Business Employee Resource Groups
Business/Employee Resource Groups Continue to Expand Across the Globe
Over the past year, Kellogg’s network of business employee resource groups (B/ERGs) has continued to expand to new territories and develop a more inclusive culture for employees around the world. B/ERG leaders plan to continue with this momentum in the months and years ahead to further enhance Kellogg’s diverse and inclusive workplace.
In Latin America, the K-Pride & Allies (KPA) B/ERG was launched in the region’s Mexico headquarters last year. Since the launch, the group has been busy collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues. In 2017, KPA launched a new chapter in Toluca, held a conference to commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, and is preparing to launch a “Proud Ally” training. The training is an opportunity to learn how to be a better ally for minorities/underrepresented groups, and especially members of the LGBTQ community.
In addition, 2017 marks the second year that KPA has participated in Spirit Day, an international event organized by GLAAD to increase awareness of the issue of bullying of LGBTQ Youth. As part of the event, employees from Queretaro, Bogota, Sao Paulo, Toluca, Linares and Mexicali wore purple to celebrate Spirit Day. For the first time in the region, Kellogg brands also participated in the event. In December, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation awarded Kellogg Mexico its first international certificate, HRC Equidad MX, focused on promoting LGBTQ workplace inclusion throughout the country.
Women of Kellogg (WOK) has also been busy in Latin America this year, with a third anniversary launch celebration. The event highlighted inter-generational connections among Kellogg employees and included several expert speakers and networking events. The group also launched the Eat, Chat, Grow initiative – a monthly event in which Kellogg business leaders share their experiences with small groups of employees over lunch. WOK also plans to continue, and expand, its job shadowing program to help female employees gain more exposure across the company.
In the European region, KEU’s WOK branch held a successful annual conference in Dublin that included workshops, executive speeches and even an improv comedy exercise that taught participants how to overcome fears of public speaking.
WOK has also been active in the Asia Pacific region. To mark International Women’s Day on March 8, WOK chapters across the region collaborated on #beboldforchange, a social media campaign highlighting women’s empowerment. WOK Asia Pacific has also launched new initiatives. WOKMATCH, a nine-month mentoring program, matches junior female employees with senior managers of both genders and is focused on specific issues like work-life balance and communication skills. Another new program, Life Coaching, provides a twelve module e-learning program for senior Kellogg women, covering a range of topics specific to female employees.
These B/ERGs have all received positive feedback and engagement, but there is still work to be done and the engagement of B/ERGs across Kellogg and within the business will continue to grow to new areas. For example, the Young Professionals (YP) group, which focuses on building the career foundation for young employees, held a successful kickoff event in Latin America this June.
KLA’s Young Professionals group focused on several initiatives since its launch, including Commercial Moonlighting, a regional contest for innovative commercial ideas. The contest was open to everyone in KLA and attracted over 60 ideas, from which 6 finalists were selected. The six finalists presented their business case to regional leaders during a “Shark Tank” style event for a chance to have their idea developed. Other key YP initiatives include membership building and KTalks, a series of talks by internal and external speakers aimed at building a cross-generational mindset in the workplace. The first KTalk was held in July and featured three speakers on the topic of agility, while October’s event focused on the importance of maintaining an external focus in business.
2017 a Strong Year for Business/Employee Resource Groups in North America
Over the past year, Kellogg North America’s diversity and inclusion efforts continued to expand and broaden through the energy and initiatives of the region’s many business/employee resource groups (B/ERGs).
In March, the Young Professionals (YP) group held its National Kick-Off event that celebrated the YP vision: “Lead with a global mindset and the soul of an entrepreneur.” Event attendees learned about Kellogg’s new venture capital fund, eighteen94 capital, which is focused on cutting-edge food trends. During the event, attendees were also introduced to the company’s very first investment, Kuli Kuli and its founder Lisa Curtis. It was a well-received event that provided YP members an opportunity to see entrepreneurship in action.
HOLA, the Hispanic focused B/ERG has staged several successful events throughout the year that blend networking, education and culture, including a Cinco de Mayo event and three Spanish workshops focusing on building cultural awareness and competencies. Local HOLA branches have also been active in the surrounding community. The Battle Creek group hosted 30 local students as part of Career Day, while the HOLA Cincinnati branch participated in an Ohio River clean-up event.
The Women of Kellogg (WOK) group has continued to produce engaging events, including leveraging professional development webinars provided by the Network of Executive Women and hosting a session on work-life balance that attracted over 300 participants in May. WOK is also leading a year-long initiative to support the Breakfasts for Better Days program through member-supported events at food banks and food donation drives.
Similarly, KVETs and Supporters continued its involvement with local communities. The B/ERG partnered with the US Marines’ Toys for Tots program to gather donations for families in need. The KVET Grand Rapids branch also worked with non-profit Landing Zone Michigan on a “Welcome Home” event with a special focus on Vietnam Veterans. The group also organized guest lecture events including a session featuring Brigadier General (Retired), Gary M. Profit, Senior Director of Military Programs for Walmart. Finally, the team worked to expand veteran hiring across the country by participating in two career fairs organized by Military Mojo this year.
Meanwhile, Kapable (Individuals with Different Abilities and Supporters) continues making strides toward its mission of creating a more open dialogue around disabilities in the workplace. Over the past year, the group has held a range of events, pursued recruiting partnerships and packaging improvement forums, and worked with local community agencies. Nearly three years after its launch, Kapable continues to support our company’s 2020 growth plan by fostering a diverse, inclusive community of passionate people working to make a difference.
KMERG, our multicultural B/ERG, continues to further its mission to create a more inclusive environment at Kellogg. One of the group’s biggest events in 2017 was the International Food Festival, which welcomed a record-breaking 250 people to sample cuisines from around the world and learn more about the Global Kellogg business. KMERG has opened two new branches in the U.S., with plans to expand elsewhere.
The Kellogg African-American Resource Group (KAARG), continued to build off its strong momentum in 2016 focusing on professional development, with a 2017 theme of “Strategic Influence.” The group kicked off 2017 with a forum by Dr. Jimmy Davis on building strong relationships as a foundation for influence. KAARG has also teamed up with other B/ERGs, like HOLA!, to present best-in-class examples of inclusive marketing. KAARG sessions have helped shape team-building exercises among senior management teams and the group continues to fulfill its mission by encouraging Kellogg to have difficult, but productive conversations about race relations in the workplace.
Finally, K-Pride and Allies (KPA) – an LGBTQ & Allies focused B/ERG – worked to continue outreach activities and expand membership in branches around the country. For the second year in a row, KPA invited all Kellogg employees to participate in Spirit Day, a national anti-bullying event organized by GLAAD. The Kellogg campaign which included employee, corporate and brand engagement internally and externally generated over 84 million impressions for the company in one day. As part of the campaign, Kellogg released an anti-bullying video featuring some of the company’s most popular brand mascots. In Kellogg’s headquarters' state of Michigan, KPA also participated in pride parades in both Battle Creek and Kalamazoo.
Together, these B/ERGs continue to elevate Diversity & Inclusion across the organization, making terrific contributions to help the company achieve its 2020 Growth Strategy.