- Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging
Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging
We continue to be heartbroken by the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others, and the deep pain and division we're seeing across Canada and the United States. Change is needed and we're committed to being a positive part of that change. We shared our thoughts on these recent events through a letter to our employees, which you can read here.
An Open Letter to Our Employees
August 24, 2020
Over the past few months, we've done a lot of listening. We've heard from employees, customers, our board and Nordstrom partners about what it means to be Black in our communities today. Recent events of racial injustice and inequality have shone a light on the dark history of systemic racism that desperately needs to change moving forward.
These conversations have been humbling and educational, and we've taken the insights away to help inform our path forward. As we think about our values and who we want to be as a company, it's clear we have an opportunity to extend ourselves in new ways and set the standard for what Nordstrom represents to our people.
Your input has been and will continue to be essential in this process. Today, we're sharing with you the biggest pieces of feedback we've heard and the specific goals we've set for ourselves to address our opportunities. Our diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIB) strategy is focused on four pillars, and each of our new goals aligns with one of those.
We will increase demographic diversity in all corporate and leadership positions to better reflect the North American population.
Our team of 60,000+ employees needs to better reflect the diversity that exists within Canada and the United States.
- From the salesfloor to the boardroom, we're doing ourselves a disservice when we don't have strong representation across racial and gender identities throughout our team, especially at the leader level. Today, 60% of our employees identify as non-white, and three of our 11 board directors are Black. We're proud of this progress but need to ensure this level of diversity is reflected at all leadership levels throughout the company. By the end of 2025, we will increase representation of Black and Latinx populations in people-manager roles by at least 50%.
- We have a terrific talent pipeline in the form of our internship program and other initiatives that help us reach qualified candidates early in their careers. We're going to leverage those programs in order to reach a more diverse population, with a goal on average of at least 50% of participants in these programs coming from underrepresented populations.
We will serve customers on their terms, through a lens of anti-racism, identity and equity at every touchpoint.
Every person who walks through our doors needs to feel welcome and respected.
- We've had a Customer Bill of Rights in place for several years, which explains our zero-tolerance policy for unreasonable searches, profiling and discrimination of any kind in our stores. But having a policy isn't enough. We need to take a hard look at our practices and further educate and train our employees to support them. We're revisiting our practices and the training resources we offer for customer-facing roles to ensure they include anti-racism and anti-bias content.
We need to prioritize improving the diversity of the brands we partner with across our business.
- We can and will do better in offering Black-owned or -designed brands, along with those created by all people of colour. We want to do this the right way, so we can create meaningful and successful partnerships with these brands. We're committing to delivering $500M in retail sales from brands owned by, operated by or designed by Black and/or Latinx individuals by the end of 2025.
- Part of this work will be supported by our Supplier Diversity program, which will track and support diverse-owned suppliers across all areas of our business. We're renewing this program and will publicly share the total program's long-term goals in February 2021.
We will strengthen belonging and address favouritism through greater consistency, collaboration, communication and connection.
All Nordstrom employees need to feel they can bring their whole selves to work and that Nordstrom can provide them with opportunities to build a rewarding career.
- Success in this area will be measured, in part, by feedback from you. Our Voice of the Employee survey will be our benchmark, and we're working to improve our Inclusion and Belonging Index score by 8 points and Favouritism Index score by 6 points by 2025.
These conversations must continue, and we need to create space and opportunity for employees to connect, share their stories and learn to act as allies.
- Our employee resource groups (ERGs) are an essential component in our ability to gather feedback from employees and offer a sense of belonging. By the end of 2020, we'll expand our ERGs beyond the Seattle area so all employees can participate.
We will declare and commit to compelling, future-oriented leadership expectations and shared culture that will drive our business ambition.
To be successful, a commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging needs to be felt across all levels and aspects of our company.
- Our leaders play an essential role in bringing this part of our culture to life. We will build diversity and inclusion into our leadership expectations and will measure our leaders on their performance in this area through the Inclusion Index and feedback from their teams and coworkers up and down the pyramid.
In addition to supporting children and families through our charitable giving program, we will partner specifically with organizations focused on anti-racism.
- We give millions of dollars each year to hundreds of nonprofits across Canada and the U.S. We want to ensure we're specifically directing a portion of our giving to these important topics. We're pleased to share that we will double our charitable giving to nonprofit organizations that promote anti-racism, bringing that total to approximately $1M per year for the next five years.
- We're excited to share a new, multiyear corporate partnership with the National Urban League, a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment, equality and social justice. The Urban League has an affiliate network that spans the U.S., reaching every community where we do business. They'll be a tremendous support and resource for us across all our efforts to better reach, serve, hire, retain and connect with Black and other underrepresented groups. We'll also be partnering with them on ways to get employees across the company involved in these efforts and volunteering.
