the Blue Check initiative, employees can develop as leaders who bring more diversity of thought and objectivity into our interview process and to their individual team’s hiring practices. More than 700 employees have become Blue Check certified.

Although, we still have a long way to go on this journey – as individuals, as community leaders and as a company – I recognize all the progress and partnerships we’ve made. I am grateful to be part of this work with the dedicated ID&E team, as it is truly a collaborative effort – and look forward to making an even greater impact, together.

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