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Target plans to increase the number of Black employees by 20% in coming years

Target announced this goal as it released details about the racial and gender breakdown of its workers at all levels of the company.

Target will work to increase the number of Black employees across the company by 20% over the next three years, it announced Thursday

The goal to increase diversity within the Minneapolis-based retailer comes as Target releases a report that details the racial and gender breakdown of its team across all levels of the organization. 

“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,” Chief HR Officer Melissa Kremer said in a statement. 

“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," Kremer added.

According to Target's Workforce Diversity Report, which is based on data from 2019, 50% percent of its nearly 350,000 team members are people of color and 58% are women. 

When looking at Target's leadership team, racial diversity drops. The report says 24% of leadership are people of color and 42% are women. Meanwhile, on Target's board of directors, nearly half of the members are Latinx or Black and one-third are women. At the store level, one-third of Target's nearly 1,900 stores are managed by leaders of color and more than half are run by women.

Target admits more work is needed to increase diversity within the entire company, and on Thursday it shared plans for changes it will implement to create advancement opportunities and reduce turnover among Black employees.

“The changes we’re making are going to have a meaningful impact on the careers of our Black team members and prospective team members,” Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Kiera Fernandez said. “A diverse and inclusive team at Target is one where there’s equity in how we promote, retain and hire team members."

The changes Target will make include: developing programs to hire and retain Black employees in areas with low representation, such as technology, data sciences, merchandising and marketing; conducting anti-racist training that educates, builds inclusion and fosters a sense of belonging; ensuring the company's benefits and partnerships drives wellness and safety for Black employees; and increasing the company's network of mentors to help Black employees advance their careers.

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Target's Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) committee launched these initiatives as part of the company's commitment to social justice and racial equity.

Target established REACH over the summer as part of its efforts to support Black community members and fight racism following the killing of George Floyd and other Black men and women by police. 

Target isn't the only Minnesota company that has announced a commitment to increase diversity among its employees. In August, Best Buy shared plans to hire 1,000  more tech workers over the next two years, with at least 30% being people of color – specifically Black, Latinx and Indigenous – and women.

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