In the U.S., women make up 51 percent of the population. Yet across the country, men hold a disproportionate share of senior-level roles in companies.
Best Buy is working hard to change that — at all levels of our business. Through recruiting and hiring, mentoring programs and resources, we’re creating a culture of gender equality.
“In growing transformational leaders, our commitment to diversity delivers shared success for our company and communities,” said Hubert Joly, Best Buy’s chairman and CEO.
That commitment is not only the right thing to do, it’s good for business. Studies show that having more women in leadership positions increases revenue and profit and drives innovation.
At the highest level, Best Buy is one of only two Fortune 100 companies to have a board of directors that has an equal number of women and men. Four of the last five additions to the board have been women.
Women also hold significant executive positions, a key leader being Corie Barry, our chief financial officer and strategic transformation officer. Day to day, women lead the three key business areas that account for all of Best Buy’s U.S. revenue – nearly $43 billion last year. Kamy Scarlett heads our U.S. stores and human resources, Allison Peterson is chief customer and marketing officer, and Trish Walker oversees our services and in-home businesses.
Commitment to parity
One very public way in which we’ve shown that commitment is by signing on to the ParityPledge™. Companies that sign it promise to interview at least one qualified woman candidate for every open position at the vice president level and above.
In January, Kamy joined Parity.org founder and CEO Cathrin Stickney on a diversity panel at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Salt Lake City.
Since signing the pledge in 2017, 82 percent of open salaried roles at Best Buy have had women candidates, Kamy told the thousands in attendance. “We believe, ‘if you can’t see it, you can’t be it’ — intentionally starting at the top,” she said. “It’s important for employees to look at leadership and see the possibility in themselves.”
Broadening the efforts
To develop future women leaders and build up their ranks, Best Buy has programs that provide peer support, resources and networking and development opportunities.
The Women’s Employee Resource Group, based at the corporate headquarters in Richfield, Minnesota, has been around for more than a decade and has more than 1,000 members. Its mission is to provide a platform to share ideas and experiences that enable and inspire women to reach their personal and professional potential.
That comes to life through guest speakers, mentoring circles, educational opportunities, access to company leaders and volunteer events. Participation is free, and most activities take place during work hours at the corporate campus.
“It provides opportunities for our members to make this big organization smaller,” said Betsy Kuller, who chairs the Women’s Employee Resource Group.
There are offshoots of the program for employees who work remotely and in sales, as well. Store employees in many districts across the U.S. are also building up networks. Members share stories and job opportunities, coach one another and hear from women leaders throughout Best Buy.
“I am proud to say that I work for Geek Squad at Best Buy because of the encouragement for all employees to participate in resource groups such as ours,” said Kate Burroughs, coordinator and founding member of the Remote Women’s Employee Resource Network. “In addition to networking and development, employee resource groups create a community within the company, where members are encouraged to develop, grow, and become the inspirational leaders they aspire to be.”