- 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
May 30, 2020
This is a painful time for the United States and for us. The events going on around all of us are heartbreaking, and we want to share a few thoughts with you.
Like so many of you, we have been deeply saddened and angered by recent events in the United States. The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others reflect the deeply ingrained racial prejudice and injustice that still exist in our communities today.
These deaths are stirring many emotions, and they should. The unnecessary and unjust killing of anyone must not be accepted. The issue of race and the experiences of too many people of colour cannot be ignored. We owe it to our employees, our customers and our communities to be very clear in condemning these acts of violence. They represent a disregard for basic human rights that has no place in our communities or the United States, and certainly not at Nordstrom.
We've long believed we're all made better by the diversity that exists within our communities. Our values are centred on the notion of creating a place where every customer and employee is welcome, respected, appreciated and able to be themselves.
We need change. As a company, we know we have the opportunity to make things better, which is why over the past several years we've amplified our efforts when it comes to diversity, inclusion and belonging at Nordstrom. It begins not only by speaking out, but by listening. Listening to our employees, customers and neighbours as they share what it's like to be a person of colour in the United States today. It's working to ensure our teams and leaders represent the diversity we seek. It's providing each and every customer who walks in our door the service and experience they expect and deserve to receive at Nordstrom.
Our employees, particularly through our employee resource groups, are critical voices as we continue to have conversations about these important topics. Our "Courageous Conversation" forums set up by our Black Employee Network have made a big impact on both of us. These conversations aren't easy, but they've never been more important. We're grateful for the courage of our employees as they share their stories. We're proud to stand with them. We welcome your feedback as we work to make meaningful change together.
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 plan to continue increasing 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 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.
Are you making donations to nonprofits that address racism and other issues facing Black communities?
We've 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.
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 have a goal to increase the diversity of our teams to reflect the diversity we see across North America, and we have new programs in place to help us get there. We're actively reviewing all of our hiring practices and processes, including how we recruit, interview, hire, onboard and promote. As part of this work, we're introducing new Inclusive Hiring training that gives our recruiting teams and hiring managers the education and resources they need to find and select diverse candidates, free from bias. We're also focused on building our managers' ability to understand how bias works and how they can minimize the impact it has in making decisions about their teams.
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 want to create 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've had a Supplier Diversity program in place for a number of years to provide opportunities for companies owned by those who are underrepresented, including Black-owned businesses. We found several opportunities where we could be a better partner to these businesses, and we plan to make a number of updates. We look forward to sharing our new program soon.
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. This month, we're pleased to launch 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. While our goal is to work with a diverse mix of influencers, we need to improve and are making it a priority to develop a plan for the next year that will help 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.