Category: Employers

Burlington Stores employees pose

Discussing Diversity: Q&A with Burlington Stores

October 18, 2021 Written by Jessica Smith | Photo provided by Burlington Stores

In this new blog series "Discussing Diversity," Burlington Stores Senior Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity Mecca Mitchell answers questions about diversity, equity and inclusion and how Burlington contributes to a welcoming workplace environment for all.

 

What is the overall mission of Burlington?

Headquartered in New Jersey, Burlington Stores, Inc. is a nationally recognized off-price retailer with Fiscal 2020 revenues of $5.8 billion. We are a Fortune 500 company and operate 792 stores in 45 states and Puerto Rico. We offer an extensive selection of in-season, fashion-focused merchandise at everyday low prices, including women’s ready-to-wear apparel, menswear, youth apparel, baby, beauty, footwear, accessories, home, toys and coats.

We are committed to fostering an inclusive experience for associates and customers alike and embrace the many facets of diversity that strengthen our communities and our company.

 

How does Burlington incorporate values of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace?

At Burlington, we celebrate the differences and similarities that make each of us who we are and shape us as a diverse and vibrant company. We remain committed to cultivating environments where diverse experiences and perspectives are welcomed, where all associates are empowered to grow and thrive, and where all associates are encouraged to bring their full selves to work each day.

 

What DE&I programs or initiatives does Burlington have in place?

Our Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) Councils, made up of corporate and field associates, advocate for inclusion and diversity in their respective areas and help drive change throughout our company. We have an associate resource group pilot in place and additional ones on the way that will act as influential, associate-led enterprises aligned with our core values, impacting all areas of our business.

We recognize various holidays and cultural moments reflective of the traditions and celebrations of our diverse workforce to build cross-cultural awareness and understanding. For example, Juneteenth was first recognized as a paid company holiday this year, and we hosted an accompanying educational session “Freedom’s Legacy: A History of Juneteenth” to share the importance and significance of this day. Additionally, we held a virtual Pride Parade, which raised more than $10,000 for the Human Rights Campaign, the leading LGBTQ+ advocacy organization in the U.S. We’ve also hosted a series of “Race – Let’s Talk About It” panels featuring associates speaking candidly about their lived experiences as people of color.

In 2020, we launched our Inclusion & Diversity 2.0 Action Plan, our foundational guide to developing and implementing meaningful and sustainable change throughout the organization. Some outcomes from that plan include a company-wide I&D training initiative tailored for our Burlington associates, along with our $1 million commitment toward various nonprofit organizations working to advance racial equality and social justice focusing on the categories of education, mental health, career development and increasing representation to positively impact diverse communities across the U.S.

 

How do you ensure that all employees feel welcome, including new hires and interns?

Inclusion & Diversity is integral to the business of Burlington, and it’s imperative that we convey that messaging throughout an associate’s career. This starts when an associate begins their research about Burlington, going online and visiting our careers website as well as Burlington.com, coupled with exploring our careers and marketing focused social media platforms. All showcase the vibrant diversity of our workforce and customer base. We know that applicants have choices when they’re considering which company best suits their principles and career aspirations, and will welcome and value them for who they are.

That continues through the onboarding process. All associates— in our corporate offices, our distribution centers and our stores—take an Inclusion & Diversity e-Course when they join the organization. At the Corporate Office, this e-course is bolstered by an overview of our I&D initiatives presented by a member of the I&D team during “First Impressions,” a live, virtual session for new associates held on their first day at the organization.

When interns join Burlington, they are exposed to the various business units and functions within the organization, including I&D.

 

Why do you think it’s important to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace environment?

At Burlington, we believe that our investment in inclusion, diversity, equality and equity will continue to propel our organization forward by helping us recruit, retain and engage top talent; cultivate supportive environments where associates can innovate and thrive; better respond to the diverse needs of our customers; and better support our communities by advocating for issues that matter to them.

 

What are you looking for in UD students who want to intern or work at Burlington? How can they stand out when speaking with your recruiters at our career fairs?

  • Do your research: Before the virtual career fair, review the list of job opportunities. Research Burlington and off-price retail using different resources such as the company website, LinkedIn profile, online articles and any other social media profiles. This will help form questions that you can ask the associates during the career fair and allows you to highlight your related skills. Preparation also impresses the employer as it shows you have a genuine interest and took time to get to know them.
  • Update your resume: Remember that your resume should be simple, clean and up to date.
  • Practice your introduction: Prepare a brief introduction about your education, skills and relevant career goals. Think of it as a statement on your personal brand. Also be ready to talk about your career interests, as well as academic and extracurricular experiences to showcase your skills and strengths.
  • Send thank-you notes: At the end of the chat (or after the virtual career fair), thank the company representatives for their time. To take it a step further and make yourself memorable, reach out to these connections through LinkedIn or email.

 

Are you currently hiring interns or entry-level employees?

We have the following positions available for full-time roles: assistant buyer, allocation analyst and accounting and finance analysts for our Financial Analyst Development Program. Our available internships are in buying, and planning and allocation. Our IT and finance internships will begin recruiting in the spring. For more information, visit burlingtonstores.jobs/students-graduates.

 

Anything else UD students should know about your organization?

We are at a truly exciting and transformational point along our I&D journey at Burlington. In my role as SVP for Inclusion & Diversity, I am thrilled to lead our I&D efforts to the next level. A year and a half after developing our foundational Inclusion & Diversity 2.0 Action Plan, we are developing an organization-wide, multifaceted, multi-year Inclusion & Diversity Strategic Plan that leverages I&D throughout all aspects of the business—from talent acquisition to supply chain to supplier diversity and beyond.

This strategic plan will inform how we reimagine and strengthen our existing I&D initiatives, as well as the development of new and innovative strategies to better serve and meet the needs of our associates, customers and the communities we serve. I invite all of you to meet us along this journey.


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