We are committed to becoming a fully inclusive, anti-racist, multicultural organization. We know that there's strength in our diversity—that each employee brings unique skills, experiences, and perspectives. As we work toward this commitment, we will need to find different ways of working, create a sense of belonging for all employees, and actively listen and learn.
This builds on decades of diversity and inclusion work at the co-op.
Diversity & Inclusion: 2006 to 2022
We have much to be proud of, yet we are humbled by our aspirations and the change that is still needed toward our commitment. We know we have not always gotten it right, but we remain steadfast in our commitment to celebrating our diversity and promoting equal opportunity and inclusion for all.
Today, the co-op is not as racially diverse as the communities we serve. Therefore, our Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) approach leads with race. By increasing representation from the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities in our workforce, the co-op aims to close the gap across multiple dimensions of diversity within the organization. We are taking a holistic approach in this work, which includes:
- Learning and education that promotes racial equity and inclusion.
- Examining our pay and benefits.
- Prioritizing work that creates belonging and community among all employees.
Learning and Education
We continue to prioritize employee education that promotes inclusion and racial equity, ensuring our workplace ecosystem understands individual and systemic bias toward people who identify as part of the BIPOC community and intentionally works to address it. Recent examples include:
REDI Learning Hub: All employees can access a collection of self-paced modules on REI's Spark learning management system. Available modules include Inclusion at REI, Leading Inclusion, Managing Bias, and Psychological Safety. In addition to these existing modules, we relaunched our new employee training to celebrate our REDI commitments. We also expanded the REDI glossary—which is designed to create a shared understanding of frequently used words related to REDI—in partnership with a working group of employee representatives throughout the enterprise.
Courageous Conversations: Human Resource Business Partners (HRBPs) completed 14 hours of learning dedicated to developing skills around effective conversations about race, racism, and race relations. In four half-day workshops, HRBPs learned foundational norms for engaging in courageous conversations around race, practiced engaging with other participants, and developed skills for handling common pitfalls and resistance to these conversations.
Managing Bias in Hiring: We revised and relaunched our Managing Bias in Hiring as a 30-minute e-learning module with a 60-minute facilitated follow-up discussion session for store managers who are new in their role or new to the co-op in preparation for seasonal hiring. This training will extend to the enterprise in 2023.
Departmental Learnings: We facilitated monthly REDI conversations across various departments, including IT, Co-op Brands, Supply Chain, Sales & Customer Support, and Marketing. Employees who participated in these conversations examined what REDI means at REI, what systemic racism is, and how their identities hold different levels of power and privilege. The foundation of these learnings will evolve and extend to the enterprise in 2023.
Enterprise-wide Expansion: Departmental Learnings will evolve and extend into five enterprise-wide trainings, called The Co-op REDI Learning Series: (1) Race & Racism in the Outdoors; (2) Identity & Intersectionality; (3) Relational Behavior & Dominant Culture (4) Implicit Bias; and (5) Power Sharing. This learning series will build foundational awareness. To help drive accountability, leaders will participate and serve as champions of the Co-op REDI Learning Series in advance of employee cascades, and we will measure progress and report survey responses to inform our future employee education programs.
Pay and Benefits
REI is committed to rewarding co-op employees with competitive pay and benefits, which is why we have 4/5-star ratings on Glassdoor for Culture & Values and Work/Life Balance, and a 4/5-star rating on Indeed for Diversity & Inclusion.
REI pay philosophy is to offer competitive and compelling base pay. Our pay ranges are based on market data of how comparable jobs are paid at similar companies and industries outside REI.
Pay Analysis: We conduct analyses of pay and compensation practices in consultation with expert third-party firms following industry-leading standards. In July 2022, we delivered $50 million in pay adjustments for over 16,000 store employees, leading with equity by creating consistent rules around distribution and removing manager discretion from the process. We continue to review our processes and analyses so that we can consistently review and report on our equitable pay practices.
