Conagra is striving to increase representation of people of colour and women in management roles, and to also decrease turnover within both groups.
For Conagra Brands, diversity has always been important, but the company is making deeper diversity and inclusion commitments built around two strategic goals: increase representation of people of colour and women in management roles, and decrease turnover within both groups. “At Conagra Brands, we seek to nourish communities through our products and our practices,” says Lindsey Williams, senior director of human resources. “Our inclusive culture encourages openness, acceptance and individual authenticity. Healthy backgrounds, perspectives, life experiences, and opinions are valued and belong here. It’s what fosters our innovation and growth.”
To achieve its goals, Conagra has established a D&I Leadership Council, comprised of Conagra’s senior leadership and HR diversity and inclusion teams, to drive accountability and execution of the company’s commitments. It also launched a new inclusive leadership development program in October 2020. To date, nearly 1,400 people managers have been trained in inclusive leadership practices. The goal of this learning series is to meet leaders where they are and show the importance of D&I as a means to succeed in the marketplace and achieve business objectives. The company also set ambitious representation and retention goals, including doubling the representation of people of colour in management and middle-management roles and having at least 40% of management-level roles held by women within the next five years.
Danone Canada has an “inclusive diversity” strategy embedded throughout its business. “Danoners embrace our culture that welcomes and supports members of diverse communities,” says Melanie Lebel, the company’s vice-president of human resources. “In fact, last year, three inclusive diversity-driven ‘Employee Resource Groups’ (ERGs) emerged, driving impact within our workforce and beyond, reaching consumers and communities.” The three new ERGs were: LIFT (Leading and Inspiring Female Talent); the 1DanONE Black, Indigenous & people of colour leadership group (BIPOC); and the PRIDE LGBTQIA2S+ group.
The LIFT ERG’s activities have included International Women’s Day events as well as the launch of the Danone LIFT Leadership Award, in collaboration with the Schulich School of Business, recognizing an outstanding female student with a prize and mentorship opportunity. Danone also launched annual LIFT Awards to celebrate employees who inspire, empower and support women. Then there’s the 1DanONE Black, Indigenous and people of colour leadership group (BIPOC). Education is a key driver for this group, with initiatives including presentations on First Nations topics, #StopAsianHate Group sessions and Race in Canada listening sessions. Similarly, the PRIDE ERG held speaker sessions to educate employees on LGBTQIA2S+ community topics, and celebrated Pride Month with a series of events. “By encouraging employees to be their best selves, and creating an environment in which their different personalities, views and perspectives are embraced, we fuel collective performance,” says Lebel.
Kellogg is on a mission to create “Better Days” with a focus on equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I). On the heels of racial unrest in 2020, that mission came into stronger focus with the launch of 10 Kellogg Canada ED&I Commitments, demonstrating the company’s resolution to fight racism, discrimination and inequality.
Kellogg is bringing these commitments to life through initiatives such as an annual day of reflection dedicated to self-directed learning on topics such as the “History of Racism in Canada” or “Indigenous History.” This year it also launched a new training program consisting of two 4.5-hour virtual sessions to help leaders develop skills needed to become inclusive leaders.
Through its Better Days programs, in partnership with Food Banks Canada, Kellogg is also ensuring donated funds and food items go to marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by hunger and food insecurity. (It has committed to investing $1 million by 2025 to support these communities.) “These commitments are focused on enhancing equity, diversity and inclusion for our people, the communities in which we live and work, and our business,” says the company’s president Tony Chow. “We’ve already made significant progress on many of them, and we continue to focus our efforts on creating ‘Better Days’ and a place at the table for everyone.”