Two of the nation’s largest Private Brand food retailers — Albertsons and Ahold Delhaize USA — are taking strategic approaches to embedding diversity, equity and inclusion into their cultures.

Speakers from those retailers outlined each company’s process at the My Private Brand Diversity Summit.

Albertsons Aims to Be Change Agent

“Our company is doing a lot when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Jonathan Mayes, SVP, External Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer of Albertsons.

He described how the retailer reacted last year in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the social unrest that followed. He said Albertsons President and CEO Vivek Sankaran had conversations with Black associates across the company to learn how they are doing and how the retailer can help.

Among the strategies Albertsons is pursuing to drive organizational diversity and inclusion:

  • Providing interactive “Leading With Inclusion” courses for leaders.
  • Leveraging a “National Diversity Council” to discuss strategies and steps to ensure success.
  • Setting goal and measuring results.
  • Increasing commitments to support social justice organizations.

Ahold Delhaize Takes Systematic Approach

Sarah Chartrand McGowan, SVP Global Talent, Leadership and Diversity, Ahold Delhaize, said her organization embraces DEI strategies both at the parent company and local retail banner levels.

“We look at DEI in a systematic way,” she said. “Each of our local companies and brands have approaches based on their markets, and we also view this through the parent company lens.”

Among its efforts, Ahold Delhaize incentivizes top leaders based on results from associate surveys about inclusivity in the workplace. The retailer also conducts inclusive leadership training and works with business resource groups to help support its efforts.

Retailers Emphasize Diversity Imperative

Chartrand explained how Ahold Delhaize views the diversity, inclusion and equity concepts.

When we at Ahold Delhaize look at diversity, we’re looking broadly at the right mix of talent in the workforce,” from skills to gender to ethnicity, she said. “Inclusion is creating that environment where everyone is valued for their uniqueness. Equity is the foundation of both things, and involves consistently evaluating systems and processes to remove bias and giving everyone what they need to make an impact.”

Mayes said diversity and inclusion are important to all parts of the Albertsons business, including Private Brands. “I love rich diversity that’s on our team with regard to own brands,” he said.

He added about Albertsons: “We’re on a journey to be even more perfect in achieving the aspirations that I described.”