Pay Transparency: In January 2023, REI began including a pay range on all job postings. Pay transparency is beneficial to candidates and improves pay equity. It also benefits the co-op, as it helps ensure candidates have expectations aligned with what we pay for certain roles.
As a purpose-driven and values-led business, we believe everyone should have access to affordable quality benefits, and we are responsible for putting that belief into action. Most importantly, we believe our employees should have a voice in what matters most in their compensation and benefits programs, and our offerings are informed by feedback we receive directly from the employees who benefit. Recent examples include:
REI Access Plan: We believe everyone should have access to affordable, quality health care coverage. And as a purpose-driven and values-led business, we have a responsibility to put that belief into action. We’re proud to offer employee-only coverage to every employee who needs it—regardless of hours worked—after only three months of employment.
Gender-Affirming Medical Care: We've enhanced the coverage level for gender-affirming medical services by removing the overall dollar limit for services under a gender dysphoria diagnosis. Employees who identify as transgender can continue to seek the medical services they need and have access to a health guide who can help with navigating health care. We’ve also removed the lifetime dollar cap for services under a gender dysphoria diagnosis, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2021.
Military Leave Pay: We've expanded the amount of pay we offer to members of the military while they are performing active-duty service (often referred to as military differential pay) from two weeks to 90 days. Full-time and part-time benefits-eligible employees on military leave will be paid differential pay for up to 90 days of active military duty or military training.
Bereavement: Eligibility for bereavement pay has expanded to include part-time benefits-eligible employees. Full-time and part-time benefits-eligible employees will qualify for bereavement pay up to three days after a family member's death or close friend's death.
Adoption Assistance: In 2022, REI expanded the types of adoption expenses that are eligible for reimbursement. This included expenses incurred by spouses and life partners, which is a rare and industry-leading benefit. Employees who have been benefits-eligible for 12 consecutive months can be reimbursed for qualifying adoption expenses that they or their spouses/life partners have incurred.
Mental Health Visits: Every co-op employee and their household members have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which includes free individual counseling sessions with licensed therapists. Counseling support can take place either face-to-face, over tele-video, online or through texting. In 2022, we increased the number of free mental health sessions from five per year to eight.
Accessibility & Inclusivity: We launched an events calendar on our benefits page to connect employees to educational events offered by our partners, often focused on historically marginalized groups, related to the benefits and programs provided by REI.
Paid Time to Vote: In partnership with REI Cooperative Action Network, REI launched Your Vote Can't Wait engage our member and employee community in the 2022 midterm elections. Additionally, we delayed opening our stores on Election Day and provided all employees with paid time to vote or volunteer.
Belonging and Community
Belonging is that feeling of connectedness to a group or community. At REI, belonging is achieved when a person's identity is accepted and supported by their colleagues and the organization. We're helping build employee belonging and community through:
Employee Engagement Surveys: Seeking feedback from our employees throughout their time at REI is an important part of understanding employee engagement as we continue to improve a sense of belonging across the co-op. We have continued to share a biannual all-co-op engagement survey, which continues to gauge employee sentiment around strategy, company direction, and belonging. In 2022, we improved our onboarding and exit survey approach by launching Lifecycle Surveys, allowing us to better understand our employee experiences at the start of their journey and make improvements to equip both employees and leaders. Our commitment to our employees and work environment is why, in 2022, more than 73% of REI employees felt a sense of belonging, and over 77% recommended REI as a great place to work.
Anderson and Leadership Award Recognition Program: A time-honored tradition at REI, the Anderson Award (named after the co-op’s founders Mary and Lloyd Anderson) and Leadership Award recognition programs provide the opportunity for all employees at the co-op to give and receive recognition for the ways in which they demonstrate our values. Each year in June, the Anderson and Leadership Award nomination process opens. Each fall, recipients are selected and are then celebrated the following year at a recognition event. In 2022, there were more than 14,000 total Anderson Award nominations submitted for 6,000 individual employees and more than 850 Leadership Award nominations submitted for 350 individual leaders. In total in 2022, we announced 235 Anderson Award recipients and 17 Leadership Award recipients, all of whom will be celebrated at in-person events in March and June 2023.
