Nordstrom is partnering with AfroTech to align with their our commitment to building talent diversity in tech. Nordstrom has partnered with AfroTech over the years building their relationship with the organization and connecting with candidates. AfroTech is one of many ways Nordstrom has look to attract talent to their tech organization.
Nordstrom is dedicated to increase demographic diversity in all our corporate and leadership positions to better reflect the North American population. By the end of 2025, Nordstrom will increase the representation of Black and Latinx populations in people-manager roles by at least 50%.
Nordstrom will leverage their internship program and other initiatives that help us reach qualified candidates early in their careers, with a goal on average of at least 50% of participants in these programs coming from underrepresented populations. Nordstrom revised our practices and the training resources offering customer-facing roles to ensure they include anti-racism and anti-bias content.
To talk about how this comes to life, we spoke with Ian and Jimiece.
IAN HEISSER, DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING
Why is important to have diverse talent within technology?
Diversity within technology brings awareness and appreciation of different cultures, experiences, values, and ideas that must be considered to develop compelling and engaging experiences for our customers. Our aim as Nordstrom is to make ALL of our customers “feel good and look their best.” To do that, we must also represent across our teams the customers we serve.
How does Nordstrom ensure it is hiring and retaining diverse talent especially within technology? Are there specific programs in place?
As part of our hiring practices, we ensure that we reach out to diverse communities, institutions and professionals within and beyond the industry. We actively recruit and support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other institutions and organizations supporting our Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging initiatives. We provide our team members opportunities to grow and advance their careers, ongoing support, learning, and ongoing one-on-one and group mentoring. Our group mentoring sessions offer our Under-Represented Minority communities unique opportunities to share experiences and grow within supportive environments with leaders within our technology organizations.
Why does Nordstrom value its partnership with AfroTech?
AfroTech has become a leading entity in growing a diverse network of professionals and students, particularly Black professionals, to create an inclusive environment to support thought leadership, entrepreneurship, and social justice in the technology industry and our communities. These core principles directly align with our values as a company. We are excited and honored to partner with AfroTech to make a difference within the technology arena and our communities.
How does diversity help drive the business?
Our diversity efforts help drive the business by partnering and bringing to light some of our most deserving diverse fashion leaders in the industry today. In most respects, these leaders lead small, game-changing, entrepreneurial companies like Henna and Hijabs, founded by Hilal Ibrahim, giving them a platform to share their stories and provide their products to our diverse community of customers. Again, we aim to make ALL of our customers “feel good and look their best.” Providing our Nordstrom platform to support our customers while at the same time supporting and growing Black and other diverse businesses helps drive our business.
What makes Nordstrom a great place to work?
Personally, I came to Nordstrom because of the opportunity to revolutionize the intersections of fashion and technology. Envisioning and delivering on new ways to use technology to engage our customers and bring them the very best of what Nordstrom has to offer them. I have had the opportunity and honor to support a great team of Engineers and Technical Program Managers that continually push for greatness and deliver value to our customers. We’ve done some incredible things, even throughout the pandemic, that have helped our customers and our business.
I’ve enjoyed bringing my authentic self to Nordstrom. I know that sounds cliché, but I have been able to be myself with my team and partners, being seen and valued for the value I bring. I’ve been encouraged and supported by my entire leadership team to help us grow in our Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Being one of the Nordstrom sponsors of AfroTech, being our engagement sponsor for my Alma Mater, Xavier University of Louisiana, and being a core leader of our mentoring groups, are examples of how I’ve been able to bring forward opportunities for Nordstrom to live up to our commitments.