We firmly believe that working in a culture focused on diversity and inclusion spurs innovation, creates healthy and high-performing teams, and delivers superior customer experiences. Our diversity and inclusion initiatives prompt associate participation and engagement, aligning with our core vision to reflect the communities where we do business. Williams-Sonoma, Inc. provides equal opportunity for all employees and no employee may be discriminated against due to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, age, marital or veteran status, or disability.

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is a member of CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, where we announced a goal to “Identify and establish associate networks for underrepresented communities to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the company.” Led by associate feedback, we formed an LGBTQ+ Alliance and a Veteran’s Appreciation Network in 2015, followed by the WSI African American Network in 2016. These networks have received overwhelmingly positive responses from our annual Associate Opinion Surveys. Ambassadors of these programs were instrumental in organizing celebrations for Pride and Veteran’s Day, as well as annual company-wide volunteering for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. In 2019, we celebrated our 3rd MLK Day of Service and participated in Pride celebrations across the globe.

As signatories of CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, we also continually:

  • Make our workplaces trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity & inclusion.
  • Implement and expand unconscious bias education and training.
  • Share best, and unsuccessful, practices by reporting on our successes and challenges.

LGBTI Equality

We believe in the power of community and respect for all. By advocating for equal rights and fair treatment of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex people everywhere, we strengthen and support our community of associates and customers. 

Through policies that protect LGBTI people from discriminatory actions in our workplace, along with our ongoing efforts to support LGBTI groups and community events, we advance a high global standard for equality and inclusion. In 2018, we received the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Award, and we became signatories to the UN Free and Equal Campaign for LGBTQ+ rights.

Gender Equality

We benefit from the participation of women across all areas of our company. Associate packages—including family leave and domestic partner benefits—are designed to help associates grow, personally and professionally, while caring for their families and building a secure future. 

By implementing initiatives that impact everything from our supply chain to corporate offices, we create an environment that puts people first. In partnership with Business for Social Responsibility’s HERproject, we have empowered workers across our supply chain through workplace-based programs on health, financial inclusion and gender equality. We will continue these programs as part of our goal to educate and empower 100,000 workers by 2020. We continually rank among top companies for female leadership; in 2019 and 2020, we appeared on Forbes’ list of Best Employers for Women.

Executive Leadership

To create an environment that attracts great talent, we must motivate, inspire and recognize high performance among all associates. We create conditions under which women can become leaders through mentoring, collaboration and the promotion of inclusive leadership styles. Increasingly, evidence suggests that diverse boards of directors can increase corporate returns. Gender parity is good for business. 

A UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders named Williams-Sonoma, Inc. California’s #1 company for female leadership in its last report on the topic, with the highest percentage reported by any company in the 11 years they have been researching women in business. In 2018, 53% of executive positions VP and above were occupied by women.

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.

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Image: West Elm