The food industry’s diversity initiatives could use a boost, based on the results of DiversityInc’s 18th annual Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. Only four food companies, Kellogg Company, The Hershey Company, McCormick & Co., and agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology giant Monsanto, landed spots on this year’s list. While this is one more than last year, it still suggests shortcomings.
Every year, DiversityInc assesses companies on their “initiatives to hire, retain, and promote women, minorities, people with disabilities, LGBT, and veterans.” Talent pipeline, talent development, leadership accountability, and supplier diversity are among the criteria DiversityInc considers.
Kellogg, McCormick & Co., and Monsanto all made last year’s list, and all three improved their standing this year. Meanwhile, Hershey is making its debut.
#18 Kellogg Company
Kellogg Company moved up 10 spots this year. The organization has one-third more women in upper management than the national average and has significantly increased maternal and parental leave times. The cereal company also appears on two specialty lists: Top Companies for Veterans and Top Companies for LGBT Employees.
Monsanto also moved up this year, from #39 in 2017, due to powerful diversity training. The company developed an unconscious bias training for all employees following the killing of Michael Brown in 2014. Additionally, business leaders and scientists within the company prioritize training and education on the cultural and business impact of bias. Monsanto also ranks on the Top Companies for Employee Resource Groups.
#33 The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company debuted this year at #33. Hershey’s has strong representation of women in corporate leadership and a robust employee-led Business Resource Group. The famed chocolate manufacturer also holds spots on the lists of Top Companies for Executive Women, Top Companies for Veterans, and Top Companies for LGBT Employees.
#37 McCormick & Co.
McCormick & Co. moved up from #45. No additional information was provided about the reasons for the ranking, but last year the company was recognized for its commitment to advancing the careers of women and Latinos.
One caveat about these rankings is that it takes a lot of work for a company to be considered. They must fill out an extensive survey, submit a form notarized by a corporate officer, and complete the National Organization on Disability’s Disability Employment Tracker. So, there could be other food companies that are excelling on the diversity front but not talking about it, which would lead to underrepresentation on the list.
However, companies should be promoting their diversity initiatives as much as possible. Millennials, who wield incredible power in today’s market, look for these types of values both when making purchasing decisions and when deciding who to work for. A recent study found that almost half of Millennials prioritize diversity and inclusion when considering a new job.
Read more about how the food industry ranks on other lists: