- Kroger was recognized as one of the top corporations in the U.S. for women’s business enterprises by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), according to a press release.
- This is Kroger’s sixth year on the annual list, which highlights corporations that show commitment to including women-owned businesses in their supply chains.
- Last year, Kroger invested an additional $163 million with women-owned businesses in its supply chains in 2019. It also established 234 new partnerships with women’s business enterprises, an increase of 57% from 2018.
Kroger's actions in 2019 that helped it land on the WBENC's list shows that some food retailers are beginning to prioritize diversity and inclusion in an industry that still sees a lot of gender and racial disparity in its top ranks.
Angel Colon, Kroger’s senior director of diversity and inclusion, said in a statement that women make up more than half of Kroger’s workforce and 31% of its senior management, and the company is committed to seeing more women represented in its supply chain. In comparison, women fill less than 30% of senior leadership positions in the retail and consumer goods segment, according to 2017 research from Accenture, in partnership with the Network for Executive Women.
Kroger also held a Supplier Inclusion Innovation Summit last May that brought together more than 80 diverse suppliers to pitch products and services. The company hasn’t announced whether the summit will take place in 2020. The move for a larger event appears to be a natural extension of its supplier diversity program that it's had in place for over 30 years per its website.
Walmart and Target, which both have their own supply chain inclusion initiatives, were the only other major food retailers that made the list. CPG companies included Kellogg, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.
This nod by the WBENC is one of several for Kroger recently, which has repeatedly landed on the Omni50, highlighting corporations for their diverse supply chains. Last month, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation honored Kroger for the second year in a row as one of the best places to work for LGBTQ equality.
In addition to inclusivity initiatives within companies, organizations such as the Food Marketing Institute and the Network of Executive Women support companies’ efforts to better implement diversity in the workplace and the supply chain.