Together, Target Is Moving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Forward

by Savoy Staff

(l to r) Laysha Ward, EVP & Chief External Engagement Officer, Target and Kiera Fernandez, SVP Talent and Change, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Target

In 2020, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others’ murders brought the ongoing fight for racial equity and social justice to the forefront. We were reminded, once again, that there’s much more work ahead to truly build an equitable society for all. Last summer became a rallying cry for our country – and a catalyst for action. Because we know in crisis, we find connection. In despair, there’s hope. And in struggle, there’s progress and growth.

As Black women in corporate America, we’ve faced challenges many of our white colleagues have not, and have often been the first, the only or one of a few. And these experiences inspired us to achieve excellence, while creating pathways for others to grow, develop and soar higher. Over the years, we’ve watched our company – and our country – evolve. And we knew we needed to seize this moment to create meaningful, sustainable change.

As one of the nation’s largest retailers and employers, Target has a responsibility – and the size, scale and resources – to advance racial equity and social justice for our Black team members, guests and communities. With our core value of inclusivity driving our culture and business, we’ve recruited more diverse team members, offered more products from diverse suppliers and directed our philanthropic spending to communities of color. But there’s always more to do – and we’re charging forward.

Last summer, we established the Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) committee to accelerate our diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) strategy and drive lasting change for our Black team members, guests and communities. We’re proud to work alongside our fellow Target executives and leaders to advance this critical work within and well beyond our walls. We shared our strategy with the Target team last summer, standing alongside our CEO, and announced that we’d focus on our Black team members, guests, communities and influencing civic engagement and public policy.

It became clear last summer that the only way to change the systems that cause these inequities is to acknowledge they exist and understand the reality we live in. Through early results of our DE&I goals, it became clear that we needed to go deeper and address specific challenges that are disproportionately affecting specific members of the Target family. That’s why we took quick action to openly acknowledge challenges that our diverse team members disproportionately face. We released our Workforce Diversity Report, detailing the racial and gender breakdowns of our team across all levels. We committed to increasing representation of Black team members across the company by 20 percent through 2023.  And we joined a coalition of leading corporations to launch OneTen – an effort to hire one million Black job seekers into middle-skilled jobs over the next 10 years, with a focus on creating jobs that don’t require a four-year degree. These efforts ensure that Target is driving change and holding ourselves accountable to our team, guests and the communities we serve.

Beyond our walls, as racial and economic tensions came to a boiling point amid demands for racial equity and social justice, the importance of civic engagement and public policy work was heightened. We’re actively influencing public policy and championing civic engagement. We worked to ensure fair, accessible and safe voting during the recent elections. We joined important conversations around police reform, signing with other corporate leaders in support of our longtime partner, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. The Foundation’s National Racial Equity Initiative will apply data, research and analysis to impact public policy related to education, economic opportunity and law enforcement. We will also continue to advance Black-owned businesses by sharing our resources and sourcing and designing more products from Black creators, vendors, agencies, contractors and suppliers. It’s an important start, and one way we’ll continue to leverage Target’s expertise and advocate for positive change.

Day in and day out, Target’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is unwavering, and we’re confident that our efforts will help create lasting change for Black team members, guests and communities across the country. But we know we can’t do it alone – so we’re listening, learning and engaging with multiple stakeholders to continue taking steps forward in the fight for racial equity and social justice for all.



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