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Influential Women: Kiera Fernandez, Target

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MINNEAPOLIS — Kiera Fernandez was named Target’s chief diversity and inclusion officer in June 2020, capping a career that began in 2001. In her present role she is responsible for leading and advancing Target’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) strategy, with the goal of creating equitable experiences for all Target team members and guests.

influential womenFernandez is also a founding member of Target’s Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) committee, which was created to urgently advance DE&I work for Black team members, guests and communities. 

“Throughout my career, I’ve been an agent for change and a fierce advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion,” Fernandez wrote on LinkedIn. “I owe that to the influence my family, particularly my parents and grandparents, had on me as a child. They instilled the importance of education, hard work, perseverance, service to others and, most importantly, fairness.”

She points out that DE&I is not a new phenomenon at Target; the company has had a DE&I strategy for more than 15 years. “It’s part of our core values, shapes our culture and drives our business,” she wrote. “My goal at Target is to instill an ecosystem approach to DE&I, one where our entire workforce — from team members to board members — understand the role they play in driving a diverse and inclusive workplace, cultivating a diverse work environment, creating an inclusive guest experience and having an impact on the communities where we do business.”

Fernandez began her career at Target in 2001 as an executive team leader for stores, followed by stints as a store team leader and then regional sales manager. In 2009 she was appointed group human resources manager, and she was promoted in 2016 to the position of director of human resources, followed less than a year later by another step up to senior director of human resources.

In 2019 Fernandez was named vice president of human resources, with responsibility for the program management office that supports all operations, asset protection, property management and human resources for Target’s entire stores and global supply chain and logistics organization. In that role, she played a critical part in the transformation of the store experience and Target’s operating model.

In 2021 Target held its first annual DE&I forum, Growing the Circle, which brought together DE&I champions from within and outside Target, including team members, vendors and DE&I leaders from other companies. The event was repeated last year, with discussion focusing on how to build inclusive leadership and create equitable work environments.

“We left feeling inspired, energized and challenged,” Fernandez wrote in a message on Target’s website. “But most importantly, we left ready to take on the work that still lies ahead of us.

“One of my favorite quotes is this African proverb: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ At Target, we know we are stronger together and that there is no substitute for our collective efforts. Working hand-in-hand, we can continue to grow the circle of inclusion and belonging for all.”


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