We expect our Associates to work hard, challenge themselves and be innovative in their thinking. But we also believe that when our Associates feel connected, respected and included, it shows in their performance. That’s why we strive to create a supportive, stimulating environment and encourage our broad and diverse teams to freely share ideas that may benefit our business.
To support 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 be inclusive and reflect the diversity of our customers and the communities we serve. Each one of our Associates brings something unique to our collective culture – a diversity of experience, gender, race, ethnicity, age and more. 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 to report that globally, women make up 77% of our total workforce, and they hold 65% of our managerial positions around the world.1 Further, we are pleased to note that women are strongly represented in our more senior ranks and that 51% of our leadership positions across the Company are held by women.2 Additionally, averaged over the past three years, women earned 76% of our promotions. More specifically, over the past three years, on average, women earned 51% of the promotions into Senior Vice President roles, 40% of the promotions into Vice President roles, and 58% of the promotions into Assistant Vice President roles.
Our workforce is racially and ethnically diverse. In the U.S., approximately 56% of our total workforce and 32% of those in managerial positions are members of racially or ethnically diverse groups, which we believe helps create a workplace where our Associates feel welcomed, valued, and engaged.3 While we strive to increase diversity, we have high management tenure rates at TJX. For example, 57% 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%. We strive for a diverse workforce across our Company at every level and we are moving our programs forward with a goal of continuous improvement.
We believe that diversity and inclusion are both important, and we strive to establish partnerships with leaders, managers and Associates so all Associates feel welcomed in the Company, valued for their contributions, and engaged with our business mission. We’ve seen firsthand that the talented individuals we hire today may transform into our global leaders of tomorrow, and we recognize that a person must feel valued if they are to make a long-term commitment to any employer. Across our regions, we have formal and informal initiatives underway to foster inclusion and a sense of family. Our objectives include:
Our approach to inclusion has led us to develop some program pilots which are currently underway, such as an online unconscious bias training and diversity and inclusion guides for Associates, managers and human resources. Overall, our diversity and inclusion goal is to equip leaders, managers and Associates with the tools and personal support needed to create a workplace culture of inclusion.
With relationships and respect so deeply embedded into our culture, we know it is important 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 honor 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. We also have a large presence in PRIDE parades occurring across the U.S. and Canada each June, among our many other inclusion-related activities.
TJX has earned a score of 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 periodically review our policies against the guidelines set forth in the Index. We include language on "gender identity and expression" in the Company nondiscrimination policy.
In the U.S., prior to nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage, TJX was proud to provide a benefits program that provided benefits to same-sex domestic partners who did not have access to marriage. Today, we are pleased that our benefits program provides benefits to married Associates and their spouses. Our benefits program also provides transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits and related healthcare services.
We strive for an inclusive, diverse workforce across our Company and continue to work on initiatives that further embed inclusion as one of our core values, as we believe it impacts not only recruitment and retention of Associates, but is a key element of our culture. In Canada, we have a Diversity Council, consisting of senior leaders from across the Canadian organization, that set the vision and goals that will drive diversity and inclusion across that organization. In Europe, we operate in six countries so sensitivity to cultural differences is important to us. As we grow our business, we believe it is important to our long-term success that our workforce be inclusive and reflect the diversity of our customer population.
In the U.S. and Canada, we have formal groups established to support Associate learning, including education on topics related to diversity and inclusion. 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) groups. While informal, the Groups are well organized with a dedicated focus on a business objective and inclusion goal and include:
For more on our Associate Resource Groups, click here.
Our Associate Resource Groups are well positioned to help their members develop leadership skills and talent. By offering workshops, career development activities and project management opportunities, members can learn and strengthen skills that are directly transferrable to their jobs or even help develop them for future advancement.
Inclusion-related learning varies among the countries in which we operate and is tailored to address the environment an Associate most often encounters. Store management in our U.S. stores 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. In 2015, in an effort to inspire, motivate and build Associate morale, TJX stores across Canada launched 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 management-level programs, such as "A Winning Balance," to help managers better understand their teams and be more effective leaders. In 2016, Canada expanded this program beyond management. In Europe, as we expand into new countries, we recognize that our cultural diversity is becoming more complex. To support the increasingly diverse population of our merchandising and buying organizations, we designed a development workshop to help Associates understand, appreciate and successfully navigate others’ cultural preferences to build meaningful working relationships.
In addition to our internal training and educational initiatives, we are working on talent acquisition strategies that enhance our efforts to recruit from diverse talent pools. We attend conferences, leverage social media, and partner with several community-based and business networks. In the U.S., these partnerships include the National Urban League and the National Council of La Raza. 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 other 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 programs in order to build a network that can support participants and encourage learning. To date, we have over 400 Associates of diverse ethnic or racial backgrounds who are alumni of The Partnership programs. We also attend college job fairs including several that offer specialized development for members of racially or ethnically diverse groups in higher education such as ALANA.
Below are some of our more recently received distinctions:
1 Managerial positions are defined as Assistant Store Manager (or equivalent level) and above across the Company.
2 Leadership positions are defined as Assistant Vice President and above across the Company.
3 Data 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.