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Investing in people is increasingly a commodity among big-box stores and major retailers — online and off — and Macy’s recognizes the importance of that, having just released its first “Human Capital Report.”
While the focus of the report plays up the people quotient, Macy’s opener, “This is the story of Macy’s Inc.” is written in corporate speak. “It’s the story of the people, who work each day to make life shine brighter for our customers and communities. It’s about our employees — whom we call colleagues — and what it’s like to be part of such an iconic retailer at a moment where the marketplace is evolving faster than ever before.”
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Macy’s Inc. made clear from the start that while its Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Blue Mercury subsidiaries each have their own style, they are “rooted in equality and driven by our purpose.” The conglomerate provides more than 90,000 jobs in the U.S.
From a gender standpoint, Macy’s is a female-driven operation from a management perspective, with women accounting for 67 percent of management jobs. However, only four of Macy’s 14 top executives are women and women only hold 26 percent of technical jobs even as they account for 74 percent of all other jobs.
In terms of racial and ethnicity representation among management, 16 percent are Hispanic or Latino, 13 percent are Black or African American and 7 percent are Asian, with the remaining 60 percent being white. For technical employees, 57 percent are Asian, 29 percent are white, 8 percent are Black or African American, 4 percent are Hispanic or Latino and 2 percent are other. The breakdown for all other employees is 36 percent are white, 25 percent are Hispanic or Latino, 22 percent are Black or African American, 10 percent are Asian and 2 percent are other. Other is defined in the report as Native American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander as well as two or more races.
Publishing the report is meant to be another step in creating a culture of accountability and transparency. The report noted how the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy was refocused last year “to address the current climate,” without being more specific. And driving change through five areas — colleagues, community, customers, marketing and suppliers — was spelled out. This year, Macy’s aims to drive change and accountability in D&I through those five areas, and deliver on published diversity and inclusion goals.
One step the company has taken to improve inclusivity was to offer unconscious bias e-learning for every colleague. To date, 81 percent of Macy’s Inc. employees have completed that.
On another level, the company is trying to increase representation at the senior director level and above. Acknowledging how “there is still much more work to do to achieve our goals,” Macy’s Inc. reported 24 percent ethnic diversity at the senior director level and above. The goal is to reach 25 percent in 2021 and 30 percent by 2025. Directors are 27 percent racially and ethnically diverse and companywide, 62 percent of the total workforce are, according to the report.
“Out of an abundance of caution,” Macy’s based its safety standards on its most vulnerable colleague population and used those as the standard for company-wide policies
The retailer also noted how at the onset of the coronavirus crisis, the company quickly responded to customers and expanded omnichannel fulfillment such as curbside pickup, virtual selling, microsite call centers, in-store pickup and same-day delivery.
The company’s report also noted how it is working to remove language as a barrier to employment or success across its supply chain through bilingual initiatives such as on boarding sessions in Spanish to train more than 2,000 Spanish-speaking employees for holiday 2020. And to curtail attrition with mid-level staffers, Macy’s Inc. is offering more training and education opportunities to allow for career advancement.
Planning for a post-vaccinated world, Macy’s is rebuilding its corporate offices with shared work spaces. Break rooms in its stores and distribution centers are being reconfigured to ensure for safe, social-distanced gatherings.
The switch to remote working called for boosting technology to keep everyone connected such as increased VPN licensing and the establishment of a work from home option for call center staffers. To try to keep workers “connected and engaged,” the company has employee resource groups like Onyx, which held a virtual webcast for 300-plus people — well above the normal amount that would have been accommodated in a physical space.