Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report 2015 Sears Holdings Corporation

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Diversity & Inclusion Diversity & Inclusion Loading...

At Sears Holdings, diversity and inclusion are woven into our cultural fabric. We represent the rich diversity of culture, people and ideas that are America. We have taken steps to build awareness of the importance of diversity to the point it is considered “business as usual” – accepted and expected. Our formula for success is sharing ideas, communicating honestly and respecting each other. We strive to attract a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities in which we live and work. We want diverse people who bring ideas, experiences and talent that will help us achieve our business objectives. We want our company to reflect the diversity that is uniquely American. And we work diligently to ensure there are no artificial barriers that limit our associates from attaining their goals and dreams while working at Sears Holdings.
Sears Holdings Associate Resource Groups
Sears Holdings supports associate networks that reinforce the inclusiveness of all associates, members and customers. Sears Holdings Associate Resource Groups provide our associates with opportunities for personal growth, career development and community engagement. ARGs help ensure a workplace committed to respecting and leveraging the unique attributes and perspectives of every associate, to maximize customer and member relationships, and achieve more profitable financial results. The ARGs support our business priorities, and leverage individual and collective strengths to drive sales, meet diverse customer and member needs, and help attract, develop and retain diverse talent. The groups have grown from traditional affinity groups to becoming key partners to our business units. Our 10 ARGs are:
ABLE Network

The mission of the ABLE Network is to promote the benefit of unique abilities and contributions of associates, families and members impacted by disability through raising awareness, fostering respect and navigating barriers for Sears Holdings.

Associate Military Support Network

The AMSN is an enterprise-wide network committed to recognizing, valuing and leveraging the strengths and capabilities of associates with military experience in order to enhance the culture, continued growth and success of Sears Holdings.

Asian Network
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The Asian Network is committed to developing an effective communication channel for the growing community of Asians at Sears Holdings. The network’s goals are to encourage professional development, recognition, mentoring and hiring of diverse associates; provide resources to company leaders in order to improve every day and achieve Sears Holdings' key business imperatives; and assist associates in resolving any work-related issues or concerns.

African American Network
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The African American Network is dedicated to building relationships with its members and communities by suggesting relevant products, services and marketing techniques that will enable us to gain the trust needed to develop lifetime relationships with diverse members. It is the African American Network’s mission to enhance member development, growth and involvement in company and community, thus creating value for Sears Holdings.

Latino Resource Group
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LRG's mission is to develop current members into future leaders and build relationships within our communities, all while leveraging our knowledge and experiences to better understand our Hispanic consumers.

Working Parents Network
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The WPN supports working parents by establishing a forum for discussion, disseminating information, and offering education and networking opportunities so that our associates can achieve balance between the roles of parent and employee.

Emerging Professionals Network

The EP Network provides associate development activities designed to engage and introduce emerging professionals at Sears Holdings for networking, developmental and service opportunities.

PRIDE (LGBT Associates at SHC)

The PRIDE mission works to create an open and inclusive work environment that respects and values gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender associates, customers and communities, allowing them to contribute fully to the success of Sears Holdings.

Inclusive Now Network
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The I.N. Network consists of associates based at our call center locations and strives to create an inclusive, transparent and fair place to work. The group aims to promote equality and diversity for all individuals and encourage associates to be active in their communities, celebrate culture in the workplace, and promote Sears Holdings as a diversity leader in the marketplace. 

In 2015, the I.N. Network participated in many local giving campaigns, including the Hickory Hills adopt a platoon mission to support men and women on active duty. The group donated 200 insulated lunch bags, 200 beach balls, food, treats and toiletries to support our troops.
Women in Leadership Development
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WiLD provides meaningful input to Sears Holdings by channeling the unique attributes and perspectives of women. As target customers, women's voices and insights have the ability to add commercial value to selecting and marketing our products. WiLD is a resource for recruiting, retaining, mentoring and developing associates through network leadership opportunities.

In 2015, WILD members contributed nearly 600 service hours to benefit Girls in the Game, Tech GYRLS, military veterans' initiatives, and philanthropic drives benefiting local and national groups such as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® and March of Dimes®. 
Corporate Equality
In 2015, for the 11th consecutive year, Sears Holdings scored 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2016 Corporate Equality Index. This perfect score is a testament to our company’s commitment to equality through programs such as PRIDE that reinforce inclusiveness of all associates and an understanding that diversity is a key business imperative.

