Bimbo celebrates decade-long inclusivity and looks to the road ahead

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

“Belonging is our ultimate goal. When we belong, we can be our authentic selves at work – we don’t have to act differently than we do in our personal lives.” Pic: GettyImages/Sarah Mason
“Belonging is our ultimate goal. When we belong, we can be our authentic selves at work – we don’t have to act differently than we do in our personal lives.” Pic: GettyImages/Sarah Mason

Related tags: Grupo bimbo, Bimbo bakeries usa, ethical, diversity and inclusion, women empowerment

Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU) has released its 2021 Diversity, Equity & Belonging report, highlighting its successes over the past 10 years, and laying out goals for the next three.

BBU is the North American arm of Mexican bakery giant Grupo Bimbo, recognised as one of the most ethical companies in the world for the past six years.

The parent company has established a Golden Rule: to treat each other with respect, fairness, trust and care. It’s Baked for Life policy is also grounded in improving the lives of “everyone we reach”.​ The company is the largest bakery manufacturer in the world, employing more than 135,000 workers and reaching over 100 million households in the US alone.

Diversity is the future

BBU’s report – Our Foundation of Belonging​ – acknowledges the work accomplished since adopting the Diversity, Equity & Belonging function in early 2012, which Grupo Bimbo has rolled out in all 33 countries where it operates.

Since its introduction, BBU’s journey has included the formation of a Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee; hosted annual forums and conferences for women across the country and established a Network of Women (NEW) Partnership; and created a National Racial Equity Action Council (REAC), among other accomplishments.

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Last year’s gains

Racial Equity Action Council

In 2021, BBU’s REAC influenced the company’s efforts to renew people practices, create a culture of Belonging, and promote racial equity in our communities.

Recruiting enhancements

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BBU expanded its diverse slate requirements to include diversity in both gender and race, as well as added its head of Diversity, Equity & Belonging in recruitment strategy and candidate debrief meetings.

Associate development

All salaried associates are now required to take at least 1.5 hours of Racial Equity Strategy Training (REST) annually to continue BBU’s commitment to educate its associates on topics related to its Diversity, Equity & Belonging strategy.

Marketing

BBU pledged to ensure diversity and equity across its marketing, inviting BBU’s Racial Equity Action Council into the company’s marketing assets review process.

Community partnerships

In 2021, the company granted $1m to national and local organisations working to further the education, financial wellbeing and health of Black and minority Americans.

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Supplier diversity

BBU introduced a Supplier Diversity Programme to partner with vendors with diverse experience, viewpoints and backgrounds.

“Our Foundation of Belonging report highlights the progress of our past and our Diversity, Equity & Belonging path for the future,”​ said Fred Penny, BBU’s president.

“Recognising we have much more work to do, we have established goals and commitments for the next three years to ensure that we remain results-oriented. Our goals are ambitious because we know that Bimbo Bakeries USA can be a leader in Diversity, Equity & Belonging.”

The road ahead

Over the next three years, BBU’s aims to increase representation in all levels of its workforce; provide Diversity, Equity & Belonging educational programming and training for all associates, and expanding supplier diversity.

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“We are committed to building a workforce, creating a work environment and establishing a meaningful presence in the marketplace that actively promotes Diversity and Equity, and ultimately achieves Belonging for our associates and within our communities,”​ said Nikki Lang, BBU’s head of Diversity, Equity & Belonging.

Mexico City-headquartered Grupo Bimbo has more than 135 thousand associates, 197 production plants and around 1,700 sales centre strategically located in 32 countries around the world. It produces more than 13 thousand items under 100+ recognised umbrella brands.

In 2022, for the sixth consecutive year, the listed company was one of only two Mexican companies listed among the 135 most ethical companies in the world, a list prepared by The Ethisphere Institute.

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