Tom Greco, president of Frito-Lay
North America, launched last night’s opening reception. When it
comes to advancing inclusion in the workplace, the cpg/retail industry has made
"unbelievable progress," faces "undeniable challenges” and has "unlimited
opportunities.” Greco went on to outline D&I as a business imperative, not simply a "nice-to-have."
Senior management must have a consistent focus on D&I to sustain the momentum already created, Greco said, noting there is still a disconnect between traditional career paths and today’s multi-generational employee. "Multicultural and multigenerational differences require us to change some of our practices,” he said. "Employees have to see more women succeeding in leadership positions in a company.”
To excel, companies must better define the steps needed to ensure women advance to leadership positions and excel when they get those positions Companies’ top leaders must understand the business case for diversity and inclusion exists and that diversity without inclusion is always destined to fail.
Women, he said, must build strong networks and be willing to take risks when making career moves. "Accept a job that takes you out of your comfort zone,” he advised.
The changing landscape in America is
giving multicultural groups more buying power, with even higher rates of
increase projected in the future. Remarks on this key shift were featured in a dinner panel discussion with Sue Dodsworth, chief diversity officer of Kimberly-Clark
Corporation and Grant LaMontagne, senior vice president and chief customer officer of The Clorox Company.
To further diversity and inclusion, Kimberly-Clark has nurtured "a culture of accountability," Dodsworth said. "It's about understanding diversity as a good business practice. You have to have 100 percent backing from your CEO. It's not about the 'right thing to do.' It's about the business."
Added LaMontagne: "I knew
if Clorox was going to be successful, we had to be representative of the people
we were selling to. We
had to change the way we work and make diversity and inclusion a business
imperative. This is the time for diversity and inclusion -- our [industry’s] health
and welfare are at stake.”