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?