SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In honor of Black History Month, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE: WSM), the world’s largest digital-first, design-led and sustainable home retailer, has deepened our commitment to our Equity Action Plan, established in June 2020. The plan outlines a set of actions that we are committed to in the fight for racial justice and equity, including:
- Philanthropic support and long-term partnerships with non-profit organizations that advocate for racial justice and equity;
- Increasing Black representation across our company, and among our vendors, partners and collaborators; and
- Reinforcing an internal culture of inclusion and belonging.
“Diversity, equity and inclusion are values core to Williams-Sonoma, Inc. We, as a company, made the commitment to work toward racial equity, recognizing that our actions ultimately matter most. Together with our associates, our Equity Action non-profit partners and our business partners, we will continue to use our collective power to drive and advocate for positive change,” said Laura Alber, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Since the launch of this Equity Action Plan, we have dedicated time, talent and financial support to carry out its commitments. “We acted quickly to deliver on the commitments in a short time through the passion and dedication of our associates and partners, and we know our work has just begun. There is so much more we can do, together,” said Karalyn Smith, Chief Talent Officer.
Philanthropic support expands beyond national organizations to local non-profits in the communities we serve
We formed ongoing partnerships with three national non-profit leaders: NAACP, National Urban League and Jackie Robinson Foundation, launching efforts to support their missions. In honor of Black History Month, we launched a donation campaign across our brands where we invite our customers to get involved by supporting these three organizations and the work they do.
At a local level, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. has committed $1 million to match employee donations to qualified racial justice and equity non-profits, to support the positive impact of these non-profits in our communities. We now have local community partnerships with over 20 non-profits across the country, like CAMBA in Brooklyn and the Hidden Genius Project in the Bay Area, focused on improving education and supporting community development projects fighting for racial equity.
Representation of Black talent has increased, diversifying our workforce, partners and product offerings, with clear goals established to grow representation at all levels of leadership
We are proud of our progress in increasing our representation of Black talent across levels and workforces. We broadened our talent pipeline for both full-time and intern positions by partnering with over 150 organizations, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, BRAG and blackjobs.com. All open jobs since launching our Equity Action Plan have a diverse slate of candidates, and we incorporated unconscious bias training into the hiring processes.
In addition to these talent initiatives, our brands are consciously increasing Black representation among our vendors, partners and collaborators. We are excited to share our new initiatives and continue to forge new partnerships to increase the diversity of our offerings:
- West Elm has taken the 15% Pledge to increase its representation of Black-owned businesses and is featuring Black artists, designers and makers in its assortment, found in stores and online. You can meet these innovative makers in the weekly Instagram “Meet the Maker” series.
- Pottery Barn has launched its partnership with the Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG) to work with its community of creators, artists, and design professionals to bring Black Excellence in design and artistry to our customers.
- Pottery Barn Kids has launched a partnership with Conscious Kid to offer curated book bundles that celebrate diversity and help promote healthy racial identity development in youth.
- Williams Sonoma is highlighting the important work Black chefs are doing by featuring an online collection of cookbooks written by Black authors filled with recipes, stories and the diversity of the Black experience in the food industry and Black culture in America.
Reinforcing an internal culture of inclusion and belonging remains a core value and focus
We introduced new forums to deepen our associates’ learning about diversity, equity, race and bias while intentionally reinforcing our culture of inclusion. These events have brought together individuals across teams in dialogue, opening up sometimes difficult, and always valuable, conversations. Our Black Associate Network continues to play an impactful role in creating a culture of belonging, alongside our other associate networks and our Equity Action Committee, comprised of a diverse group of leaders across teams.
For more information on Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s continued efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as all of our other sustainability initiatives, visit https://sustainability.williams-sonomainc.com/.
ABOUT WILLIAMS-SONOMA, INC.
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is the world’s largest digital-first, design-led and sustainable home retailer. The company’s products, representing distinct merchandise strategies — Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen, West Elm, Williams Sonoma Home, Rejuvenation, and Mark and Graham — are marketed through e-commerce websites, direct-mail catalogs and retail stores. These brands are also part of The Key Rewards, our free-to-join loyalty program that offers members exclusive benefits across the Williams-Sonoma family of brands. We operate in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, offer international shipping to customers worldwide, and have unaffiliated franchisees that operate stores in the Middle East, the Philippines, Mexico and South Korea, as well as e-commerce websites in certain locations.