I&D in consumer goods and grocery - Nestle case study

Date : 22 November 2021

Gharry Eccles
VP UK & Oceania, Cereal Partners Worldwide

Ali Beresford
Inclusion & Diversity Manager, Nestle

What do the employee networking groups look like at Nestle?

AB: We have six employee network groups. Each one focuses on a particular community. What sets these groups up for success is that they’re led by our passionate people who want to make a difference. They’ve each got senior sponsors, and they’re an employee-focused safe space too.

These groups do two things. First and foremost, they create a sense of community, a sense of belonging, and a safe space for those under-represented groups to connect. And then, secondly, they drive change through the business. They keep us honest; they challenge us, they tell us what they want our plans to be, and what changes they want to make in the business. For me, that insight is the most important thing to come out of these groups. They have helped us shape policy, engage key stakeholders, and remain focused.

On top of this, we also have inclusion and belonging champions, who represent a business area and look more broadly at the work we’re doing in inclusion and belonging in that area.

How do you integrate outside perspectives and expertise into your I&D agendas?

GE: We’re keen that our networking groups don’t become echo chambers. We actively seek ‘outside in’ perspective partnering across the grocery industry with other manufacturers and retailers on this agenda. This enables us to amplify our efforts across the whole industry

How Nestle and CPW are leveraging external partnerships

-Using the recommendations in Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter to build an antiracism plan

-Collaborating with culture change partners Utopia and MindCubed to hold listening groups and build inclusive leadership capability.

-Partnering with PSALT and the #10,000 Black Interns programme to bring in ethnic minority talent

-Using the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index Framework to build LGBTQ+ inclusion plans

-Collaborating with GroceryAid and other grocery businesses through our sponsorship of the D&I in Grocery network to provide mentoring and education opportunities.

- Joining organisations like MSDUK and Women Owned, which represent ethnically diverse and female business owners, to extend I&D efforts to supply network  

You’ve done an excellent job at extending your reach to your supply network. Could you talk a bit about that?

GE: Our philosophy is to be ‘a force for good’. We must have thousands of suppliers across all our businesses, and the procurement and supply teams are doing fantastic work to encourage inclusion across that network. They’ve committed to increasing the amount of spend that the business uses on different, diverse suppliers.

Two-thirds of Nestle’s business is in factories, which typically have a different employee demographic and workplace culture to corporate offices. How are you encouraging I&D in the factory settings?

AB: Factories provide a very different work experiences to offices, and I know lots of people can relate to the challenge this presents around I&D.

We’re rolling out what we call ‘respect at work’ training across all our sites. Even throughout the pandemic we’ve committed to providing this training. We focus on creating a local culture of respect and dignity, working in partnership with our trade union colleagues, which is vital to us. We’re also piloting inclusion committees to proactively work together to avoid issues from arising in the first place and to change culture over the long term.