Living a fulfilled is different for each and every one of us. Understanding and embracing those differences for Kohl’s customers, associates, and communities is not just the right thing to do; it is critical in creating an inclusive workplace and brand experience, as well as driving growth for the organization. At Kohl’s, we are committed to empowering more families through equity, diversity and inclusion (D&I).
Diversity & Inclusion
Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion
In 2020, we shared our commitment to a renewed Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) strategy focused on Our People, Our Customers and Our Community and our mission to empower more families through equity, D&I. While this has always been part of our culture, our evolved strategy accelerates how we are embedding D&I throughout our business by being intentional about our programs and practices and holding ourselves accountable with measurable goals and results.
The work is rooted in our Core Beliefs:
- We believe embedding equity, D&I in everything we do requires an ongoing journey of listening, learning and taking action.
- We believe civil rights are human rights and that anti-racism and our commitment to nondiscrimination are critical to upholding our core values, ethical practices and Code of Ethics.
- We believe we can create lasting change by addressing inequities to positively affect our people, customers and community.
- We believe we are accountable for inspiring empathy, creating an environment of belonging and identifying and addressing bias.
Our D&I Framework & Pillars
Led by our D&I team, influenced by our cross-functional D&I task force and championed by our D&I council and Business Resource Groups (BRGs), we created the following strategic framework to enhance our D&I efforts.
- Our People
We strive to be purposeful in attracting, growing and engaging more diverse talent while giving associates equitable opportunities for career growth. Along this journey, we’re championing the value and strength of our differences to foster a workplace of inclusion and belonging.
- Our Customers
We strive to celebrate our differences and help more customers see themselves reflected in our brands. Along this journey, we’re working to offer culturally-relevant products, designs and storytelling that is meaningful to diverse customers.
- Our Community
We strive to drive economic empowerment through conversations, programs and partnerships that improve quality of life in underserved communities. Along this journey, we’re embracing opportunities to address racial disparities.
Our Pledge for Progress
In 2020, we made a Pledge for Progress, which outlines how we’ll take action to deliver meaningful change for the good of Our People, Our Customers and Our Community. We invested more than $13.5M toward these plans in 2020.
- We pledge to take action to increase diversity across our associate population to better reflect our customers and our country. We’ll accomplish this by:
- Expanding our talent attraction practices to make more meaningful connections with underrepresented professionals, with a specific focus on partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, as well as building relationships with Black and Hispanic professional associations.
- Enhancing our hiring practices, leveraging new recruitment tools and expanding our search parameters to require diverse candidate slates at every level of the\ organization.
- We pledge to increase representation of women and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) across our leadership ranks. We’ll accomplish this by:
- Formally reviewing the composition of leadership on a quarterly basis and taking action to drive significant change.
- Offering new development, mentorship and sponsorship opportunities for underrepresented talent across our organization
- We pledge to maintain strong inclusion and address opportunities to strengthen belonging among underrepresented associate groups who experience lower engagement. We’ll accomplish this by:
- Requiring ongoing training to drive inclusive leadership, manage bias and appreciate the value of differences.
- Embedding D&I as a required component of individual leadership goals, ensuring our leaders understand they are accountable for behaviors and actions that build equity and belonging.
- Committing to listening sessions, leadership presentations and BRG engagement that serve to maintain an ongoing dialogue while championing the value of D&I.
- Evaluating and improving our policies and practices to drive equity across our business practices and people processes, including (but not limited to) talent management, performance, development, engagement, compensation and benefits. Our policies must directly connect to our inclusive values and our ethical standards. We will not tolerate language, behaviors and actions that are divisive, marginalizing or disrespectful of the inclusive culture we value.
- We pledge to increase relevancy among Black and Hispanic customers. We’ll accomplish this by:
- Launching and leveraging an in-house Diversity Design Council to develop, purchase and/or curate culturally relevant products.
- Leveraging our scale, resources and expertise to empower diverse creators and businesses.
- Creating a brand voice and amplifying cultural moments to deliberately include, reflect and celebrate the diversity of Black and Hispanic families.
- Enhancing the diverse representation of Black and Hispanic families across all marketing and storytelling channels.
- Partnering with influencers and ambassadors who lend their voices to racial equality.
- Driving a consistent environment of belonging for Black and Hispanic customers through meaningful messaging, relevant product offerings and a welcoming omnichannel experience that inspires and speaks directly to unique cultural interests and needs.
- We pledge to invest more to support the unique needs of diverse, underserved communities with a focus on addressing disparities in career development, family support, housing and wellness. We’ll accomplish this by:
- Working with all charitable partners supporting family health and wellness, as well as nonprofit organizations who engage in our volunteer program, to identify, enhance and report our charitable support of BIPOC, LGBTQ+, women and People with Disabilities.
- Enhancing equity, economic empowerment and quality of life for women, along with Black and Hispanic communities, with an elevated focus on our hometown of Milwaukee, including enhanced partnerships with organizations like Milwaukee Urban League, Employ Milwaukee, Acts Housing, Safe & Sound and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.
- We pledge to double our spending among diverse suppliers by 2025. We’ll accomplish this by:
- Creating a Supplier Diversity team to embed and activate supplier diversity best practices across our supply chain processes.
- Creating reporting tools and technology to assess and track progress in supplier diversity growth.
Awards & Recognition
The HRC CEI is the roadmap and benchmarking tool for U.S. businesses in the evolving field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality in the workplace. Criteria for the CEI are rigorous, fair and transparent, identifying emerging best practices that improve the experiences of LGBTQ+ employees of participating businesses.
The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity Process began in 2001 and is the leading assessment of diversity management in corporate America. The results are derived exclusively from corporate survey submissions from companies with at least 1,000 employees in the U.S. Companies are evaluated within the context of their own industries. The noteworthy company list is comprised of companies whose data indicates they have the potential to make The DiversityInc Top 50 in the coming years.
Top Companies for Women Technologists is a national program from AnitaB.org that identifies key trends around the equity of women technologists in the workforce. First launched in 2011, the program helps organizations identify areas where they can improve and signals a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion that women look for in an employer. Top Companies is the only benchmarking program that looks specifically at technical employees and awards companies that are making the most progress toward equity.
This award is given to a BRG that works to support and build a culture of inclusion and acceptance. Our #PrideAtKohls group has been a leader in creating a welcoming business environment. The group supports its national partner, The Trevor Project, as well as Courage MKE locally. It also participates in the LGBTQ+ Workplace Alliance and helps advocate and support the development of Pride clothing, making a positive impact on the community and within the company.