To lead and drive this work, we're launching the Nordstrom Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Council. This new group, co-chaired by the two of us and Christine Deputy, is made up of a diverse mix of leaders from across our company and our board of directors. We will focus on developing, implementing and measuring programs that drive our diversity, inclusion and belonging strategy. We'll share regular updates with you as this group's work progresses.
We firmly believe we must be focused on the opportunities we have to make Nordstrom a better place for you and our customers. But we'd be remiss if we didn't acknowledge our responsibility to be active corporate citizens. One way we can do that is by using our platform to encourage our employees, customers and communities to vote. Voting is both a privilege and a responsibility, and we strongly encourage all Nordstrom employees to register and vote. To make getting to the polls easier for our U.S. employees, we're declaring November 3, 2020, a holiday this year. We're also excited to be working on a new partnership with a nonpartisan organization focused on increasing participation in every election. Stay tuned for more details on what this will look like and how you can get involved in the coming weeks.
We know we have a lot of ways we can improve as we strive to be a better, more inclusive and anti-racist company for you, our customers, partners and communities. These concrete actions represent the next phase in our journey, not the finish line. We continue to be committed to doing the work, being transparent about our progress along the way and holding ourselves accountable. We ask that you continue to help us by giving feedback, sharing ideas and challenging us to grow and evolve.
We're better together and we appreciate all you do,
Pete & Erik
An important part of driving meaningful change is listening to the experiences of our Black employees, customers and communities. We're doing that in many ways, including internal Courageous Conversations hosted by our Black Employee Network—an Employee Resource Group at Nordstrom composed of Black employees and their allies. You can watch some pieces of those conversations here.
Our Approach to Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging
We've long believed that we're all made better by the diversity that exists within our communities. Our values are centered on the notion of creating a place where every customer and employee is welcome, respected, appreciated and able to be themselves.
We've spent a lot of time exploring what diversity, inclusion and belonging (DIB) should mean at Nordstrom. Our research has included in-depth interviews and workshops with our leadership teams, a deep dive into data that helps us understand the makeup of our workforce, and meetings with employees across roles, business units and regions to gain insights and perspectives at the individual level.
We focus our DIB efforts under four strategic pillars:
- Talent: We will increase demographic diversity in our corporate and all leadership positions to better reflect the North American population.
- Culture: We will strengthen belonging and address favoritism through greater consistency, collaboration, communication and connection.
- Marketplace: We will serve customers on their terms, through a lens of anti-racism, identity and equity at every touchpoint.
- Leadership: We will declare and commit to compelling, future-oriented leadership expectations and shared culture that will drive our business ambition.
The voices of our people are essential as we continue on this journey to be a better, more diverse and inclusive company. Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are employee-led, Nordstrom-sponsored groups that help to bring together, educate and amplify the experiences of our employee groups and their allies. Currently, we have ERG groups focused on members of LGBTQIA+, veterans, women, Black, Asian Pacific-Islander, Latinx, parents and diverse-abilities communities.
Your Questions Answered
We're fortunate to be receiving lots of great questions, feedback and ideas from our own teams and those outside of Nordstrom.
While we don't have all the answers, we're going to keep listening and keep working to find and address the places where we have opportunities to be better. You can see some of our most frequently asked questions below.
Where we are today isn't enough. We can and must do more. We're on a journey to be better and are committed to continuing this conversation, making more changes and sharing the ways we're working to drive meaningful progress at Nordstrom. We'll share more updates with you here.
How did you create your diversity, inclusion and belonging goals? Who was involved in creating them?
We've done a lot of listening over the past few months, and we chose to prioritize the pieces of feedback we heard most frequently from our employees, customers, partners and communities. These represent the next phase in our journey to be a better, more diverse and inclusive company—not the finish line. Feedback from those key stakeholders played a big part in these goals, along with input from teams across the company—HR, Marketing, NMG, LP, Procurement and more.
How will Nordstrom execute against these goals?
To lead and drive this work, we've launched the Nordstrom Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Council. This group is co-chaired by Pete and Erik Nordstrom and Christine Deputy, our Chief Human Resource Officer. The group is made up of a diverse mix of leaders from across our company and representation from our board of directors. The group will develop, implement and measure programs that drive our diversity, inclusion and belonging strategy.
Are you making donations to nonprofits that address racism and other issues facing Black communities?
In May, we made corporate grants to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund as well as to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. We encourage our employees to give and will match their donations to nonprofits working to address these issues.
Our giving is focused on organizations that help families reach their full potential, and many of the nonprofits we support are focused specifically on underrepresented or marginalized communities, such as Rainier Scholars, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the YWCA, the Posse Foundation and the American Indian College Fund.
We're pleased to share that we'll double our charitable giving to nonprofit organizations that promote anti-racism, bringing that total to approximately $1M per year for the next five years.
To learn more about our charitable giving program, visit NordstromCares.com.
Is Nordstrom making donations to any local or national U.S. political campaigns?
We are not. Learn about our approach to political activity.
