Our Commitment to Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion
Ross Stores, Inc., is dedicated to building diverse teams and an inclusive Company that respects, values, and celebrates the vast array of backgrounds, identities, and ideas of those who work for and shop with us. With our policies, programs, and procedures, we work to create a culture that promotes respect, equality, and dignity throughout our Company and in each individual workplace. Throughout our Stores, Distribution Centers, and offices, we expect Associates to exhibit our commitment to DE&I in their interactions with Customers and fellow Associates alike.
Our day-to-day work is led by our Office of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DE&I), which continues to grow, and we are guided by two important bodies: the DE&I Steering Committee and the DE&I Council. The DE&I Steering Committee is co-chaired by our Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer and is comprised of senior executives from across the Company who ensure that our DE&I strategy is integrated into how we work and our culture. The DE&I Council, chaired by our Group Vice President of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, Susan Gordon, is composed of cross-functional senior leaders who are responsible for developing functional action plans that support our DE&I vision and objectives.
While Ross has always been steadfast in its commitment to DE&I, we have made significant progress in advancing our efforts in recent years. Through the combined work of the Office of DE&I, DE&I Steering Committee, DE&I Council, and all of our Associates, we have expanded initiatives to increase education and training; attract and retain diverse talent; enhance the sense of community and belonging for Associates; communicate our DE&I priorities, events, and observances; and build a long-term strategy for improvement and growth.
2021 Employee Data
In Management Positions
Management positions include supervisors and above.
View our full 2021 EEO-1 Report
Nurturing a Respectful Culture
It is our ongoing goal to foster an environment where communication is open and civil, conflict is addressed early and respectfully, and there is a culture of inclusion, support, and cooperation.
To that end, in 2021, we continued our commitment to fostering DE&I learning by providing training across all levels of the organization, including the executive team.
We continue to provide DE&I instructor-led Unconscious Bias training. This training is focused on building skills to support diversity and introducing language and tips related to bias, inclusion, and engaging in respectful conversations. In addition, many Associates participated in DE&I e-Learning sessions.
We then began the next phase of our learning plan, starting Conscious Inclusion training with an initial group of leaders. Of those who took part, 93 percent said they are now better prepared to address non-inclusive behaviors if they arise within their teams.
As part of our efforts to ensure we recruit and develop diverse talent, we also provided specialized DE&I experienced-based training to all managers and above in Human Resources and created standardized tools and training to help mitigate potential unconscious bias in succession planning and talent calibration discussions.
We now have integrated DE&I training into the on-boarding process for all Associates and participants in our internship program. On an annual basis, we carry out training on Ross’ Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for full-time Associates and non-harassment training for all Associates. To build on all of these efforts, we continue to offer on-demand learning resources and guided roundtable discussions about a variety of topics on our dedicated DE&I portal for Associates.
Attracting Diverse Talent
Our Talent Acquisition teams continue to broaden our hiring practices to ensure our efforts to recruit and retain diverse Associates. All job postings include our DE&I commitment statement and we request diverse slates of candidates from external recruiters. We post jobs at all levels on several diverse career sites, including the Professional Diversity Network, which ultimately share our roles across 17 diversity hiring sites.
In 2021, we established or extended partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and major national organizations including Ascend, Diversity Inc., Human Rights Campaign, National Black MBA Association, National Organization on Disability, NextUp (formerly Network for Executive Women), and Prospanica. These organizations not only help Ross identify diverse talent to add to our ranks, but also provide information, content, and resources to assist in the development and advancement of our Associates.
We also expanded our efforts to increase diversity in our internship program and our early career positions by partnering with organizations such as the Black Retail Action Group and InternX, working with several HBCUs, and participating in several diverse career fairs such as Out 4 Undergrad.
Building CommUnity Networks
In 2021, Ross furthered its commitment to instilling a sense of community and belonging among our Associates. We expanded to five CommUnity Networks, Company-recognized groups of Associates with common identities who come together for activities that support the Company’s overarching DE&I vision and objectives. The Networks are being developed to include various dimensions of diversity—such as race, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, and military experience.
Though still relatively new, the groups are helping us shape an even more inclusive environment, enabling networking opportunities, enhancing professional development, and amplifying commemorative holidays and dates of significance. In 2021, the Networks held more than 40 events, including a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event focused on public service hosted by the Black/African American CommUnity (BLAAC) Network, a World AIDS Day storytelling session hosted by the RossPRIDE CommUnity Network, a celebration of the Lunar New Year hosted by the InspirAsian CommUnity Network, a speaker series for National Hispanic Heritage Month hosted by LatinX Connect, and a kickoff for the Women Inspired Network (WIN). As we move forward, Associates will have the opportunity to launch additional CommUnity Networks.
We also support social justice efforts and invest in diverse communities where we operate. In 2021, we made donations to several organizations working to advance DE&I, which you can read more about in the “Supporting Our Communities” section.
“RossPRIDE hasn’t just been a resource for ‘out’ Associates. We have heard great feedback from Associates who aren’t fully out, or may be straight and cisgender but have close family and friends who are LGBTQ+ and appreciate that there is a community for them at work.”
— Ross Associate
Recognizing Diverse Holidays and Events
In 2021, Ross highlighted a wide array of annual commemorative events and holidays to recognize the diversity of our Associates. These observances included Black History Month, Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, National Developmental Disabilities Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, Pride Month, Juneteenth, National Hispanic Heritage Month, National Native American Heritage Month, Veterans Day, and many others.
Throughout the calendar year, observances are commemorated with internal and external touchpoints, such as the distribution of historical facts, educational resources, and Associate stories, as well as additional communications including videos, signage, and social media posts. CommUnity Networks also often host special events tied to these holidays and commemorative months such as seminars, discussions, parties, and other engagements for Associates.
We also recognized the need for Associates to have dedicated time to honor the breadth of diverse holidays and events that they may observe individually. In 2020, we introduced Diversity Day, an additional paid day off for Corporate and Buying Office Associates. Whether it is participating in a Juneteenth celebration, a Pride march, a religious observance, Veterans Day, or other holidays and events, eligible Associates can choose to use their Diversity Day in a way that is personally meaningful.
Advancing Our Commitment
Ross has made significant progress in building and implementing a comprehensive DE&I strategy. We are proud of our accomplishments in recruiting, developing, and retaining a more diverse workforce; expanding DE&I knowledge and training; creating CommUnity Networks; and observing commemorative events to recognize and celebrate our diversity. In 2021, we reached and engaged more Associates in our DE&I efforts than ever before.
However, we recognize that there is more work to be done. We are committed to continuing our efforts to diversify our workforce, including in our executive level positions. Additional plans in the near future include extending our training programs to reach more Associates, increasing the number of CommUnity Networks and other opportunities for Associates, and expanding our mentoring initiatives. We will continue to listen and learn from our Associates and partners to make our efforts more timely, appropriate, meaningful, and successful.
“At Ross, we believe that having a workforce that truly reflects a diversity of backgrounds and experiences makes our business, our communities, and our society stronger. That is why we are committed to expanding our efforts to promote diversity, equality, and inclusion in everything we do, from recruiting and retaining top talent, and developing supportive and stimulating workplaces, to uplifting communities where we live and work. I am encouraged by our progress and excited for the future.”
— Susan Gordon, Group Vice President, Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion