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News & Blogs: 5 Questions

5 Questions with Mark King

Friday, July 8, 2011  
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Head of Diversity and Inclusion
Kellogg Company

"We're looking at ways to further strengthen our D&I accountability."

Mark King has been head of diversity and inclusion for the Kellogg Company since February 2011. He also is a member of the Kellogg Global Human Resources Leadership Team. King joined Kellogg’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion as a business partner in June 2009.  He was promoted to senior diversity and  inclusion business partner in July 2010. Prior to joining Kellogg, King served as director and head of diversity and inclusion for Brinker International. Previously he served as a management consultant with The Kirby Resource Group and with Sara Lee Branded Apparel (now Hanesbrands Inc). King received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics from High Point University. He and his partner, John, reside in Chicago.

Kellogg’s executive management committee developed a global strategy to help Kellogg continually improve in creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. What are the goals if the D&I strategy?

Our vision is "To build a stronger Kellogg by fostering an inclusive culture that leverages diversity as a competitive advantage." For us, this is more than a lofty vision statement. It’s a business imperative that requires focus and long-term commitment. Our goal is to successfully integrate diversity and inclusion into all areas of the business  -- workforce, marketplace, community and supplier. We aren’t there yet, but we’re committed to the journey.

What are some of Kellogg’s most recent D&I initiatives?


Our employee resource groups have been very active this year in providing great consumer-related insights that are extremely valuable for our business. Kellogg has six ERGs representing various demographic groups and perspectives that we are increasingly leveraging for feedback and innovation. Our Women of Kellogg ERG has been particularly active in this space.

How has Kellogg been able to build accountability for D&I goals throughout the organization?

This is still an area of opportunity for us. We have D&I goals built into our annual performance plans, but connecting goals to daily actions requires a combination of continued education and awareness, along with targeted programs that can help our folks better understand how D&I can be leveraged as a strategic advantage. For 2012, we’re looking at ways to further strengthen our D&I accountability.

You like to say that Kellogg is "strengthened by diversity, advanced by inclusion.” How so?

For us, diversity is "the what” and inclusion is "the how.” You can have diversity in an organization, but without having an inclusive environment where diversity is sought out and leveraged as a competitive advantage, you’re frankly missing the point. We believe diversity makes us a stronger company, and having an inclusive Kellogg ensures we will continue to leverage that diversity to be the company of choice -- not only with employees but with customers and consumers.

The Kellogg Company has nearly 160 NEW members. Why is Network participation seen as valuable?

Kellogg knows that for us to better reflect our customers and consumers, we need to be really good at recruiting and retention. Professional development is a key component of our diversity and inclusion strategy, and the Network of Executive Women is a terrific resource for us. We can largely attribute our membership growth from a couple of efforts: Increased awareness and targeted allocation of memberships. We’ve worked over the last couple of years to increase internal awareness of our sponsorship of the Network. This increased attention has caused many people to raise their hands and ask for opportunities to attend NEW events and get involved locally. We’ve also partnered with leaders throughout the company to recommend individuals to receive memberships in support of their professional development plans, a move that aligns with succession planning and retention efforts.



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