“We are extremely proud to receive a perfect score on the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index for the eleventh straight year. Our associates bring many different skills, backgrounds and experiences as they serve our members each day, and we embrace and encourage diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace” said Leena Munjal, SVP, Customer Experience and Integrated Retail. “We have many associate networks that reinforce these beliefs. It is part of the company’s DNA to have employees who truly represent our members and the communities we operate in, every single day.”

“In this 2016 Corporate Equality Index, hundreds of major businesses responded to our new standards for workplace equality with exceptional leadership. Sears Holdings not only meets these standards, it goes above and beyond the call of duty, making commitment to equality a fundamental aspect of its corporate values," said Deena Fidas, HRC Foundation Workplace Equality Program Director.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation provides research, advocacy and education for the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest civil rights organization. It works to achieve Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) equality at home, at work and in the community. Sears Holdings is one of the 407 major U.S. businesses to attain a perfect CEI score and earn the Campaign's “Best Places to Work” distinction.

Additionally, SHC has developed The Safe Space Program, which is a way for associates to express their support for LGBT associates. To be a certified member of the Safe Space Program, associates must complete online training. Once associates complete The Safe Space Program training, they are provided a badge to display in their work space. The badge was created as a visible, nonthreatening way to show LGBT support and identify the space as a “safe space” for all associates.  As LGBT allies, associates pledge to:
  • Respect confidentiality
  • Avoid assumptions and stereotyping
  • Try using gender-neutral terms when talking about significant others, spouses and partners
  • Educate themselves about issues facing the LGBT community

For the ninth year in a row, SHC participated in the 2015 Chicago Pride Parade with this year’s theme, “Welcome Home.” 

As a company that represents a true cross section of America, Sears Holdings supports all of our members no matter who they are or who they love.

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Top 50 Employers CAREERS and disABLED Magazine
In 2015, Kmart was named as a top employer by "CAREERS & the disABLED." The magazine ranked Kmart 19th on its Top 50 Employers list, based on its annual reader survey that identifies top U.S. companies for which readers would prefer to work or that they believe would provide a positive working environment for people with disabilities. “CAREERS & the disABLED” is the nation’s first and only career guidance and recruitment magazine for people with disabilities who are at undergraduate, graduate or professional levels in the U.S.
Diversity MBA Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executives and Emerging Leaders

Two Sears Holdings associates were recognized by Diversity MBA at its 2015 Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive and Emerging Leaders Award Gala for their tremendous impact on leadership at SHC and their communities. Diversity MBA is a leadership and management organization that works with leaders to foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Those honored were chosen based on their position within their companies, their scope of responsibilities and civic achievements.

“These 100 movers and shakers were chosen in a highly selective process from all industries. We are pleased that these companies and organizations have taken a strategic leadership role in the workplace to recognize and promote these leaders for their achievements in the workplace and community,” said Pam McElvane, CEO and publisher.

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“I’m passionate about my community and Ieading the Latino Resource Group as the chair at SHC. This role affords me the opportunity to focus the group’s efforts to serve as a resource that helps attract and retain Latino talent, improve the Latino community through engagement, and add value to marketplace stakeholders from a Latino perspective to better serve our members. It’s valuable to me to have the opportunity to speak to our members’ needs and provide what they are looking for each and every time they visit a store or shop online. I am both humbled and honored to receive the Diversity MBA Top 100 under 50 award. I will continue to provide my leadership to both SHC and the Associate Network Groups here at SHC.”

Marsha Castro-Smith
Project Manager, Retail Services

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“It is an honor and a profound responsibility to represent SHC as an award recipient for the Diversity MBA Top 100 under 50. It is also an honor to chair SHC’s African American Network (AAN). In my role as senior director of technology, I am passionate about driving the strategy behind the solutions that drive our business. I also enjoy being a mentor to others and helping them find their voice. When you look at the future of diversity in America, it is important that people of diverse background are able to find their place in corporate America. Diversity is about so much more than the color of one’s skin or ethnicity. Diversity and inclusion are about ensuring that everyone has a seat at the table and that their viewpoints are taken into consideration and their voices are encouraged. As an award recipient and a leader, I will continue to drive these efforts at SHC and through my other philanthropic involvement.”

Latoya Connors Gray
Senior Director, Technology & Operations