Retailers Talk DEI Accountability, 2023 Strategy

On October 31 – November 1, RILA’s DEILC Meeting had its second and final in-person meeting for the year. Held in Memphis at the National Civil Rights Museum (NCRM), 14 RILA DEILC members participated in a reflection on industry engagement areas and themes, peer discussion, and look aheads for 2023. The committee took deep dives into a few key topics, including authentic DEI accountability, ERG/BRG strategy, RILA DEILC 2023 strategic priorities, and open benchmarking.

The following are some agenda highlights:

Authentic DEI Accountability: Successes & Opportunities

This session began with an overview of a new RILA resource released on October 31, the Retail DEI Targets Tracker . This tracker summarizes the DEI targets and commitments of RILA members and other large U.S. retailers, as well as reported progress metrics. The session used tracker data observations to inform a broader discussion about company goalsetting, as well as approaches to internal versus external DEI metrics. Members also considered the evolution of DEI-organized trainings, highlighting foundational principles and future needs.

ERG/BRG Strategy Check In

This discussion picked back up on a topic that has been a major theme for the DEILC this year: effectively bringing ERG/BRGS to the field and considering how store associates and distribution center employees can participate. Attendees were also interested in increasing benchmarking on the governance of ERG/BRG programs, size and structure, and outside tools to facilitate these discussions. Members discussed various benefits of ERG/BRGs that incorporate business engagement in addition to a space for colleagues to connect, including to help identify training gaps as well as preview and provide feedback on products and offerings.

RILA DEILC strategic priorities

RILA highlighted work completed and in motion around 2022 and 2023 priorities, including supplier diversity and Black-owned brand acceleration and succession planning as part of an overall focus on how to support internal and external retail stakeholder equity at an industry level.

NCRM C-suite initiative training

The National Civil Rights Museum took members through an abridged version of the NCRM’s Corporate Equity Center C-Suite Initiative program. Attendees participated in a tour of the museum itself, followed by an overview of the Initiative program, including learning objectives and benefits to accelerating representation of Black executives within the C-Suite. For more information, please contact Veda Ajamu, Managing Director of DEI Programs and Community Engagement or reach out to Erin if you would prefer an introduction.

Our sincere thanks to the National Civil Rights Museum team for hosting us!

For more information on DEI-related topics and RILA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leaders Council, contact Erin Hiatt, Vice President, CSR at or Moni Adeyi, Coordinator, CSR & ESG at

  • Diversity
  • Workforce
  • Building Communities

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