Where Are We Today?
Retail Is Going Through A Reckoning
First, it was the Coronavirus that shuttered brick and mortar stores and company warehouses throughout the world for weeks, even months at a time. Every day it seemed companies were permanently closing large numbers of stores, or worse, shutting down operations entirely. Just as we were all coming to grips with one major world event, another took foothold.
After the death of George Floyd, there became an awakening to the racial disparities and injustices faced by Black people in America, not only in personal circumstance, but also in the workplace. Many corporations made statements speaking out against racism and in support of the Black community and the broader community of People of Color.
However, many Brands were then called out for their actions (hiring practices, lack of diversity in decision-making roles, lack of diversity in their suppliers, treatment of employees of color) not matching their words.
Discarding The “Pipeline” Excuse
Building Representation From The Younger Generation Up
When companies discuss their lack of diversity, they often attribute it to a pipeline problem – that there isn’t enough diverse talent to satisfy the employment demand. While there is currently a heavy focus on diversifying corporate retail offices (with talent already in the workforce), we believe that to ensure that this can no longer be used as an excuse, we have to ensure that the younger generation is trained about the opportunities in the industry for them to build lucrative careers and businesses inside.
If you asked the majority of people in retail if they always knew they wanted to be in the field or if they happened to “stumble” in it, we guarantee you will get more of the second answer.
Together, We Create A Comprehensive Program To Increase Diversity Inside Your Organization
We work with businesses who are invested in taking an authentic and active role in our partnership.
You have a goal of, and are ready to invest in, increasing diversity and facilitating a welcoming environment for all people – and our sole focus is to support you in meeting that goal.
Here are examples of some of the components we combine to create a long-term, sustainable program to meet your organization’s diversity and inclusion goals.
01 Educational Program Sponsorship
We have numerous Student programs and events to expose them to the numerous roles within the retail industry. We also have programs and events for Entrepreneurs to equip them with strategies, tools, and processes needed to launch and scale properly, and profitably. These same Entrepreneurs can be equipped with the knowledge of what you’d expect from them as a business partner, helping to increase your pipeline of minority-owned brands into your assortment. Examples of support you could extend are providing Guest Speakers, providing Case Studies for students to work on and judge best solutions.
02 Scholarship & Grant Sponsorship
We have numerous grants and scholarships that we administer, with your support, to Entrepreneurs and Students who have completed our programs and are pursuing growth within the retail industry. We are also happy to create a unique scholarship or grant exclusively sponsored by your organization. We will manage the administration process from beginning to end on your behalf.
03 Workplace Giving & Checkout Campaigns
Offer your employees an opportunity to make a charitable donation to Diversify Retail Inc. through payroll deductions. Take things a step further by offering a “matching gift” where you will match the total amount of donations your employees make. It is also awesome to do a checkout campaigns where customers are asked if they would like to make a donation within their checkout process for your store.
04 Mentorship Programs
We are invested in the long-term success of Students and Entrepreneurs of Color. Mentor relationships make a tremendous difference in their lives, and we want to ensure that they know they have Industry Experts available for guidance as they map out their career or entrepreneurship path in retail. Or perhaps you want to implement a Mentorship program inside your own organization, we will partner with you to create and manage it from start to finish.
05 Internship Programs & Job Placement
After learning about the career or entrepreneurship path a Student may be interested in, we match them with established, vetted companies like you. For students who are unable to participate in our internship program, we also offer job shadowing days which we would love to host inside your offices. Upon graduation, we will also promote opportunities within your organization.
06 Event Sponsorship
There are sponsorship opportunities available for our annual Diversify Retail Summit, where we gather for education, discussion and collaboration, with all stakeholders invested in diversifying their organizations, Students interested in a career in retail, and Entrepreneurs pursuing retail business ventures. We also host other smaller events throughout the year that we can partner on.