Putting the "B" in DEIB
Later this spring, I’ll be approaching my one-year anniversary at 84.51°, and after being a part of The Kroger Company for many years, I’ve noticed how special this company truly is. It’s evident the people truly care about the work they do and are always looking for positive ways to impact their colleagues, Kroger and our communities and customers. This month, I want to highlight how we’re making a difference through our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging work. We know that a diverse and inclusive work environment is essential for us to serve our customers and deliver against our purpose to make people’s lives easier.
Through our immersion in DE&I, we know that being diverse and inclusive isn’t enough. We are taking our efforts a step further to make sure our associates feel like they have a voice, and their contributions are valued. That’s what belonging is all about. We celebrate the differences that make us stronger together and create a culture of inclusion and belonging where everyone feels included, valued, respected and heard for who they uniquely are.
The journey to a more diverse and inclusive workplace started well over five years ago. It took a lot of planning to get to where we are today, and we’re excited about the work that is still to come. All the work that has been done to date has been no small task, but for the sake of time I’ll briefly recap some of the incredible things that have gotten us to where we are today and serve as a firm foundation to build on for the future.
We celebrate diversity of thought and provide tools to support people leaders in mitigating bias in performance.
We’ve assembled teams of individuals and leaders who are passionate about DEIB to spearhead this work including ITOPiA and other People Led teams.
319 people leaders have participated in Inclusive Leadership Journey program.
We are continuing to build partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, expanding our reach of diverse talent through various partnerships, and being intentional about recruiting, developing and retaining diverse talent.
We’re driving deeper connectedness, investing in collaboration technology to enable inclusion.
While we celebrate these efforts, we want to set the bar even higher and continuously improve our initiatives across the board. In the months and years to come, we’ll collectively continue to drive current DEIB work and new objectives. Our goal as 84.51° is to embed DEIB practices in how we operate every day – they’ll be reflected in our business and hiring practices, how we work with data, and how we interact with each other.
Our “big bets” for 2023 include enhancements to our hiring practices to recruit the best talent to work at 84.51°. That will show up in our commitment to alternative sourcing methodologies to improve the attraction of diverse candidates, and we will continue to support the development of our diverse talent. We’re also leaning on our leaders to “walk the walk” with our DEIB goals and demonstrate inclusive leadership behaviors.
We have a lot of work to do together but I am confident we have the skills and competencies to continue to be an industry leader in DEIB. We know it’s a journey and we’ll keep investing in this space to continue our progress.
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