In the March print editions and online, Shelby Publishing unveils the recipients of its inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion awards.
The first-of-its-kind program recognizes retailers, wholesalers, distributors, suppliers/vendors and solutions providers that are working to advance and uphold diversity, equity and inclusion in the U.S. grocery industry.
In both their workplaces and the community at large, these companies demonstrate a commitment to driving and imparting positive changes across their organizations by removing barriers and creating environments where individuals can thrive as their authentic selves.
Reflecting on the events of a turbulent 2020, many leaders have expressed that the time has come to stop talking about diversity, equity and inclusion and to take action.
Our deserving honorees have been doing just that – and, in most cases, for years. They are not afraid to take above-and-beyond measures and provide the leadership and a culture where positive change can thrive. They don’t just embrace inclusion, they celebrate uniqueness and differences.
Take Albertsons Cos., for example. The Idaho-based grocery giant is working to ensure management personnel reflects the rich diversity of communities it serves. Everyone is celebrated, has equal access to opportunities and resources and is able to fully contribute to their and the company’s success.
Jonathan O. Mayes is senior VP, chief diversity and inclusion officer for Albertsons. His team soon will expand to three members with the addition of a manager of diversity and inclusion.
“We also have two people who co-lead our supplier diversity efforts – one for goods for resale and other goods not for resale,” Mayes added. “One person is part of our merchandising team, the other is part of our supply chain team.”
He went on to note that they confer at least weekly and are in the process of creating policy.
“As part of our effort to build an inclusive culture, all associates have taken an anti-bias training course,” Mayes explained. “In addition, last year we launched ‘Leading With Inclusion’ – highly-interactive, facilitated, two-hour sessions designed to help deepen our culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging.
“Over 4,000 associates have participated thus far in these sessions. Other policies involve diverse interview panels and candidate slates, and targets to help company management reflect the communities we serve.”
Albertsons also works to ensure it hires the most qualified people.
“It begins with having diverse candidate slates and interview panels. And this involves sourcing talent from places sometimes overlooked,” Mayes said. “It also involves understanding that companies that leverage diversity generally outperform companies that don’t. And talent attracts talent.”
He went on to note that many studies have shown that diverse teams tend to outperform other teams.
“A recent McKinsey study showed that companies in the highest quartile of women in management were 21 percent more likely to outperform other companies. Regarding people of color, that number is 33 percent. Research shows that diversity brings many other benefits regarding innovation, ability to attract additional talent and retention.”
Several other companies are arriving at the same conclusions. Click below to learn more about their journeys and celebrate their DEI initiatives.