Steve Pemberton

Steve Pemberton
Vice President Diversity & Inclusion Global Chief Diversity Officer Walgreens Boots Alliance

Headquarters: Deerfield, Illinois
Business: Retail
CEO: Alex Gourlay
Employees: 240,000+


Walgreens longstanding and proactive commitment to diversity and inclusion is integrated into the mainstream processes and functions of its daily business.

“We are moving from a U.S.- centric diversity and inclusion model to a new global framework, one that emphasizes gender and generation, and approaches differences with dignity and respect,” said Steve Pemberton, vice president of diversity & inclusion, and global chief diversity officer for Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Under Pemberton’s leadership, Walgreens has made significant progress in moving toward a company whose cultures, people, perspectives, and workplaces are increasingly reflecting the current and future customers it serves, while delivering superior business performance.

“The key is attracting, retaining and engaging a diverse team, innovating based on deep customer insights, and making warmth, respect and inclusion hallmarks of our business practices,” Pemberton said.


Walgreens D&I commitment dates back generations and it continues to influence virtually everything the company does. “This includes where we locate our stores, who we hire, which products we introduce, and how we distribute goods and materials across the chain,” Pemberton said.

Today Walgreens stores anchor more than 8,100 diverse communities, employ some 240,000 diverse and talented people, and every day help more than 8 million customers and patients get, stay and live well.

The company has moved away from external measures of diversity and inclusion progress, and has increased its focus on internal metrics such as employee engagement scores and retention. “Looking at what your people say and do tells you more about where your organization really stands than how your company ranks among the organizations on a publication’s list,” Pemberton said.

Walgreens Office of Diversity employs 20 professionals. More than 100 additional team members are indirectly involved in the company’s diversity and inclusion work. It also sponsors three business-owned and leader-led regional operations diversity councils, each consisting of 18 to 22 leaders with profit and loss responsibility from Walgreens business units.

Walgreens is the largest drugstore chain in the U.S and is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Walgreens Boots Alliance is the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. The company was created through the combination of Walgreens and Alliance Boots in December 2014, bringing together two companies with iconic brands, complementary geographic footprints, shared values and a heritage of trusted health care services through pharmaceutical wholesaling and community pharmacy care, dating back more than 100 years.


  • Profiles in Diversity Journal – Diversity Leader Award
  • U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – The Million Dollar Club
  • Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council – MBEIC Sharing Success Award
  • Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council – Construction Buyer of the Year Award
  • Black Equal Opportunity Employment Journal – Best of the Best: Top Supplier Diversity Programs for African Americans
  • Hispanic Network Magazine – Best of the Best: Top Supplier Diversity Programs for Hispanics/Latinos
  • Professional Woman Magazine – Best of the Best: Top Supplier Diversity Programs for Women
  • U.S. Veterans Magazine – Best of the Best: Top Supplier Diversity Programs for Veterans
  • Latino Magazine – Latino 100