Leveraged Diversity

            General Mills has taken measures to position their company as a leader in the inclusion and diversity.  Their market strategy is to connect deeply with customers and communities by being diverse and inclusive.  Their talent strategy is to innovate and build on new ideas also by being diverse and inclusive.  In 2011, Working Mother Media ranked General Mills among the top five companies for multicultural women, signifying that General Mills excels at “recruiting, retaining, and promoting multicultural women” (Casserly, 2011).  Upon researching their placement with Working Mother Media, it is apparent that General Mills is continuing their commitment to diversity, as they have continued to rank high even in 2019 and 2020, where General Mills has been named for their Hall of Fame (Working Mother, 2020).  Diversity is part of who they are as a company.  They approach diversity and inclusion regarding their customers, too, as it is a company-wide strategy to be inclusive towards workforce, cultures, consumers, and suppliers (Global Inclusion, n.d.).

General Mills Makes Diversity a Priority

            The Vice President of Global Inclusion and Staffing at General Mills said “Diversity plus inclusion equals business value.  We connect with our consumers, customers and communities.  We reap new ideas and innovation.  And we recruit and retain the talent to win now and in the future” (Global Responsibility, 2016, p.81).  Their CEO personally reviews the inclusion and diversity status of the company on a quarterly basis (Global Inclusion, n.d.).  Their leadership objectives and their annual scorecard is based around diversity and inclusion.  This priority is pushed down throughout the organization.  Each production facility also creates and implements its own strategic plan for diversity and inclusion (Global Responsibility, 2016, p.81).

            Working Mother says that General Mills is not only one of the best places for multicultural women, but one of the top ten companies for executive women as well.  It is impressive to see that the CEO holds leaders accountable for diversity and inclusion (Working Mother, 2020).  In fact, in the midst of all of the racial tensions and rioting this year, General Mills new CEO, Jeff Harmening, committed to doubling the number of Black managers throughout the company and reiterated that they company aims to emphasize their support of the Black Lives Matter movement (Painter, 2020).

            Comparably scores the company as 77 out of 100 across diversity categories, putting it in their top 10% of companies in the United States for diversity, and scoring General Mills an A+ for women’s happiness, team, and compensation, and an A in compensation and happiness in diversity (Comparably, n.d.).  General Mills also earned fortieth place in DiversityInc’s “Top 50,” showing up in the top ranking for every year since 2007, with substantially more minorities and more women in senior management than most U.S. companies.  Then CEO of General Mills, Ken Powell, said that he believes that he needs to attract and retain varied and diverse staff in order to drive innovation and “effectively connect with consumers around the world” (D’Onofrio, 2016).

General Mills Leverages Diversity and Inclusion to Grow, Innovate, and Succeed

            The diversity page on the careers site for General Mills illustrates how important inclusion is for them.  Not only are they actively attracting talent from all genders, races, and sexual orientations, but they are also targeting a wide spectrum of individuals culturally, and with different beliefs and communication styles (U.S. Diversity, n.d.).  General Mills believes that diversity and inclusion are not just a moral right, but they are needed to grow as a company.  They are fully aware that diverse teams and suppliers represent their diverse consumers.  General Mills identifies that it is important to be diverse in order to connect with customers because food is a cultural experience (Global Inclusion, n.d.).  Ken Charles, the VP of Global Inclusion and Staffing says “Our focus on fostering diversity has clearly paid off, as evidenced by the many women and people of color that are now vital contributors and leading our business” (General Mills Diversity: A Value and Business Strategy, n.d.).

Conclusion

            General Mills has made significant effort to improve their company, innovate, and connect with customers through inclusion and diversity programs, and it is paying off.  Not only are employees happier, but the company is recognized as one of the most diverse and inclusive companies in the United States.  They continue to improve and set company-wide goals around increased diversity in all levels of management, with favorable compensation for diverse talent.  Their goals of acquiring and attaining a varied and diverse team is part of their strategy to become more innovative and connect better with their customers.

References

Casserly, Meghan. (2011). The Best Companies for Multicultural Women. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2011/05/24/the-best-companies-for-multicultural-women/#44de61182d3c

Comparably. (n.d.). Diversity at General Mills. Retrieved from https://www.comparably.com/companies/general-mills-in/diversity

D’Onofrio, Kaitlyn. (2016). No. 40 | General Mills | DiversityInc Top 50. Retrieved from https://www.diversityinc.com/general-mills-2016/

Global Inclusion. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.generalmills.com/en/Responsibility/Global%20Inclusion

Global Responsibility. (2016). Retrieved from https://globalresponsibility.generalmills.com/2016/images/General_Mills-Global_Responsibility_2016.pdf

Painter, Kristen Leigh. (2020). General Mills sets goals to elevate Black managers, executives. Retrieved from https://www.startribune.com/general-mills-sets-goals-to-elevate-black-managers-executives/572092752/?refresh=true

General Mills Diversity: A Value and Business Strategy. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://savoynetwork.com/general-mills-diversity-a-value-and-business-strategy/

U.S. Diversity. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://careers.generalmills.com/working-here/us-diversity/

Working Mother. (2020). Best Companies: General Mills. Retrieved from https://www.workingmother.com/best-companies-general-mills

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