Nordstrom Board of Directors Conversation: Leadership and Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

Over the last year, we've done a lot of self-reflection to address diversity, inclusion and belonging within Nordstrom. We've heard from employees, customers, our Board of Directors and Nordstrom partners about our strengths and opportunities, and in August we were excited and proud to announce specific goals to create a more inclusive culture. These goals focus on Nordstrom talent, marketplace, culture and leadership, which are the framework for us to support diverse identities within our organization and across our customers. 

As part of our commitment to amplifying diverse voices, last month we hosted a conversation with our  Chief Human Resource Officer Christine Deputy and our Black women board of director members, EVP at American Express Glenda McNeal, former CEO of TaskRabbit Stacy Brown-Philpot and former CEO of Metric Stream Shellye Archambeau.

The conversation was moderated by Deborah Elam, CEO of Corporate Playbook, who invited our board members to share their unique insights and experiences with our executive leadership team. 

Throughout the conversation, Glenda, Stacy and Shellye echoed the same sentiment  our employees need to feel empowered to bring their whole self to work. In order for us to win with our customers, diversity, inclusion and belonging must be placed at the center of our business strategy. Shellye declared that diversity inclusion and belonging is part and parcel to the business, saying, "We are only as good as our people — Nordstrom will accomplish our goals when our talent reflects the greater population, and all voices are represented."  

To help achieve that vision, we've set a goal to increase our Black and Latinx representation in people manager roles by 50% by 2025. While we're proud that currently 60% of our employees identify as non-white, we know we have work to do to increase representation in our leadership. That commitment extends to our board of directors, which currently has five women and three people of color. To show our continued focus on maintaining and increasing diversity at this most senior level of leadership, and to encourage other companies to do the same, we have joined The Board Challenge, and Board Diversity Action Alliance

According to CHRO Christine Deputy, "Not only does our board need to reflect our employees but our employees need to mirror our customer base. It's not only the right thing to do, but it is what's best for our business. In fact, our data tells us that when we create a more inclusive and supportive environment for employees, we in turn create a better experience for our customer." 

The conversation ended with a discussion on how leadership is playing an essential role in driving change throughout the organization. Glenda shared that behavioral change starts with education, and then it's on our leaders to hold their teams accountable, stating "It starts at the top — we know everything that gets measured gets done. We will not accomplish our goals without every employee holding each other accountable, and it starts with ownership from our leadership team."