DE&I as a state of success — not a checkbox

Retail Gets Real episode 352: Burlington Stores’s Mecca Mitchell on the power of leading with passion and authenticity
Sheryll Poe
NRF Contributor

This episode originally aired on Nov. 21, 2023.

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Mecca Mitchell, Burlington Stores’s senior vice president of leadership and organizational development, DEI and community impact.
Mecca Mitchell, Burlington Stores’s senior vice president of leadership and organizational development, DEI and community impact

Burlington Stores Inc. has a national footprint and is steeped in diverse communities, which is why the retailer has an intentional diversity, equity and inclusion strategy aligned with its business priorities.

“Being successful with DEI is not a point in time, it’s a state of being. There is no magic number,” says Mecca Mitchell, Burlington Stores’s senior vice president of leadership and organizational development, DEI and community impact, on this episode of NRF’s Retail Gets Real podcast.

“It’s not about training, it’s about transformation. It’s about raising the cultural intelligence of an entire organization.”

The result is a five-pillar strategy around diversity, equity and inclusion, including leadership and workforce diversity, creation of inclusive and equitable environments, enhanced education and awareness, products, vendor and supplier diversity, and community advocacy.

A lifelong advocate whose former titles include assistant district attorney and chief diversity officer for the state of New York, Mitchell says retail is the ideal industry to put DE&I practices into real action.

“Retail is about being on trend. It’s about what’s next,” she says. “It’s about catering to the needs of populations based on everything from their race, ethnicity, gender, culture and history. It’s about tapping into what matters to the consumer and then being responsive to that need.”

Listen to the full episode to hear more about Mitchell’s impressive career journey, her passion for change that makes an impact, and the leadership model that works best for Mitchell and her teams.

The full transcript of this episode is available here.

 

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