At Target, Black People Account for Just 15% of its Workforce — Here’s How the Company Plans to Change That

Target is pledging to improve diversity in its workforce.

The big-box chain has revealed plans to increase the representation of Black employees across its workforce by 20% over the next three years. It said it would develop programs to hire and retain Black workers in career areas with low levels of representation — including technology, data sciences, merchandising and marketing — as well as expand its network of mentors and sponsors to help Black people advance their careers.

In addition, Target will conduct “anti-racist trainings” for leaders and team members to “educate, build inclusion acumen and foster a sense of belonging” at the company.

“The changes we’re making are going to have a meaningful impact on the careers of our Black team members and prospective team members,” VP of human resources and chief diversity and inclusion officer Kiera Fernandez said in a statement. “A diverse and inclusive team at Target is one where there’s equity in how we promote, retain and hire team members.”

She added, “Additional leadership development, training programs and mentorship for our Black team members — along with a focus in areas of the business where our Black representation is not as strong — will offer new career development opportunities for our team for years to come. And we know the support we have for our team helps extend our reach outside our walls, creating a ripple effect that impacts our guests and communities.”

The hiring goal was announced in tandem with the release of Target’s latest diversity report, which showed that Black people account for 15% of the company’s workers. White people, for comparison, represent 50% of all Target employees.

What’s more, Black people comprise just 12% of the retailer’s managers, 5% of officers, 15% of its board of directors and 8% of its leadership team. Meanwhile, those who identified as white constitute 61% of managers, 71% of officers, 54% of the board and 75% of Target’s leadership team.

More broadly, the company’s diversity levels are greater when accounting for all people of color across the business: Out of the nearly 350,000 Target workers, 50% are people of color and more than half, or 58%, are women. About 42% of the chain’s leadership team is composed of women, while almost a quarter, or 25%, are people of color. Its board of directors, on the other hand, is a third women and nearly half Latinx or Black. Plus, more than half of its stores are run by female leaders and a third are managed by people of color.

Over the past five years, Target shared that it has doubled the representation of company officers of color. “Inclusivity is a deeply rooted value at Target, and we’ve had an ambitious diversity and inclusion strategy for many years for our guests and team. We know that having a diverse workforce and inclusive environment not only creates a stronger team, but also provides the perspectives we need to create the products, services, experiences and messages our guests expect,” added chief human resources officer Melissa Kremer. “The next step in this journey is being even more transparent with our progress by sharing a deeper look into the racial and gender diversity of our team, listening to our team’s feedback along the way and using this information to drive a number of new commitments for our team.”

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