Leveraging Differences

Valuing People and Leveraging Differences

The TJX Companies, Inc. was founded on the core values of integrity and treating people with respect, dignity and fairness. We remain committed to these values and continue to challenge ourselves to improve the ways in which we embrace and leverage differences among people, whether they are our Associates, customers, vendors or other business associates, or the community at large. Indeed, we are committed, at the Board of Directors and executive levels, and throughout the organization, to continuing to strengthen our position as a Company of Choice.

With approximately 133,000 Associates and more than 2,600 stores worldwide at 2008's year-end, we, at TJX, recognize that it is essential to our growth and success to represent, understand and leverage the differences and diversity of people inside and outside our organization. In the U.S., which comprises the vast majority of TJX's Associates, our Associate base as of the end of 2008 was over 75% women and more than 50% minorities, and our management was comprised of about 60% women and nearly 30% minorities. Our merchant organization, which numbers over 600 people, travels globally and sources from more than 10,000 vendors in over 60 countries. We believe that the diversity within our workforce and vendor base makes us a better Company, and realize that our work must continue in order to meet and exceed the expectations of our increasingly diverse customers, Associates, vendors and communities.

A New Vision: A Company of Choice

Company of Choice

In 2007, with the expertise and support of an outside advisory board, Company leaders and Associates, TJX adopted its Company of Choice vision in which every customer and Associate feels valued and finds value. For us, being a Company of Choice means:

  • TJX businesses are each a Retailer of Choice for increasingly diverse and international customer and vendor communities;
  • TJX is an Employer of Choice for increasingly diverse and international talent; and
  • TJX is a Neighbor of Choice in supporting the neighborhoods and communities where our stores, distribution centers and offices are located.

Over the next several years, TJX expects to continue implementing strategic initiatives that we believe will help us realize our vision as a Company of Choice. In 2008, we made significant progress. For instance, as a Retailer of Choice, we improved the shopping experience of our customers in a number of stores, including, expanding availability of bilingual Spanish-English signs as well as offering larger, family-friendly dressing rooms. As an Employer of Choice, we improved our benefits offerings, granting same sex domestic partner benefits to our Associates. As a Neighbor of Choice, The TJX Foundation and TJX Community Relations invited Associates at our stores, offices and distribution centers to recommend organizations in their communities with which to partner, making charitable efforts more localized and meaningful for both our Associates and customers.

As TJX proceeds with its vision and strategy as a Company of Choice, we continue our efforts with our Associate Resource Groups, Learning and Development Programs, Supplier Diversity Program and Community Relations.

Associate Resource Groups
We have four authorized Associate Resource Groups which recently have been re-chartered to provide each group with a stronger business focus, a voice in recommendations for Community Relations initiatives and new positioning to expand beyond Home Office. In addition, our Associate Resource Groups are provided an annual operating budget and a liaison from Human Resources. These are groups to which any Associate may belong, offering Associates networking and career development support, business information and education, and offering the Company ideas to help us achieve our goals as an Employer of Choice.

The TJX Associate Resource Groups are The Multicultural Coalition (MCC), Women Adding Value Everyday (WAVE), PRIDE, a TJX Resource Group for Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgendered People and Friends, and our newest group, Supporting Armed Forces Relations or STAR. STAR was formed as a result of our Company's and Associates' commitment and support for our military and military families. As a Company, we are proud of our involvement with the 5-Star Statement of Support for the National Guard and Reserve, as well as our ongoing efforts to ensure the smooth transition of our Associates from civilian to active military duty and vice versa. In 2008, TJX was nationally recognized for its commitment to Associates who serve in the military and their families.

Learning and Training Related to Differences and Diversity
At TJX, we believe that learning related to leveraging differences, diversity, equity, and inclusion should be tailored to the Associate's role and business context. Respect and fairness are core values throughout the Company and our commitment to leveraging differences is universal. However, diversity-related learning in Canada varies from the U.S., for example, as it does from Home Office to store operations.

New Associates at our Home Office attend a course entitled "Understanding Our Business," which teaches aspects of off-price retailing, Company culture and values, and TJX's commitment to leveraging differences. The course also addresses working well with peers who are different from oneself.

Company management development courses about leading teams and giving feedback address how to manage the differences among Associates. Team development programs address differences that can impact Associates as they work together.

In addition, tailored programs related to leveraging differences and diversity to support a particular group or business unit are created and offered as business objectives warrant.

In Canada, a program titled "The Equitable Leader" is now being offered to leaders throughout the Canadian businesses. In the U.S., new opportunities for managers to develop core skills for leveraging differences and managing for inclusion are being designed for use in the coming year.

Supplier Diversity Program
We support diversity in all aspects of our business and encourage the inclusion of minority- and women-owned businesses in all sourcing opportunities. Since the inception of our Supplier Diversity Program in 1992, TJX has seen substantial growth in the purchases of goods and services from minority- and women-owned businesses. We understand that developing partnerships with diverse suppliers contributes to TJX's continued success by providing dependable, quality sources for products and services for our Company.

Community Relations
As a Neighbor of Choice, the mission of TJX Community Relations is to help TJX sustain its commitment to corporate social responsibility and make a positive impact in the communities in which we do business. TJX considers every neighborhood in which we do business as our community. As such, we endeavor to enrich the lives of both our Associates who live and work in these communities as well as our widely diverse neighbors. We build and maintain relationships and develop outreach programs that support or enhance the communities in order to contribute to TJX's business goals. To accomplish this, we partner with a host of local and national affiliates including charities and nonprofits, schools and educational initiatives, professional and cultural organizations, and our customers. TJX Associates also volunteer their time to some of our local organizational partners.

TJX's Associate Code of Conduct
TJX's Associate Code of Conduct states that our Company benefits from a diverse workforce that recognizes its differences as well as its similarities. This adds to our culture of openness, teamwork and mutual dignity, fairness and respect.

The Code further states that TJX values diversity in individuals, including the unique set of abilities and perspectives that each Associate brings to the Company, reflecting his/her own life experiences. TJX is committed to creating and supporting a diverse workforce where we respect one another for the value each of us brings to the workplace.

TJX Careers
At TJX, we recognize people for both their expertise and their individual experiences. We know that having a diverse workforce gives us all a broader perspective and makes us better able to serve the needs of an ever-changing consumer base. One of the reasons our work environment is so vital is because of the diversity of ideas, backgrounds, interests and viewpoints.

Our Work Is Never Done
At TJX, we have a long history of treating people with dignity, fairness and respect. We understand, however, that when it comes to valuing people and leveraging differences, our work is never done. We know that our success in leveraging differences rests on our ability to see this process as a continuous journey. In a short time, we've made significant progress in becoming a Retailer of Choice, Employer of Choice and Neighbor of Choice. We will continue to prioritize and implement the strategies that will help TJX realize its vision of leveraging differences to become a Company of Choice in the eyes of our customers, Associates and communities.