REI Co-op Inclusion Network Program: In 2020, we launched the REI Co-op Inclusion Network Program, our employee resource groups (ERGs). Inclusion Network membership is open to all employees while providing safe spaces for underrepresented groups. Employees in the Inclusion Network Program share their perspectives through activities that positively influence our workplace culture and business. They strengthen the co-op community, support talent development, and advocate for change within the co-op and in society, keeping us moving on our progress toward becoming a fully inclusive, multicultural, and anti-racist co-op. Today, 14% of REI employees participate in Inclusion Networks.
A true sense of belonging that enables respect and dignity to flourish is rooted in being open to understanding and welcoming people from different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. It is a first step to building trust, acceptance, and appreciation. We are proud of the way we've honored the voices of our employees in 2022 through:
Accessibility Programs: Removing barriers to promote an accessible workplace is important to REI. We provide accommodations during the application and interview process, as well as during employment. We also work with the National Organization on Disability on holistic approaches to support people with disabilities in our distribution centers. While this is a start, we know there is much more work to do to support employees with disabilities at REI. In 2022, we launched the Accessibility Champions program, empowering employees to build skills, empathy, and community around a common goal: co-creating a culture of belonging for employees with disabilities at REI. Accessibility Champions meet monthly to set educational goals, hold each other accountable, share new learnings, ask questions, and review research studies from users of assistive technology.
LGBTQ+ Programs: Our commitment to creating an atmosphere where LGBTQ+ employees feel safe and comfortable being themselves has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign: REI has 100 out of 100 on its Corporate Equality Index, up from a score of 95 in previous years. While we don't measure LGBTQ+ status across our workforce, our Prism Inclusion Network and our longstanding nonprofit partnerships help us understand where we're doing well and where there are opportunities for growth. In 2022, REI continued its work to secure and defend the rights of our LGBTQ+ employees and members. In partnership with the Human Rights Campaign, we advocated for the successful passage of the Respect for Marriage Act and have rallied our members and employees to support the Equality Act, which would finally secure LGBTQ+ people's rights in existing civil rights laws.
Cultural Milestones and Celebration
We recognize holidays, events, memorials, and celebrations that represent the diversity of racial and religious heritages of our employees and community. Recognizing cultural milestones that represent the diversity of the co-op is a relatively simple but impactful step we can take to create a sense of belonging for everyone. In 2023, REI is celebrating the following cultural milestones across the enterprise:
- Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service
- Black History Month
- Women's History Month
- Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
- LGBTQ+ Pride Month
- Hispanic Heritage Month
- National Native American Heritage Month
- Veterans Day
While we know these are not exhaustive, the selection was made with an internal racial equity working group of employee representatives from every division at the co-op. These milestones showcase how inclusive actions connect to creating a culture of belonging within teams and across functions.
Over the last year, the co-op has prepared for these 2023 moments. Recent examples include:
REDI Learning Hub: The REDI Learning Hub was expanded to showcase Cultural Milestones, providing resources for celebration and education. To help drive accountability, we have inclusive leadership expectations, measure progress, and report data to inform our actions.
Engagement Kits: We share engagement kits across the enterprise that include posters, huddle cards, Inclusion Network events, leader guides, and education resources around our commitment to these moments and the employees who celebrate them.
Governance Structure: We established a governance structure with employee representatives throughout the enterprise to increase equity and engagement. This Cultural Milestone meeting meets monthly to share priorities and align efforts where appropriate.
Over the past year, we have challenged ourselves to new levels of accountability around representation and additional transparency around workforce representation data. We are adopting more inclusive hiring practices and fully measuring and publishing the data that will help us understand where we are on workforce diversity—and where we need to go.
Inclusive Hiring: The REI Diversity Talent Sourcing team drives our efforts to accelerate representation, and the Hourly Hiring Model plays a key role in its strategy. Launched in 2021 in stores, it was a change from our fully decentralized model of the past as it ensures that both recruiters and store leaders have responsibilities for hiring hourly talent in their regions and stores. In 2022, it was expanded to include hiring efforts in our distribution centers, experiences business, and sales and customer support.
