Improve Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

Rosalind Brewer

Lesson time 13:29 min

As one of only two Black women to ever run a Fortune 500 company, Roz knows what it takes to transcend adversity. Now she shares how she has navigated predominantly White, male-dominated industries by building a culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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Topics include: Seek Out Diversity of Thought • Channel Your Emotions Into Facts • Boosting Diversity • Boosting Equity • Boosting Inclusion • DEI as a Foundation


ROSALIND BREWER: In this lesson, we'll talk a bit about diversity, equity, and inclusion, DEI. Each one of those words-- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion-- tends to stand for something a little bit more dramatic, I would say. So let's talk about that, because it brings together the opportunity to talk about values, culture-- and performance, quite honestly. One of the most primary examples is thinking about who's your customer. And when you're building products for a marketplace, you need to think about, who are you addressing. And the really interesting thing about that is, who's on the other side, making the decisions for your customer base? And I always ask myself, is it reflective of what I want to project in the marketplace? And so I look at my organization and say, are we thinking about who's our customer? Are we thinking on their behalf? And can we think like them? Because we have something in common. So building your organization to reflect the customer you want to address is of the most obvious examples of why DE&I is critical. REPORTER: This holiday shopping season, some people may find it a bit hard to stay both stress-free and debt-free. ROSALIND BREWER: Just a few short years ago, I was being interviewed on CNN. --that we're committed to it. We think it's the right thing to do. And it was actually the holiday season, and the piece was concerning Christmas and retail sales. And I happened to have been in New York with my buying team. And at the time, we were meeting with our top suppliers, talking about the next holiday season. And I noticed that this particular, very large supplier of ours had zero diversity in their organization and structure. And it was really quite interesting to understand that that was our worst-performing category. And as we were closing the interview on the retail Christmas season, I was asked a question about diversity. INTERVIEWER: And in hiring, do you-- do you demand it when you're hiring for the top spots? - Absolutely. And not only that-- is I talk to my suppliers about it. Just today, we met with the supplier, and the entire other side of the table was all Caucasian, male. That was interesting. INTERVIEWER: What did you say? - Well, I decided not to talk about it directly with his folks in the room, because there were actually no female, like, levels down. So I'm going to place a call to him. I said, diversity has to change at all levels, and it makes a difference in your business. And within 72 hours, certain sites on the internet went totally ballistic. My life was threatened. My family was in high security for several days. I was flown out to the West Coast to be sequestered for a few days until security could get things under control. And it was interesting, because one of the white male CEOs in retail was asked the same question the next day, and it never hit the news. So it reminds me that me, being an Afric...

About the Instructor

After years of helming the ship at some of the country’s most iconic companies, including Walmart, Starbucks, and Walgreens, Rosalind Brewer has forged ahead in her quest to innovate while maintaining deep integrity. Now she’s sharing CEO-level strategies for team leaders of all types. Learn to promote innovation, gain buy-in on projects you believe in, and stand out as the leader you know yourself to be.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Rosalind Brewer

Fortune 500 CEO Rosalind Brewer has transformed companies like Walmart, Starbucks, and Walgreens— now she’ll teach you how to make an impact at any level.

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