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Best Buy wants 1 in 3 new corporate hires to be people of color

Janina Kugel on unlocking the power of diversity
Janina Kugel on unlocking the power of diversity 04:53

Best Buy plans to fill a third of its corporate jobs with people of color over the next five years, joining a short but growing list of companies that also have diversity hiring goals pegged to 2025. 

Best Buy also wants to hire women to fill one third of its full-time, store-based positions. The hiring plan is part of a larger $44 million diversity push that the electronics chain shared Wednesday. Adidas, Facebook, Google, Starbucks, Microsoft and Wells Fargo have unveiled similar diversity targets.

The Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year have pushed companies such as Nike and Twitter to publicly denounce systemic racism. Major companies have also vowed to hire more people of color and become more inclusive workplaces.

Best Buy committed to its diversity hiring goal because "we know it's incredibly important to our employees, customers and communities to show that we are committed to doing all we can to further economic and social justice," CEO Corie Barry said in a statement

Part of Best Buy's effort includes opening at least 100 so-called "Teen Tech Centers," where teenagers from underserved communities can learn design, filmmaking, music production and programming. The $44 million will help fund scholarships for students of color who attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Best Buy said.

Black Americans have accounted for 14% of Best Buy's U.S.-based staff since 2017, according to company data. Hispanics make up 22% and Asian Americans 5%. Three out of its nine board directors are people of color.

Google wants to add 30% more people of color to its leadership ranks by 2025, the company said in June. Fellow tech giant Microsoft plans to double the number of Black employees in leadership roles by the same year.

Wells Fargo also said it plans to double the number of Black employees in senior leadership positions in five years. The bank's current leadership team is 6% Black, CEO Charlie Scharf said in September.

Starbucks said in October it aims to fill 30% of its corporate jobs with people of color by 2025. The company also hopes to fill 40% of its retail and manufacturing jobs with people of color by the same deadline. 

To help attract and retain people of color, Starbucks said it's creating a mentorship program that pairs employees with senior vice presidents, and adding anti-bias content to its hiring materials. The company on Wednesday announced the appointment of Mellody Hobson, a mutual fund executive with a long history of speaking out on issues of race and diversity in corporate America, to be the next chair of its board of directors.

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