What does your employee representation look like today?
Our people are the foundation of who we are as a company. Attracting, hiring and retaining diverse talent enable us to be more innovative and better serve our employees, customers and communities. Each year, we issue a corporate social responsibility report that outlines our progress in many areas, including diversity, inclusion and belonging. See a breakout of our representation from our 2019 report.
How much diversity do you have on your board of directors?
Our commitment to diversity at all levels of our company extends to our board of directors. We have 11 people on our board, five of them are women and three are people of colour. Learn more about our board of directors.
What are you doing to attract and hire diverse talent?
We've set clear, measurable goals for ourselves: By the end of 2025, we will increase representation of Black and Latinx populations in people-leadership roles by at least 50%. Through our internship and other early-in-career programs, we will create opportunity for underrepresented populations with an aim of 50% representation.
Now that we've set these goals for ourselves, we're working across the organization to come up with plans that will get us there. That includes identifying the best way for us to find and connect with the diverse talent we need to hire to best serve our customers. In addition to being in the right places to meet the right candidates, we need to ensure our hiring managers are trained to identify and mitigate bias during the hiring and promotions process. We're rolling out updated learning in 2020 to address issues of conscious and unconscious bias.
How do I learn more about the Nordstrom internship program, eligibility and application process?
You can learn more and apply at careers.nordstrom.com.
How does Nordstrom hold its leaders accountable for creating a workplace that supports diversity, inclusion and belonging?
To be successful, our commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging needs to be felt across all levels and aspects of our company. Our leaders play an essential part in bringing our culture to life. We're building diversity and inclusion into our leadership expectations, and we will measure our leaders on their performance in this area through our Inclusion and Belonging Index and feedback from their teams and coworkers up and down our pyramid.
Do you pay your employees equally, regardless of race or gender?
We have achieved 100% pay equity for employees of all genders and races. Nordstrom is also committed to pay parity, a way to measure and report on gender representation at all levels of the company. We're at nearly 100% pay parity for men and women, which reflects our strong female representation across the company. We will continue our efforts in this space to build our representation of women at all levels across the organization.
Do you have an anti-discrimination policy?
Yes. We are committed to an inclusive, supportive environment. Nordstrom doesn't tolerate discrimination of any kind. We ask that employees and customers let us know if they experience or observe behaviour they believe is discriminatory or harassing so we can address it immediately.
How much business do you do with Black-owned companies or other underrepresented groups? Will you commit to doing a certain percentage of your business with these types of companies?
We can and will do better in offering Black-owned or -designed brands, along with those created by all people of colour. We want to do this the right way, so we can create meaningful and successful partnerships with these brands. We are committing to delivering $500M in retail sales from brands owned by, operated by or designed by Black and/or Latinx individuals by the end of 2025. We are also renewing our Supplier Diversity program, which will track and support diverse-owned suppliers across all areas of our business. We'll publicly share this program's long-term goals in February 2021.
How do I learn more about and/or participate in your Supplier Diversity program?
We're in the process of renewing this program and setting long-term goals, which we'll share in February 2021. We'll post more details then about how vendors can participate in the program.
What are you doing to increase diversity in the collaborations you do with your private-label brands?
We need to improve here, and we're looking into opportunities to partner with diverse influencers on future Nordstrom Made exclusive collections. Earlier this year, we launched the BP. Be Proud collection, which is our first gender-inclusive collection, featuring a range of silhouettes for people of all gender identities. This is just the start—we're working on more Be Proud collections and are excited to take feedback from our customers as we do that.
DIVERSITY IN MARKETING
How do you partner with influencers and bloggers? What are you doing to make sure their views align with your own?
Our commitment to diversity and our zero-tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind extends to the partners we work with. We work hard to partner with influencers and bloggers who have similar values to us when it comes to important topics like racism and discrimination. When we learn of situations where those values aren't aligned, we immediately address it. Many influencers are part of networks that enable them to work with a variety of brands, including Nordstrom. We're working closely with those networks to ensure they're taking appropriate steps to make our values and expectations clear. Our goal is to work with a diverse mix of influencers, and we're making it a priority to develop a plan that will get us there.
What are you doing to make sure there's more diversity in your marketing campaigns (website, ads, catalogues, social media platforms, etc.)?
This has been a focus for quite some time. The amount of diversity we include in our marketing campaigns and catalogues exceeds the level of diversity we see in North America. In 2019, 58% of our casting was diverse, featuring people who represent a range of races, colours, ages, sizes and abilities. We're not stopping there. We must better reflect this diversity in our styling, music, copy and ongoing social media conversations, including vastly improving representation in our influencer partnerships. We've also formed a Diversity Marketing Panel comprising Nordstrom employees representing a variety of visible and invisible identities. Their insights help shape our strategy, using identity and equity at every touchpoint.
We recognize that significant change takes real work, and we'll update this page as our efforts evolve.