Macy’s elevates diversity goals
Macy’s Inc. announced an extensive initiative to drive diversity and inclusion across its ranks, concerning not only employees but consumers and other external stakeholders.
The program seeks to “further ensure the company reflects the diversity of the customers and communities it serves” and includes five steps:
- “Strengthen our commitment to welcome, accept and respect every one of our customers”: An updated Customer Bill of Rights “declares that discrimination, unreasonable searches and profiling will not be tolerated, and provides new direction on how customers can report incidents in our stores.” Macy’s will institute training to identify and mitigate bias within customers and employee interactions.
- “Reflect and reach the full spectrum of our customers in our imagery, messages and experience”: Management set a goal of achieving 50 percent representation from gender/gender identity, ethnicity, age, size and “differently abled” subjects across advertising by 2020.
- “Reflect the full spectrum of diversity at all levels of our workforce”: Macy’s goal is to reach 30 percent ethnic diversity by 2025 for senior director level and above. A 12-month leadership program has been launched to support a select group of managers of black/African-American, Hispanic-Latino, Native American and Asian descent.
- “Drive growth with under-represented suppliers”: Achieve a diverse supplier spend of at least five percent by 2021.
- “Build meaningful relationships with community partners whose objectives align with our business goals and our company values”: In 2019, the retailer will launch economic development partnerships in at least five cities in collaboration with Macy’s business accelerators — The Workshop at Macy’s, The Market @ Macy’s and STORY.
Macy’s said its new diversity goals build on efforts taken over the last 10 years to become a more inclusive organization. The company hired its first chief diversity officer last year.
“At Macy’s, diversity and inclusion are essential to our culture and core values. Our mission is to embed D&I into how we think, act, and operate by fostering an inclusive culture and an environment that inspires, reflects, and embraces everyone,” said Jeff Gennette, chairman and CEO. “We hope the steps we are taking will encourage others to reaffirm their commitments to inclusion for all.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are Macy’s elevated goals around diversity and inclusion practical from a business perspective? What advantages might Macy’s gain in the marketplace, if it is successful in implementing its plan? Do any of the five steps appear particularly problematic?