Kellogg ahead in diversity efforts

by Josh Sosland
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BATTLE CREEK, MICH. — A supplier diversity program at The Kellogg Co. has led to an eight-fold increase in Kellogg purchases from minority- and women-owned businesses since 1999, according to the company. Purchases from these suppliers reached $425 million in 2010, the company said.

The company included an update on purchases from minority suppliers in its 2010 diversity and inclusion report, the second such report from Kellogg.

The report traces progress toward diversity objectives, including building a workforce “reflective of the consumers it serves and the communities in which it operates.”

John Bryant, president and chief executive officer described the initiative at the company as critical to succeeding in a global marketplace.

“Specifically, a diverse workforce helps us better anticipate the needs of our increasingly diverse consumer base,” he said. “It is also more adaptable to change, more innovative and more open to new ideas.”

The company has six employee resource groups it taps as part of its market research. As an example of the groups’ work, the company said Latino and African-American groups “recently assisted with market research by providing feedback on television advertising geared toward consumers from these ethnic groups.”

Television spots created utilized the feedback from these groups, Kellogg said.

“Diversity at Kellogg has been a continuous focus of ours,” said Mark King, the company’s senior director of diversity and inclusion. “Throughout our 100-plus year history, we have made significant strides toward the more equitable inclusion of women; people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals; and people with disabilities in our workforce. Our goal is to mirror the diversity of our consumers, and we’re making progress.”

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