Doing The Right Thing: The Home Depot’s Chief Diversity Officer Derek Bottoms Talks Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Originally published on Built From Scratch
The Home Depot is building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization, within our enterprise and the communities we are proud to serve. Grounded in our core values, we have the conviction, capabilities and tools to make a difference for our associates, community partners and suppliers.
What does diversity, equity and inclusion mean at The Home Depot?
At The Home Depot, our values guide us in everything we do. They serve as our foundation, and they are embedded in our culture. Our expanded focus on diversity, equity and inclusion supports all eight of our core values, including respect for all people, giving back and building strong relationships with other associates and our customers. We strive to build a workplace and retail space that reflects the communities we serve. A diverse and inclusive workplace also creates shareholder value by providing different perspectives and fresh ideas that spark innovation.
What are some ways The Home Depot is driving progress for its stakeholders?
We recently expanded our associate resource groups (ARGs) to all associates companywide, including in stores and distribution centers. Previously, these groups were only available to our Store Support Center (SSC) associates. In an aligned effort, we are identifying tools and platforms to directly engage with our hourly front-line associates to share DEI-related information and resources.
We also are raising awareness of DEI and its importance by modernizing our learning materials; holding listening sessions where executives hear from associates across the organization; and focusing on recruiting and talent-planning strategies that emphasize diversity and inclusion.
On the community side, we are continuing to partner with local and national organizations focused on closing the wealth gap and advancing education for all. We continue to amplify our supplier diversity efforts to drive innovation, economic opportunities and shareholder value by directing more of our dollars, directly and indirectly, toward diverse businesses. We look to partner with organizations like the Billion Dollar Roundtable whose mission aligns with our focus areas. To further our commitment to supplier diversity, we are also seeking to achieve $5 billion in direct annual spend with diverse suppliers by 2025.
What project excites you?
I’m excited about our plans to expand Our Retool Your School program in 2023, which has provided campus beautification funding to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) since 2009. By expanding the reach of this program, we can further strengthen our commitment to HBCUs and their students, including through career development opportunities.
To read the full 2022 ESG report, visit corporate.homedepot.com/responsibility.
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