How Our Faith Networks Help Create a More Inclusive Target

  • Jul 3, 2019
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Our team members are at the heart and soul of everything that makes Target so special. They’re the forces behind our beloved brands, inspiring stores, groundbreaking marketing, easy shopping experiences and inclusive work environment. And we know our team members are at their best when they feel free to be their authentic selves every day, which is one of the reasons why we put inclusion at the center of our business as one of Target’s key values.

Recently, Target was honored for fostering inclusion among team members of all religions and faiths by Tanenbaum, a nonprofit, secular and non-sectarian organization that promotes mutual respect to bridge religious differences. Target partners and participates in programming with Tanenbaum, and leaders from our Christian, Jewish and Muslim Networks were on hand to accept the organization’s Corporate Bridge Builder Award. These groups are part of Target’s networks that provide community, support and connection to our team members.

We sat down with leaders from the faith networks – Donna Garber, senior sourcing manager, Bradley McCoy, sales director for Roundel and Kashif Saroya, senior engineering manager – to talk about the ways our networks foster understanding and empathy and the work Target continues to do to create equitable experiences across our team.

You recently represented Target at Tanenbaum’s Peace Made Possible Annual Awards Gala. Can you tell us how being a part of our faith networks has impacted your day-to-day work at Target?

Donna: When I first started at Target eight years ago, I found an unofficial lunch group of Jewish team members. That was the beginning of the Jewish Network at Target, which was formalized a year later. Since then, we’ve continued to create spaces of support for Jewish team members, but we also consult with our merchandising teams to make sure our products are respectful and responsive, and we work with other faith networks to build bridges of understanding.

Kashif: My aspiration to work in an environment where we can all bring our authentic self-identity led me to be one of the leaders of the Target Muslim Network. Since I started with the network, we’ve helped foster more awareness of the Muslim faith across our entire team, holding informational sessions about different aspects of our religion, like Ramadan. Thousands have taken part in these sessions and we continue to work to build understanding for all team members.

Bradley: Like Donna, my involvement with a faith network started informally. I was part of a group of team members who came together for bible study and eventually, we formed the Christian Network. The ability to live my faith openly at Target has brought immense value to my work life. While being connected to a community in which we identify is important, it’s just as critical that we seek to understand more from those who have different views. Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to attend Temple with Donna and learn more about Ramadan from Kashif. Plus, being a part of the Christian Network has impacted my personal life – it’s through the network that I met the woman of my dreams and current fiancé, Michelle. 

Congratulations! We’re so inspired by your stories! Can you tell us about a project you’re involved in with the faith networks that you’re really proud of?

Bradley: Last year, we started a new initiative with the Target’s Pride+ Business Council, a group for LGBTQ+ team members and allies. Together, we host monthly conversations – something we call the Empathy Project – to build understanding, break down stereotypes and (of course) build empathy. The community of friendship and support across different team members that has emerged from these sessions is truly inspiring.

Donna: The Empathy Project is a great example of how networks and business councils at Target work together to create a more inclusive workplace. We’re also inspired by each other’s work. The Muslim Business Network’s informational sessions that Kashif talked about earlier have inspired the Jewish Network to hold similar events. It’s all about building relationships among team members that help us bring our whole selves to work – and the work output is so much stronger.

Kashif: The connections we’ve built among the faith networks are inspiring and important. We are a reflection of our guests, and the more we foster these conversations and the more trust we build with each other, the better we become at our work.

Learn more about how Target is championing a more inclusive society on our diversity and inclusion page.

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