Inclusive Interviewing: Managing Bias in Hiring training was developed and expanded for interviewers. The 30-minute e-Learning module with a 60-minute facilitated follow-up discussion provides foundational knowledge on what inclusive hiring means, the recruitment process (with an emphasis on representation), and how to create a more inclusive selection process. Started in stores, Managing Bias in Hiring will extend to the enterprise in 2023.
Inclusive Internships: REI remains committed to increasing the funnel of diverse talent in the outdoor industry to reflect and respond to the needs and preferences of an increasingly diverse consumer base. The REI Talent Acquisition team drives this effort and, in 2022, expanded the co-op’s intern program to support our commitments to REDI more strongly. In 2022, we partnered with Camber Outdoors, a nonprofit organization, and HIVE, a virtual recruiting platform, to launch the Leaders from The Future of Work Internship Program. This innovative diversity, equity, and inclusive-focused program engages individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latina/o/x, Asian American and Pacific Islander in meaningful paid summer internships. The goal is to move beyond awareness, intent, and discussion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the recruiting and hiring processes to tangible action and support of interns and industry entry points.
While we aim to close the gap across multiple dimensions of diversity, we remain committed to increasing representation from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, specifically tracking and publicly disclosing key diversity metrics for race and gender. REI continues to focus efforts on attracting and retaining Black talent, as this group continues to be an opportunity for growth within our workforce. In 2022, representation of BIPOC employees increased by 2.3%, with Black employees increasing by 0.6%.
Racial Representation of REI Workforce, 2022 compared to 2021
Racial Representation of REI Workforce by Division for 2022
BIPOC Representation of REI Workforce by Level for 2022
Acceptance Rate: At REI, acceptance rate is defined as offers that are accepted by a candidate, prior to their start date. In 2022, BIPOC applicants increased by 9% and the BIPOC candidate acceptance rate increased by 6%.
Tenure: We are referring to tenure in role based on the last date of hire. This may be different from overall company tenure, or time, at REI. Retaining BIPOC and Black talent remains an area for improvement. In 2022, the moving average termination rate was 24%-38% for BIPOC employees, 23%-33% for Black employees, and 19%-22% for white employees. Exit surveys launched in October 2022 will provide future insight into how we can improve.
Promotions: At REI, promotions are defined as a job code change and either a pay increase OR job level increase. Promotions increased across all racial groups in 2022. There was little discrepancy (1%) with promotions for white employees and BIPOC employees, with both groups experiencing a peak promotion rate of around 17% in 2022.
Sex and Gender
Since launching the Force of Nature initiative in 2017, REI has steadfastly worked to broaden the narrative about who participates in the outdoors and to level the playing field for women. We are committed to gender equity and recognize the intersectionality between gender and race. REI acknowledges the difference between sex assignment and gender identity, and our internal system honors how employees identify in both regards. The data below follows Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) designations: male and female, or sex assigned at birth. In 2022, we saw an increase in representation of female employees at most levels. We saw a 3% increase in our sales and customer support division, and about a 1% increase in our distribution centers, stores, and experiences divisions.
Male/Female Representation of REI Workforce, 2022 compared to 2021
Male/Female Representation of REI Workforce by Division for 2022
Male/Female Representation of REI Workforce by Level for 2022
Acceptance Rate: At REI, acceptance rate is defined as offers that are accepted by a candidate prior to their start date. In 2022, applicants who identified as female increased by 6% in 2022, with acceptance rate remaining flat year over year.
Tenure: We are referring to tenure in role based on the last date of hire. This may be different from overall company tenure, or time, at REI. In 2022, there was no clear disparity between the moving average termination rate for employees who identify as male or female.
Promotions: At REI, promotions are defined as a job code change plus either a pay increase OR job level increase. The moving average for promotions for female employees showed steady increases throughout most of 2022 and was slightly higher (less than 1%) than the moving average for male employees at the end of the year.