Nigel Campbell's picture

Barilla Pasta Reveals Plans To Embrace Diversity & Inclusion

Following the enormous backlash Barilla Group received following chairman Guido Barilla's damaging homophobic statements, the company announced today what steps it's taking to embrace and encourage diversity both inside and outside of the company. 

“Diversity, inclusion and equality have long been grounded in Barilla’s culture, values and code of conduct. They are reflected in our policies and the benefits we provide to all employees, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation,” said Chief Executive Officer Claudio Colzani. “At the same time, we are committed to promoting diversity further because we firmly believe that it’s the right thing to do.”

The steps include:
- A newly-established Diversity & Inclusion Board, comprising external experts and advocates who will help Barilla establish concrete goals and strategies for improving diversity and equality in the company’s workforce and culture with regard to sexual orientation, gender balance, disability rights and multicultural and intergenerational issues. Individuals who have accepted positions on the Board to date include, David Mixner, a prominent global leader in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and Alex Zanardi, a Paralympic gold medalist.
- Appointment of the company’s first Chief Diversity Officer, Talita Erickson, a Brazilian-born attorney who for the past year has served as General Counsel to Barilla America.
- Participation in the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) created by the U.S.-based Human Rights Campaign to measure and rate large companies on their policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) employees.

“I am encouraged by Barilla’s commitment to seek outside guidance and advice on these crucial issues and pleased to be a part of it,” said Diversity & Inclusion Board member David Mixner. “I am also impressed with the willingness of the Chairman and company to listen and learn from LGBT community leaders and work towards improving diversity, inclusion and equality.”

What do you think of the company's efforts, Instincters? Will they be enough to repair Barilla's tarnished image or will we simply need to wait to see the results of their changes?

Comments

I won't buy their pasta.  I'm taking their Chairman's request to heart and just using another brand.  When you bite a hand feeding you, don't expect it to feed you again.

As I understand it. The chairman never stood down. See what message does this send? To me it means that the company is in damage control and is making these decisions based on falling sales. Which is a win I suppose.

If the company were serious there should be an apology and a sacking. And if not, then stand behind your original statements and chairman.

Is Jason employed by the company to respond to our comments?

I give them credit for not just giving lip service and taking actual steps to right a wrong.

Not buying it...his new found LGBT interests OR his pasta. Haters don't change their spots overnight like they have...It is the almighty greed for money that is changing his views not his conscious or heart.

I may be a bitter queen, but I will be a bitter queen that will NEVER buy their overpriced pasta again!

Another comment that doesn't make sense.  The comments were one man and were taken to mean that this is how the company felt.  We should celebrate and support any company willing to continue to step up and take a standard to promote (even if it's developing) a focus on diversity & inclusion.  Buy their pasta or don't buy their pasta, but let's also not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

When that one man is the chairman of the company with the same surname as the company. I take it to mean he is speaking on behalf of the company. Further to this the company spokes people came out in defence of his comments at first.

Just some facts....

Barilla could sponsor a LGBT orgy in a Chick-fil-a and I still wouldn't spend a penny for a pound of their shitty pasta!!!! This Guido hasn't learned anything except the power of a boycott when he opens his mouth to spew hate and intolerance!!!!

This is such ignorance.  You used a racial slur to respond to a press release about a company making progress on diversity and inclusion?  Progress takes time, and unfortunately, the comment of one man was seen as making a statement about the company's position itself.

We need celebrate their decision in better choices and not bully them. Everyone makes bad decisions and they are owning their mistakes. Let's be glad that change is possible. 

Too little, too late, still boycotting.

Y'know, I am NOT any kind of serious epicurean; frankly, unless we are talking about these newfangled, "healthier" alternative forms of pasta (like Italians have been dying of pasta overdoses of the old kind for years, right?), I cannot tell the difference between Barilla or any other kind on the market.  I say, bully for them to recognizing that they have offended and potentially permanently alienated a substantial percentage of their customer base, & trying to do damage control to compensate for it.  But I find it difficult to believe that Il Gattopardo has really changed his spots in any significant way, so I will just continue to buy whatever pasta is on sale when I need it, EXCEPT FOR BARILLA!!!

Oh, & in closing, having lived in Southern Europe for three years (i.e. Italian Switzerland/Italy), I don't recall EVER seeing this brand on the shelves when I was shopping.  Just sayin' . . . 

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