Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSI) is made up of over 21,000 of the most talented retail associates around the globe, and we respect individuals for their unique contributions. We firmly believe that working in a culture focused on diversity and inclusion spurs innovation, creates healthy and high-performing teams, and delivers a superior customer experience. We outline the details of our approach to equity and equality in the following statements:
Always a cornerstone of our company, equity has created a culture of shared progress. When everyone gets the support and opportunity they need, we succeed.
Board Gender & Diversity
Our Board is comprised of individuals qualified to advise our executive team based on their skills, knowledge, experience and areas of expertise. We believe that it is important for our Board to be diverse, and within the scope of diversity, we include gender, age, race, sexual orientation and culture, as well as diversity of abilities, expertise and perspectives. We’re proud to have above-average gender parity on our Board, with over 60% women Directors.
As our company evolves, we see opportunity to further diversify representation at all levels of leadership. In identifying the most qualified individuals as candidates for Board membership, the Nominations, Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility Committee will seek to attain diversity in the composition of the Board in a way that reflects our employees and communities.
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is committed to an ongoing process of developing new and additional company-wide initiatives to benefit our associates at all levels of the company, and we review and report on our progress to our stakeholders on an annual basis.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Based on associate feedback, we formed an LGBTQ+ Alliance in 2015, which received overwhelmingly positive responses from annual Associate Opinion Surveys. We expanded to form the WSI Black Associate Network in 2016, followed by the Veteran’s Appreciation Network, Hispanic Heritage Group and Asian American Pacific Islander Network. Ambassadors of these programs were instrumental in organizing celebrations for Diwali, Pride and Veteran’s Day, as well as annual company-wide volunteering for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In 2020, we celebrated our 4th annual MLK Day of Service.
In June 2020, we formed an Equity Action Committee and launched an Equity Action Plan outlining a set of actions we’ve committed to in the fight for racial justice and equality: 1) Philanthropic support and long-term partnerships with non-profit organizations that advocate for racial justice and equity; 2) Increasing Black representation across our company, and among our vendors, partners and collaborators; and 3) Reinforcing an internal culture of inclusion and belonging. We’re continually tracking and publishing our progress in our annual impact reports.
We believe in the power of community and respect for all. By advocating for equal rights and fair treatment of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer, Asexual and Intersex people everywhere, we strengthen and support our own community of associates and customers. In 2018, we signed onto the UN Free & Equal Campaign for LGBTQ+ rights, and we were awarded the Corporate Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign. In 2019, we extended our benefits package to include Transgender benefits, including gender confirmation surgery and hormonal therapy within all our insurance plans and all our carriers. In 2020, we enhanced our Parental Leave Program to provide increased paid time off for primary caregivers due to birth or adoption of a child, and we introduced paid time off for secondary caregivers. In 2021, we joined the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index. Through policies that protect people who identify as LGBTQ+ from discriminatory actions in our workplace, along with our ongoing efforts to support LGBTQ+ groups and community events, we advance a high global standard for equality and inclusion.
We benefit from the participation of men or women across all areas of our company. Associate benefits — including family leave — are designed to help employees grow, personally and professionally, while caring for their families and building a secure future. We continually rank among top companies for female leadership; we appeared on Forbes’ list of Best Employers for Women 2019-2021 and on their list of Best Employers for Diversity in 2020. This focus on equality extends from our corporate offices to our stores to our supply chain. In partnership with Business for Social Responsibility’s (BSR) HERproject, we have empowered workers across our supply chain through workplace-based programs on family health, financial inclusion and gender equality. We’ve continued these programs as part of our goal to educate and empower 100,000 workers, a target we exceeded in 2020.
A UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders named Williams-Sonoma, Inc. California’s #1 company for female leadership in their most recent study (2015), with the highest percentage reported by any company in the 11 years they have been researching women in business. Since then, we’ve continued to be a beacon for women leaders. More than 50% of our executive positions at the VP level and above are occupied by women and over 50% of our board members are women.
Related Stories, Statements & Policies
- WSI Celebrates Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
- WSI Receives the HRC Corporate Equality Award
- Partnering with HERproject on Gender Equality
- Corporate Citizenship
- Ethics & Oversight
- Giving & Volunteering
- Code of Conduct & Ethics
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