Introducing: ABLE

DG headshot December 12, 2017 by Denise Gibson

There’s a new face in (blog) town! While not my first time writing about things I have a passion for, this is my first foray into No Assembly Required, and I’m both proud and humbled to be able to speak about a topic near and dear to my heart – the company’s Association for Black Leadership and Empowerment (ABLE for short).

Let me back up, though. I’ve accomplished a lot this year, and as I reflect on the opportunities 2017 brought me, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also talk about my role here at Toys“R”Us – both a means for you to get to know me and a (shameless) plug for my awesome team, eCommerce.

Throughout the year, my team has evolved from managing the TRU web experience to managing its operations – a big change, but a fantastic one. I’ve now enjoyed 2 (hectic) holiday seasons here at TRU, and it was a personal challenge for me to take on this new role leading into my third. I’m happy to report that with my team and I functioning as “gatekeepers,” we achieved our new website content duties successfully, despite the occasional frantic episode. And let’s be real…when it comes to the world-wide web, frantic episodes are a guarantee; it’s how you manage the unexpected – as a team – that matters. We do just that in eCommerce – we work as a team…always. Our transition was a hurdle we gladly – and proudly – overcame just in time for Holiday (yes, it’s a proper noun around these parts).

That’s the good stuff. Now, onto the better stuff. Here, we say, “Diversity is the mix; inclusion is making the mix work,” and I am beyond – waaaaay beyond – proud to work for a company that values both. That said, I am a proud member of the company’s ABLE Team Resource Group.

  • What is ABLE? The Association for Black Leadership and Empowerment works to foster an inclusive environment at Toys“R”Us in order to hire, promote and retain African-American team members.
  • What do I love most about it? ABLE allows me to learn more about the backgrounds of our team members and reinforces the idea that they ALL matter to this company.
  • How does ABLE get involved around campus? How don’t we is the shorter answer! From hosting guest speakers who are experts in the field of inclusion to coat drives for charity and charity pot lucks, we do it all. I’ll be back next month with more on our BIG 2018 initiatives!

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  • Who can join? Any TRU team member! Just wrapped up your orientation? Join us. Interested in learning more about the challenges faced and hurdles cleared by African-Americans in the workplace? Join us. Love meeting new people? Join us. Not a TRU team member? Check out our job listings, then join us!

ABLE is personal for me. Coming from a family of multiple races, it was important to my parents that I have dolls and toys that represented all people, especially myself (my favorite was my doll that was brown with dark hair and wore glasses, like me). Where’d they find them? Toys“R”Us! It was clear to my parents that our store was one they could rely on for making young girls like me – with a background a bit different from many in her class – feel happy and included.

Before joining the TRU team, I did not know groups like this existed, especially in corporations. As a support system for families worldwide, it makes sense that TRU would encourage groups like ABLE. I love that diversity is appreciated and acknowledged within this community, and I feel lucky to be surrounded by professionals of all backgrounds who feel the same.