Kohl’s is challenging itself to do better when it comes to diversity and inclusion within its ranks.
In a memo addressed to customers on Monday, CEO Michelle Gass outlined several steps that the department store has taken in support of a movement that has jolted the American public in recent weeks following the death of George Floyd.
Gass announced the creation of a task force, which she would lead in partnership with the retailer’s D&I team, as well as the launch of a series of internal focus group sessions to discuss diversity and inclusion steps at the company. Plus, Kohl’s unconscious bias training, which piloted in the summer of 2019, is expected to roll out to the entire company this year.
What’s more, the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based chain said that it had made a donation of an undisclosed sum to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and committed to giving back to local organizations aimed to advance equality in its hometown.
“As a large company, and one that serves millions of families from diverse backgrounds, Kohl’s acknowledges systemic injustices in the country and can commit to actions and behaviors that will make our company, stores and the world a better place,” Gass wrote. “This is just the start of the conversation.”
Working with senior leaders, the retailer’s D&I team and its Black Professionals Business Resource Group, the CEO added that Kohl’s was developing a “thoughtful and sustainable” long-term plan to promote equality among its associates and customers.
In the wake of Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police, many retailers are responding to calls to action in the fight against racial injustice. National unrest spurred by the killings of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, has called attention to police brutality, but also conscious and unconscious racial biases that persist in communities, within organizations and at the workplace. In response, a number of boldface brands have pledged millions of dollars in donations to civil rights groups, while others have been forced to address racial disparities in their own teams.