A senior executive at Target Corporation has called for increased involvement of "White women" in efforts to address perceived systemic racism in the United States. The company's diversity executive emphasized the importance of their active participation in combating these issues.
Additionally, the retail giant revealed that it was incorporating projections of changing demographics into its internal decision-making processes.
"One of the hardest things in the world to be every day is Black," stated Kiera Fernandez, a Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Target in an interview with Essence Magazine in January, reports Fox News.
In the wake of George Floyd's death in 2020, Target significantly intensified its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. A notable development in this regard is the establishment of the Racial Equity Action and Change program, spearheaded by Fernandez, with the aim of accelerating progress in this area.
The task force is primarily dedicated to engaging with Black customers within Target's stores and enhancing the recruitment and promotional opportunities for Black employees. Notably, Target has committed to a substantial increase in the representation of Black employees.
"[W]e’re on track to spend more than $2 billion with Black-owned brands by 2025. We’ve already increased our investments with Black-owned companies and suppliers — including marketing agencies, construction companies, facilities maintenance and more – by 50% since 2020," Fernandez told the HR Digest in July 2022 about Target.
"And in that shift, it's important for us to… think about how do we start planting seeds today that prepare for those future… demographic shifts," she said during a 2021 panel from Twin Cities Business Talks: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, that was posted on social media.
She proceeded to claim that it was the role of "white women" to call out "transgressions."
"I think the number one thing that I would encourage White women to do is take the [DEI] learnings… and use your voice… so the woman of color in the room doesn't always have to."
"Because whether it's right or not… there are places that you and I will go where your voice will be heard differently than mine. And that is why we're doing this work. That's why it's so important to have this conversation. But we also can't ignore the systemic history that got us here and then the things that we have to do differently to remove those barriers," she said.
"[Target's] tolerance for intolerance will definitely be a significant challenge to any company that's thinking about how they build a culture. It was talking about culture like that's so deeply woven in your strategy. It has to be," she stated. "So it is daunting. It's not for the faint-hearted… But it gets easier every day."
"Given the calls for racial equity over the past year, we know that many companies are standing up or deepening their investments in their diversity and inclusion work… DE&I is not meant to rest on one individual’s shoulders," she continued. "This work requires shared accountability and responsibility, which is why it’s so critical to create an infrastructure — a system with tools that allow you to integrate DE&I into your ecosystem in a way that truly drives your business."