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Target Q&A delves into equal pay

While the issue of equal pay among genders, ethnicities and races remains a hot topic at companies across the retail industry, Target is facing the issue head-on.

The discounter has been dedicated to pay equity for nearly a decade, and the company’s latest pay audit of U.S. team members confirmed that Target’s efforts are right on the money. Taking into account relevant factors, such as position, tenure and location, the audit revealed that Target pays — as well as hires and promotes — team members equitably, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity.

In a Q&A posted on its website, Stephanie Lundquist, Target’s chief human resources officer, discussed the practice, and what it means for the company. Here are some highlights:

Providing equitable pay is a big achievement. How did Target do it?
It’s a big job that’s taken conscious effort, including lots of routines we go through regularly with the team. For example, we provide training and tools to the people responsible for hiring and compensation decisions to reduce the risk of bias — whether that’s conscious or unconscious — affecting decision making.

We’ve gotten rid of questions about prior salary from most external hiring situations so that we don’t perpetuate previous pay gaps for qualified job candidates. And we regularly conduct comprehensive pay audits to make sure that pay is fair and equitable across the team. That’s in addition to the overarching work we do to make sure every team member is treated fairly across all dimensions of difference.

How does Target calculate or define pay equity?
Our audit process follows leading industry standards, and we’ve worked with experts in statistics and employment law to design and manage it. In general, we analyze pay by grouping individuals together using objective factors including level, experience, job type, and market, among others and then look for and address any unintended pay gaps among these smaller groups.

Big picture, how does this work support Target’s strategy?
We have a broad spectrum of guests across the country, and depending on who they are, where they live, and so many other factors, they look to Target for many different kinds of products and experiences.

Our teams are out there every day running our stores and facilities, selling our products and interacting with guests. It’s so important that our team member population reflects the diversity of our guests so they can share their insights on important business decisions and make every interaction and solution more relevant.

Simply put, a diverse and inclusive team is a better team, so when we build our teams through equitable treatment, including equitable pay, we ultimately build a better Target.

For the complete Q&A, click here.
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