Diversity & Inclusion Working Group

This working group serves NRF retail members as a platform to further the discussion on diversity and inclusion in the retail community. The working group is comprised of retail executives in human resources, legal departments and corporate leadership roles who responsibilities include incorporating diversity and inclusion within the fabric of their company cultures. NRF hosts monthly conference calls for the working group and conducts benchmarking calls and surveys.

Previous call topics, speakers and exclusive NRF retail member resources:

June 10, 2021 – Working Group Virtual Meeting – At the June meeting we were joined by career service representatives from four HBCU’s.  (North Caroline A&T State University, Florida A&M, Bethune-Cookman University, Clark Atlanta University)   Our guest speakers and retail members participated in a lively, interactive discussion on “Partnering with Corporate America to develop employment pipelines and foster mentorships.”     (Video Link)

May 25, 2021 – Working Group Virtual Meeting –  The May 2021 working group meeting featured NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League. Matthew Shay and Marc Morial discuss the critical work being done to address the racial disparities that exist in communities large and small across the United States as we mark one year since George Floyd's murder. Pairing the breadth and scope of the retail industry with the expertise of the National Urban League, they address the importance of approaching these efforts with the resources, commitment and accountability that results in:

  • Economic opportunity for African Americans and all communities of color
  • Equity in educational opportunity
  • The elimination of health care disparities
  • The removal of obstacles to equal justice
  • Supplier diversity

 (Video Link)  

April 8, 2021 – Working Group Virtual Meeting - Released and discussed results of NRF’s Diversity & Inclusion survey.  Shawn Outler, (Chief Diversity Officer), Macy’s Inc. gave a brief overview of the company’s diversity recruiting efforts and the relationships that Macy’s has formed with HBCU’s.  George-Axelle Broussillon Matschinga (Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion – Sephora) provided attendees insight into Sephora’s ongoing efforts.  Attendees discussed their interactions and successes in working with HBCUs.  We also received an update from Robin Wagher (wagherr@nrf.com) on programs and activities at NRF Foundation including the Talent Acquisition Group, RISE Up (training and credentialing for retail careers), partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and the Foundation’s University Programs which awards more than $500,000 in college scholarships each year and help retailers connect with amazing talent.

March 11, 2021 – Working Group Virtual Meeting –  Representative Alma Adams (NC-12), a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and the founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Caucus, joined us to share her thoughts on ways the retail industry can incorporate HBCU into their employee hiring and training programs.

We also featured representatives from the United Negro College Fund leading a discussion on the importance of HBCU’s, and how graduates have added to the diversity (and overall impact) of the American workforce.  They spoke of current and potential partnerships that corporations, particularly retailers, have with UNCF and HBCU’s, their history, their importance and what’s next (presentation).

January 14, 2021 – Working Group Virtual Meeting  – “Diversity Hiring and Recruitment in Retail America” Ben-Saba Hasan, Senior Vice-President, and Chief Diversity Equity & Inclusion Officer of Walmart, Inc. was the featured presenter (presentation). We had an engaging and interactive discussion on industry best practices and strategies for ensuring diversity in our hiring and recruitment (report) (1/14/2021 call recording).

December 10, 2020 – Working Group Virtual Meeting  – “Retention and Promotion in Retail America” Featuring presentations from Shawn Outler, Macy’s chief diversity officer (presentation); Dr. Stefanie Johnson, author of INCLUSIFY (presentation); and Weldon Latham, leader of the Jackson Lewis Corporate Diversity Counseling practice group (slide; additional material).    

October 8, 2020 – Working Group Virtual Meeting – Cassi Pittman Claytor (Professor of Sociology – Case Western University) and George-Axelle Broussillon Matschinga (Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion – Sephora) led a dialog on retail racism in America and its long-term effects on customers and business.

August 6, 2020 - Working Group Virtual Meeting – Representatives from Starbucks Corporation shared an overview of Starbucks’ D&I course which was developed in conjunction with Arizona State University (presentation). NRF also released and discussed the results of our D&I benchmarking survey (survey results) (8/6/2020 call recording).

June 24, 2020 – Working Group Virtual Meeting – Members of NRF’s Diversity & Inclusion team reviewed the working group’s goals and purpose and led a discussion on some of the priority issues retailers would like to engage on.  The discussion included: diversity from the top down; social impacts; employee education; hiring practices. Weldon Latham, leader of the Jackson Lewis Corporate Diversity Counseling practice group was introduced as a co-leader for the working group.

For more information on joining this NRF working group, please contact Leon Buck or fill out our NRF Diversity & Inclusion Interest form here.

NRF’s Diversity & Inclusion Working Group brings retailers together

Learn more about how the group collaborates on best practices for achieving and celebrating diversity, inclusion and equity within the retail industry here.