An Inside Look at How Target Leaders Influence With Messages of Diversity, Tolerance and Inclusion

February 24, 2015 - Article reads in
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Promoting the principles of diversity and inclusion is an ongoing priority at Target. From the executive level to the stores and distribution centers, embracing diverse backgrounds and ways of thinking are important principles to create an inclusive culture for team members and guests.

“All dimensions of difference are valued and we understand that being committed to diversity and inclusion leads to the ideas and strategies that impact how our team performs and how we engage with our guests,” said Kim Strong, vice president of diversity and inclusion, Target.

According to Kim, the company seeks to help leaders make Target an environment that allows team members and guests to be their authentic selves.“When it comes to building an inherently diverse and inclusive culture, it takes time and work,” said Kim. “But I know first-hand that the results are well worth the effort and ongoing investment.”

So how does Target create an all-embracing environment in thousands of stores across the country in diverse
communities? We asked that question to Target team member Dustin Hamilton, who oversees 57 stores in Orange County and San Diego, Calif.; he’s responsible for managing more than 10,000 team members and has worked at Target for more than nine years.

What does diversity mean to you, and how does it inspire you?
Diversity means a totally different way of thinking – it’s not solely about race or religion, it’s about diversity of thought. I’ve seen leaders who are very different than me achieve success doing things differently than I do. Seeing others succeed in new ways pushes me to listen to different perspectives and reminds me that I don’t have all the answers. When we truly work together as a team, we always come up with the right answer for Target.

How do you make inclusivity part of your team culture?
I try to incorporate it not just in big activities, but in day-to-day work as well. I try to lead openly and ask questions, versus diving in with directions. I think it’s important to listen to what others think and feel and keep an open mind about trying ideas that others suggest. Taking the time to do this may seem like it’s slowing you down at first, but believe me, it speeds things up later on.

How does Target pay forward this value to its guests?
Target’s partnership with artist and author Kadir Nelson is a great example of Target’s commitment to celebrating inclusion with guests. In honor of Black History Month, Kadir curated a display in 700 Target stores nationwide of inspirational books, music and movies featuring Kadir’s favorite African American artists and authors.

How will Target further its diversity and inclusivity goals?
Long term, we need to turn inclusivity into something that’s ingrained to the point where it becomes routine. It won’t be easy because we have a large team, but inclusivity is a hot topic right now. To be oblivious is to be naïve. We all need to be thoughtful about how we approach it and continue to stay focused.

Want to learn more? Target team members share share more stories of diversity and inclusion here.

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