To support TJX’s future growth, we are continually looking for enthusiastic and committed individuals from a broad range of backgrounds and experiences to join our team. As a large, complex, and global business, we believe it is important that our workforce reflect the diversity of our customers and the communities we serve.
We also believe that creating an inclusive environment in which Associates are engaged and empowered not only strengthens our business, but fosters a culture where Associates are inspired to work hard, challenge themselves, and be innovative in their thinking. At TJX, diversity and inclusion are both important, and we encourage partnerships among leaders, managers, and Associates so all Associates feel welcomed in the Company, valued for their contributions, and engaged with our business mission.
Each one of our Associates brings something unique to our collective culture – a diversity of experience, gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and more, and we welcome new Associates to our Company through diversity recruitment strategies. At TJX, diversity is not something we mark off of a checklist; it is something we celebrate in many ways!
Women are an important part of our workplace diversity and represent an increasing percentage of our leadership team. We are proud of the high percentages of women across our workplace, the strong representation of women in our more senior ranks, and our promotion rates for women over the past three years. We are equally proud that four of our 10 members of our Board of Directors are women.
Globally, women make up 77% of our total workforce, and they hold 65% of our managerial positions.1 Further, we are pleased to note that women are strongly represented in our more senior ranks across the company, with women comprising 55% of Assistant Vice President and above positions, 43% of Vice President and above positions, and 40% of Senior Vice President and above positions. Additionally, averaged over the past three years, women earned 76% of our promotions. More specifically, over the past three years, on average, women earned 58% of the promotions into Assistant Vice President roles, 40% of the promotions into Vice President roles, and 51% of the promotions into Senior Vice President and above roles.
Our workforce is also racially and ethnically diverse.2 In the U.S., members of racially or ethnically diverse groups comprise 56% of our total workforce and 32% of managerial positions, which we believe helps create a workplace where our Associates feel welcomed, valued, and engaged. To enhance our recruitment efforts for Associates who are members of diverse racial and ethnic groups, we attend conferences, leverage social media, and work with several community-based and business networks. In the U.S., these collaborations include the NAACP, the National Urban League, UnidosUS, the National Retail Federation, Worknet, and more. We also attend college job fairs, including several, such as ALANA, that offer specialized development for members of racially or ethnically diverse groups in higher education. Early results show our networking with these community-based and business groups are helping as approximately 65%-75% of all new hires in our stores and distribution centers are diverse Associates.
At TJX, we have high management tenure rates. For example, 59% of our Associates at the Assistant Vice President level and above have been with the Company for over 10 years. At the Vice President level and above, that percentage increases to 63%. While we are pleased with the stability of our leadership team, which gives us the benefit of years of off-price retail experience to provide to our newer team members, our high tenure rates slow our ability to quickly change our overall workforce demographics. We continue to strive towards a more diverse workforce across our Company at every level, and we are moving our programs forward with a goal of continuous improvement.
Our culture places great value on relationships, which has been a key to our success since our founding and is now a guiding factor driving our inclusion efforts. We encourage Associates to form strong, lasting relationships with each other, and our aim is to transform some of the most talented individuals we hire today into our global leaders of tomorrow. We recognize that our commitment to this relationship must include ensuring that Associates feel welcomed, valued, and engaged if they are to make a long-term commitment to TJX. We strongly believe that:
Across our regions, we have formal and informal initiatives underway to foster this type of inclusion.
Inclusion-related learning varies among the countries in which we operate and is tailored to address the environment an Associate most often encounters. In the U.S., store management may use a tool called “Culture Pulse” to gauge how store teams are performing in the areas of customer engagement and in their connections with each other. We also belong to Conexion in Boston and, on a national level, The Partnership. Conexion pairs Latino Associates with a seasoned mentor at organizations in various industries and provides workshops in leadership. The Partnership offers year-long programs in leadership and cultural navigation for early- to mid-career Associates, as well as the Next Generation Executive Program, a five-month training course. In addition, we actively bring together Associate alumni of both of these programs to build a network that can support participants and encourage learning. Over the years, we have had more than 400 Associates of diverse ethnic or racial backgrounds participate in The Partnership programs.
In an effort to inspire, motivate, and build Associate morale, TJX stores across Canada run The JOY Project, a customer service and Associate engagement initiative. This effort works to build strong connections between managers, Associates, and customers, and recognizes behaviors that mirror important aspects of our culture. In Canada, we also offer programs, such as “A Winning Balance,” to help Associates better understand their teams and be more effective leaders.
As our approach to inclusivity continues to mature, we are piloting new initiatives like an online unconscious bias training, as well as diversity and inclusion guides for Associates, managers, and our Human Resources team. Overall, our diversity and inclusion training goal is to equip people with the tools and personal support needed to further enhance a workplace culture of inclusion.
We have formal groups established to support Associate engagement around diversity and inclusion in the U.S. and Canada. These Associate Resource Groups offer networking, development, and support for new and long-time Associates and are open to anyone in our corporate offices and loss prevention (LP) departments. While informal, these groups are well organized with a dedicated focus on a business objective and inclusion goal. In addition, in Canada, we have a Diversity Council, consisting of senior leaders from across the Canadian division, that sets the vision and goals that will drive diversity and inclusion across that division.
With relationships and respect so deeply embedded into our culture, we know that one way we can show our Associates that we value them is to take the time to celebrate our diversity. Our Associate Resource Groups in the U.S. and Canada run programs throughout the year, such as Bring Your Whole Self to Work, to respect our differences. Our U.S. distribution centers fly the flags of the countries represented by our Associate base and celebrate key holidays that are important to them. In Canada, we host a diversity picnic at our home office that kicks off with an Associate huddle around why diversity is important to us. And, we have a large presence in the annual PRIDE parades in the U.S. and Canada, as well as many other inclusion-related celebrations.
We also show Associates that we value them through inclusion-related policies. For example, prior to nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage in the U.S., TJX offered benefits to same-sex domestic partners who did not have access to marriage. Today, we are pleased that our benefits program provides benefits to same-sex married Associates and their spouses. Our benefits program also provides transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits and related healthcare services. We are proud to have scored a 100 on the Corporate Equality Index of the U.S.-based Human Rights Campaign in nine of the past 10 years and earned the highest ranking in the Human Rights Campaign’s “Buying for Workplace Equality” guide.
We’re proud of what we are doing. However, we are striving to move our programs forward with a goal of continuous improvement. Below are some distinctions our work has received:
1Managerial positions are defined as Assistant Store Manager (or equivalent level) and above across the Company. Data is as of October 2017.
2Data on ethnic and racial diversity not available outside the U.S. Statistics for U.S. Associates are based on racial/ethnic designations used by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Data is as of October 2017.