Food Service & Agriculture, Human Resources, and Manufacturing

Kellogg report reveals company-wide engagement drives diversity

Company is challenging itself to grow its ‘cultural intelligence.’

August 29, 2014
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Kellogg Co., the Battle Creek cereal maker, has released its fifth annual diversity report, putting the spotlight on company-wide efforts to bring everyone to the table.

Kellogg recently released its latest edition of Features, its diversity and inclusion report highlighting the company’s efforts to create a workforce as diverse as the consumers it serves to strengthen understanding of needs in the marketplace.

Mark King, chief diversity officer, said the report offers a look at why diversity and inclusion is essential to the company’s success.

“Diversity is crucial to our current and future success for a number of reasons,” said King. “It enables us to attract and retain talented employees, ensures everyone feels respected and included, sparks innovation, allows for stronger team collaboration, and is aligned with what our increasingly diverse consumers expect from a company like Kellogg.”

By promoting an environment where employees feel valued, appreciated and included, Kellogg strives to build a stronger company by fostering an inclusive culture to use diversity as an advantage in the industry, according to the report.

“Fostering diversity here at work and with our suppliers is not just the right thing to do, it actually helps us better reflect and understand our consumers and the communities where we live and work,” said King. “For us, diversity is a competitive advantage.” 

The report categorizes the numerous initiatives Kellogg has taken to strengthen its diversity and inclusion into: Employee Resource Groups, Workplace, Marketplace and Community. Each of the categories outlines the success and progress of recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and supply chain.

In the Employee Resource Groups section, the report discusses the events employee resource groups participated in or hosted in the past year, such as: a training event attended by 30 young professionals from Kellogg; sponsoring a reception at the National Black MBA Association Conference; and sponsoring a Hispanic Heritage Month Fiesta.

The seven employee resource groups include: Latino Employee Resource Group, African-American Resource Group, Multinational Employee Resource Group, K-Pride & Allies, KVets & Supporters, Women of Kellogg and Young Professionals. Each of the seven groups is designed to offer support, networking and development opportunities for employees.

“Our commitment to respect the full diversity of backgrounds, experiences, approaches and ideas is continually reviewed and integrated into our talent process, and is expressed daily through our seven vibrant Employee Resource Groups, as well,” said King. “We are really challenging ourselves to grow our cultural intelligence across the organization.”

The Features report also looks at the steps taken toward diversity in the workplace including: growth of female representation at the most senior levels of the organization, accelerating diversity and inclusion in the manufacturing plants, going global, a cross-cultural communication workshop, a new cross-cultural mentoring program, women in supply chain group success, and engaging with external organizations.

“Another key way we support diversity and inclusion outside of our company walls is through our supplier diversity program, which is purchasing goods and services from supplier companies owned by women, people of color, disabled individuals, service-disabled veterans and individuals from the LGBT community,” said King.

In 2013, Kellogg purchases from direct first-tier diverse suppliers totaled approximately $406 million, compared to $49 million in 1999 when the program began, according to King. The total amount spent in the 15th year of the program was $14.5 million more than the company’s internal goal for the year.

Currently, Kellogg is working on implementing a comprehensive multicultural marketing plan to communicate and connect with various market segments, which is discussed in the marketplace section of the report. One of the initiatives included collaborating with Nielsen and Insight partners to develop a forecast over the next five years to understand where growth is coming from. 

The fifth annual Features report also recognizes accolades the company has received for its commitment to foster a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Some of the awards include: DiversityInc.’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity; 2020 Women on Boards’ Winning Companies; National Association of Female Executives’ Top 50 Companies for Executive Women; U.S. Veterans Magazine’s Best of the Best: Top Veteran-Friendly Companies; Equal Opportunity magazine’s Top 50 Employers for Equal Opportunity; and Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center’s REACH Award in Business, for Kellogg’s K-Pride & Allies Employee Resource Group. 

“While we’re moving the needle on diversity and inclusion as a company, there is still much to be done to build the most diverse, inclusive Kellogg possible,” said King. “It will require all of us to be diversity and inclusion champions.”

Originally established in 1906 by W.K. Kellogg, the company has grown from 44 employees to become a world leading cereal company with $14.8 billion in sales in 2013. Headquartered in Battle Creek, Kellogg has locations throughout the world.

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