Kroger Launches Diversity Initiative

Kroger has finalized a Framework for Action: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion plan that features immediate and longer-term steps to accelerate and promote greater change in the workplace and in the communities the organization serves.

The plan features five focus areas: Create More Inclusive Culture; Develop Diverse Talent; Advance Diverse Partnerships; Advance Equitable Communities; and Deeply Listen and Report Progress.

Kroger will create a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion advisory council to advance its long-term diversity commitments, reporting to senior leadership. It will provide unconscious bias training to every leader in 2020 and DE&I training for every associate by May 2021, while also providing associates with platforms to continue sharing stories and feedback.

In addition, Kroger will improve diverse talent recruiting by partnering with historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic association colleges and universities, and community colleges. The company will establish a two-way mentorship and advocacy program matching high-potential diverse talent and senior leaders. It will increase spending with diverse suppliers from $3.4 billion to $10 billion by 2030.

Kroger stated that it will work with media partners to align them with its values and with diverse customers through marketing spend, partners and strategy. The company intends to engage external stakeholders to seek perspective and co-create more just and equitable communities. In addition, it will fund impactful approaches to advance racial equity with community partners.  At the same time, the company will encourage associates to vote and provide voter registration and ballot applications in stores to promote a culture of civic engagement.

“As America’s grocer, Kroger is driven to bring Americans together as an employer, grocery provider and community partner, representing our purpose to feed the human spirit,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “Over the last several months, we’ve listened closely to our half a million associates and countless communities across the nation. It’s never been clearer that our collective energy is necessary to achieve true and lasting equality. We have taken a very thoughtful and purposeful approach to develop what we believe are the right actions to substantially and positively impact our culture and our country, creating real change now and into the future. We are approaching this effort with humility, knowing we can’t do it alone and don’t and won’t have all the answers. Our new Framework for Action: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion plan reflects our desire to redefine, deepen, and advance our commitment, mobilizing our people, passion, scale and resources.”