Diversity Leadership: Kim Strong, Target

Target Chief Diversity Officer Kim StrongKim Strong
Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion

Kim Strong thought she would become a teacher until a recruiter from Target recognized that her future was in retail. More than two decades later, an extensive background in store operations—from management to human resources—gives Strong the insights to reach employees from diverse backgrounds. She is particularly passionate about growing Target’s resource groups, which connect Blacks, Latinos, Asians, women and LGBT employees from the stores all the way up to the C-suite.

“It’s about shaping the experience team members have at work, about cultivating an environment where all types of differences are encouraged and respected,” she told DiversityInc. Strong also spearheads orientation initiatives that have improved employee retention and built a sense of community.

Strong began her career at Marshall Field & Company (a former division of Target) in 1988 as an executive-in-training. She moved to Mervyn’s (another former division of Target) in 1995, eventually rising to Director of Human Resources. In 2004, she assumed that same role at Target, before being promoted to Regional Vice President, Store Human Resources, overseeing more than 70,000 employees in 13 states. She was named to her current position in 2011.

Strong earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Howard University. She sits on the board of the Dallas Black Dance Theatre and is a member of The Links, Incorporated, an international volunteer service organization for Black women, and the Executive Leadership Council, a network for Black executives. She and her husband have two sons.