How Diverse is the Retail Industry

Every year, America becomes more diverse—but many industries do not. 

While there was a push last year to raise awareness of diversity and racial justice, established industries like retail still have a long way to go. Diversity may lead to long-term viability. And better sustainability.

That isn’t to say there isn’t some positive news in retail, but homogenous boards and C-suite teams will have long-term ramifications. True, long-term change in retail will take time and commitment.

Multiracial Customers’ Inclusion and Purchasing Power

People who identify with many races are predicted to account for more than half of the U.S. population by 2050. With a large population comes immense purchasing power, which is why successful merchants must address diversity challenges straight on.

Diversity and Inclusion: What They Mean

The phrases “diversity” and “inclusivity” are used interchangeably. To put it another way, merchants should go beyond just including diverse models in their advertisements to ensure that those persons have a seat at the table and may freely express their opinions (inclusion). 

Retail businesses that diversify will create inclusive environments that support the long-term development of diverse ideas. Including people of all races and ethnicities at all levels of a retail company is a great place to start. However, actual variety extends deeper. 

Education isn’t Enough 

Many firms mistakenly assume that offering annual diversity training or refresher courses would result in a diverse workplace. 

True retail diversity goes beyond training and is overtly anti-racist. This process comprises reviewing the organization’s current state, defining objectives, and checking in often to iterate and assure progress. 

These experts can help leaders determine what needs to change and how to make it happen.

The Past and Present of Retail

Concerns from Anthropology employees and customers went viral in 2020, resulting in a wave of negative headlines and unpleasant attention. Not only has Anthropology been accused of racial profiling, unequal pay, not being heard in HR, and harming educational aims, but so have others. 

These examples indicate that retailers should reconsider their rules, workplace culture, acceptable conduct, pay scales, and employee feedback.

Diverse Customer Needs

All levels of the retail industry must be represented in order to provide a truly inclusive shopping experience. Workers’ feelings of security and involvement are influenced by leadership style. HR directors must guarantee that no one is excluded from the hiring process. You need intermediate managers who can be trusted by employees, as well as diversity in retail in your frontline personnel. 

Retail isn’t exceptionally awful in comparison to other industries, yet women and minorities continue to lag. Women had a modest proportion of retail board seats and a negligible proportion of senior leadership roles in 2019. That translates to 86 percent of the executive team being male! Other ideas contend that people of color have been underrepresented in retail leadership roles during the last decade.

Members of a community understand what it requires. Employee diversity boosts marketing and engagement while reducing microaggressions and harmful behaviors. 

Mita Mallick, Unilever’s head of diversity and inclusion, experienced racial profiling and microaggressions in retail as a child. She now uses her experiences to guarantee that her company’s standards are fair and that her staff knows how to respond in a variety of situations.