Our Commitment to Diversity

Our Commitment to Diversity

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To our valued customers,
 
We are at a long overdue tipping point as a nation.
 
The tragic killings of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and far too many others have finally forced discussions of equality, race and diversity to the forefront of our society where they belong. They've sparked conversations and introspection within our own company. And have led our Senior Team to hold ourselves to account and realize that, in order to be the compassionate, authentic and fair company that we strive to be, it is imperative that we act now in meaningful ways.
 
Today I am making a promise that
we will do better and we will be better.
 
As a first step, I'm announcing the formation of our internal Diversity Team. Starting immediately this group will tackle the tough questions that we face as a company, such as "What does diversity mean to us? How do we make sure that we have diverse representation of ethnicity, gender, age and sexual orientation at all levels of the company? Do we have unconscious bias in our hiring and promoting processes?" The list of questions will be many and we will address every area where we need to improve in order to make lasting change.
 
Our commitment must go beyond the
walls of our stores, Distribution Centers and corporate offices.
 
We must also hold our vendors and business partners to a higher standard. We must ensure that our marketing and communications reflect the ideals of the company and the diversity of our customer base. And we must "walk the walk instead of just talking the talk".
 
Our parent company Bed Bath & Beyond pledged a $1 million product donation to the NAACP Empowerment Programs in support of Black communities across the country that were hit the hardest by COVID-19 and the protests. In addition, as a sign of respect for the George Floyd memorials and to allow our employees time to mourn and reflect, I authorized our stores in the Minneapolis and Houston markets to close while employees still received full pay. These are examples of the actions we can and will make as a company. But change will only occur when each and every one us participates in making it happen. The Diversity team will act as a catalyst but we need the help of every single one of our associates to make World Market an even better place to work.
 
Only through our combined efforts in a spirit
of respect and honesty will we truly create a healthy,
diverse and inclusive society that we can all be proud of.
 
These are only the first steps and we will share our progress through our social media channels as we continue on this journey. In the meantime, our customers' loyal support means the world to us.
 
We thank you for standing by us and allowing us the opportunity to change and grow along with your expectations.
 

Sincerely,
 
Jack Schwefel
CEO