• Interview with Ginnie Roeglin (Senior Vice President, Costco Wholesale Corporation)

    I have worked for Costco Wholesale for the past 26 years.  I started with the company in 1990 as Director of IT Support and progressed to AVP - Systems Development before moving to Corporate Marketing in 1995.  I was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2000.  In 2001, I also became Publisher of the Costco Connection magazine.  In 2004, I left Corporate Marketing and became SVP over Ecommerce & Publishing.  I was named to the company's Executive Committee in 2006.  In 2012, I also took on responsibility for Costco Travel.

    In January, 2016, I retired from my role as SVP over Ecommerce, Travel & Publishing.  I still lead Journeys, our women's resource group and serve on our Diversity Advisory Council.

    I am married and have two grown daughters and three granddaughters.  My husband and I divide our time between our homes in Seattle and San Diego.

    Diversity is important to me for several reasons.  First, I want to help other women achieve success in our company.  As a senior executive, I was often the only woman in the room and I wanted to change that.  I believe that all employees should have the same opportunity to advance and succeed.  I also believe that diversity is a business imperative.  Very simply, I believe that diversity drives innovation.  A diverse group of employees and leaders brings different ideas, experiences, and perspectives to an organization.  Diverse companies financially outperform companies that lack diversity.

    I think organizations such as LEAD and NEW are helping to drive awareness of the importance of diversity and are great resources to companies who are looking for tools to increase diversity.  I think it is important for LEAD to not just "sing to the choir" of women, but also engage male executives and CEO's.  LEAD should also focus on adding value through research, uncovering best practices, and providing tools and workshops for its member corporations.

    Costco formed Journeys, our women's resource group in 2007.  Today we have over 12,000 members including 8,600 women and 3,500 men and have active chapters in every country and region in which we do business.  Last week, we held our 10th Journeys Symposium with a full day dedicated to building inclusion and diversity.  Approximately 1,000 Costco employees attended our event in person and many more watched remotely via live-streaming.  Journeys and these annual events have raised the importance of diversity within our company.  Diversity was once an uncomfortable topic and today is openly discussed and part of our culture.  We now have a large Diversity Action Committee and a Diversity Advisory Council, and we regularly meet to discuss initiatives and measure our progress.

    My presentation in Düsseldorf will focus on our Journey to Increase Diversity and Inclusion at Costco.  I'll share our initiatives and our results and hope to leave you with ideas that you can take back to your organizations.  I look forward to seeing you in Düsseldorf!

    August, 2016