Diversity Woman Magazine

SPR 2018

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/955125

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30 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N S p r i n g 2 0 1 8 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m For example, when Wlazlo's team launched Universal read, an apparel line for women of all body types, her team first met with more than a thou- sand women of different shapes, sizes, heights, and ethnicities to help design the assortment. "ese women actually were a feedback loop in the driver of us building that assortment," Wlazlo says. "We didn't just build it and then say, 'I hope you like it.'" Caroline Wanga, Target's chief diversity and inclusion officer, says that reach- ing out to the community makes good business sense. "We know that in this business landscape people get to choose whether or not they want to engage with us, and they make those decisions with their dollars," she says. "So in order to continue to be a place where people want to come and spend their money, we have to be connected to who our potential cus- tomers are across the board, and in order to stay relevant as a business, we have to be sure these folks are seeing experi- ences, products, and services that reflect who they are." ne day, Target Senior Vice President of Apparel and Accessories Michelle Wlazlo walked into a company store with her 15-year-old daughter. Her daughter saw Target's new mannequins—which ranged from size 4 to size 16—and gasped, "Oh my gosh, look!" She was shocked to see mannequins in different sizes, not just the usual unrealistic body shape that's seen on a runway or in a fashion magazine. "Our guest population is diverse," says Wlazlo. "One way they are diverse is that they come in different shapes and sizes. So why wouldn't we want to serve them in the best way?" e mannequins are a distillation of Target's commitment to diversity and in- clusion. ey represent how Target, which sits at 38th on the 2017 Fortune 500 list, listens to its customers and community base; has a company culture that pro- motes diversity of thought; and promotes a company-wide shared accountability for diversity and inclusion. Promoting this culture is a CEO who is leading the way to make sure that inclusivity, equity, and diversity are baked into every business decision. "Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of what we do at Target," says Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell. "It's not only the right thing to do, but the right business decision—and it's the only way we can deliver on our promise to guests." Targeting the community Laysha Ward is Target's chief external engagement officer. Her job is to develop deep relationships within local communi- ties and make sure that their needs are being met in the stores and also that Tar- get positively impacts these communities. Target, perhaps more than most national retailers, attracts a broad swath of shoppers, with affordable price points matched by a certain style that appeals to young and old, urban and suburban, all genders and ethnicities, and all body shapes and sizes. is is no accident. Target is extremely attuned to the local community, says Ward. "With more than 1,800 stores nationwide, we do business in all kinds of neighborhoods, small towns, suburbs, and big cities, and yet no two stores are exactly alike," she says. "We know we can't use a one-size-fits-all approach if we are going to be successful in serving our local guests. at's why we build relation- ships with local business and community leaders, residents, and other stakeholders to advance our business objectives and impact in the community." Brian Cornell , Chief Executive Officer Laysha Ward , Chief External Engagement Officer O FROM FLOOR TO CEILING

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