Our Commitment to Diversity
Ross Stores, Inc., is committed to building diverse teams and an inclusive culture that respects, values, and celebrates the diversity of backgrounds, identities, and ideas of those who work and shop with us. We instill a culture of respect and dignity throughout the workplace through our policies, programs, and training. Throughout our Stores, Distribution Centers, and offices, we expect Associates to exhibit this in every interaction they have with Customers and fellow Associates alike.
While Ross has always been dedicated to diversity and inclusion, we have made significant progress in advancing our commitments and growing our programs in recent years. We formalized the Office of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DE&I) and established two leadership 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 comprises senior executives from across the Company who ensure that our DE&I strategy is integrated into how we work. The DE&I Council is composed of cross-functional senior leaders who are responsible for developing functional action plans that support our DE&I vision and objectives.
“We believe that our differences make us stronger. Nowhere is that more apparent than when we look at our Associate population. It is precisely the act of supporting a workforce that reflects a diversity of backgrounds and experiences that plays a critical role in driving our success and delivering for our Customers. While our work continues—and there is surely much further to go—I am proud of our progress so far and enthusiastic about the future.”
— Susan Gordon, Group Vice President of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion
of employees are women as of 2020
of employees are people of color as of 2020
of employees in management positions are women as of 2020
of employees in management positions are people of color as of 2020
View our full 2021 EEO-1 Report
Growing Our Own
Ross invests heavily in its development programs, striving to provide the best learning opportunities for all Associates to grow within the Company.
Whether it is the Associate who started as a Fitting Room Attendant in one of our Stores nearly four decades ago who, after holding 13 different roles in their time with the Company, is retiring as a Senior Manager in our Corporate Office this year, or the Associate who has been with the Company for 31 years and held every field Store role there is, our Associates are able to advance their careers with us.
Our Chief Executive Officer, Barbara Rentler, started with the Company in 1986 as a Buyer and has held various positions with increasing impact throughout her career at Ross. Across the landscape of other Fortune 500 companies, her career trajectory and role as a female Chief Executive Officer stands out for prospective and current Associates.
Stories like these demonstrate the power of belonging and that opportunity is always in season at Ross.
Over the course of 2020, we rolled out unconscious bias training, and Associates at every level of the organization learned practical guidelines for fostering an inclusive workplace. This training focused on building skills to support diversity and introduced language and tips related to bias, inclusion, and engaging in respectful conversations. We also implemented DE&I Overview Training for all Associates at the Vice President level and above and all Store Managers via 200 classes. Collectively, Store Supervisors, Distribution Center Directors, and all Corporate and Buying Office Associates completed more than 13,000 DE&I e-learning sessions.
To build on this momentum, we launched a dedicated DE&I portal for Associates, where we provided and continue to offer on-demand learning resources and guided roundtable discussions about a variety of topics. We also carried out our annual training on Ross’ Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for full-time Associates and non-harassment training for all Associates.
Prioritizing Diverse Talent
Our Talent Acquisition team continues to broaden our hiring practices. All job posts include our DE&I commitment statement. We post jobs at all levels on diverse career sites such as the National Urban League, Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, and Professional Diversity Network, which ultimately shares our roles across 17 diversity hiring sites.
We also expanded our recruitment sources by establishing partnerships with organizations such as Out for Undergrad and the Black Retail Action Group, as well as by participating in diverse career fairs. Additionally, we partnered with several Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the recruitment of our Internship Class and Early Career positions.
Investing in the communities where we operate is an important pillar of the Company, and we support organizations that work in our communities. In 2020 we made donations to diverse organizations, which you can read more about in the “Supporting Our Communities” section.
And internally, despite not being able to gather in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we expanded our commitment to instill a sense of community among Associates by establishing CommUnity Networks. These are Company-recognized groups of Associates with common identities who come together for activities that represent the Company’s overarching DE&I vision and objectives.
Our CommUnity Networks are being developed to include various dimensions of diversity—such as race, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, and military experience—as well as the people who support them. As we move forward, Associates will have the opportunity to launch additional CommUnity Networks. To date, these groups are helping us shape an even more inclusive environment, enabling networking opportunities, enhancing professional development, and amplifying commemorative holidays and dates of significance.
Recognizing Diverse Holidays and Events
In 2020 we launched a robust calendar of annual commemorative observances to recognize the diversity of our Associates. These observances include International Women’s Day, Mental Health Awareness Month, Juneteenth, Pride 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. CommUnity Networks are also supported in facilitating events and seminars for Associates.
Further, we recognized the need for Associates to have dedicated time to honor the breadth of diverse holidays and events that they may observe individually. We proudly established Diversity Day in 2020, an additional paid-time-off holiday that Corporate and Buying Office Associates are eligible to use. 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 Diversity Day in a way that is personally meaningful.
We spent a significant amount of time in 2020 listening and learning, and we look forward to expanding on this work. It is indeed our differences that make us stronger.