Celia R. – Diversity Champion in Kellogg Latin Americaa
For Celia R., lessons on the importance of Diversity & Inclusion started young, as the daughter of a dedicated English teacher.
“From an early age, I learned that everyone can have the opportunity to make a difference,” she said. “But we have to include everyone to make all the difference we can.”
Those early lessons have come in handy now that Celia, Corporate Affairs Supervisor and this year’s KLA D&I Champion, is helping to lead the integration of Kellogg and Parati, a Brazilian food company acquired in 2016.
“We needed to be able to combine the best of both companies to create one unified culture. We also needed to engage our leaders to understand the important role they have in supporting the acquisition,” Celia said.
In addition to our communication strategy, keeping all employees updated on changes was a crucial part of the transition.
But Celia adds that it is important to not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk of D&I.
“To talk about D&I and how all people are welcome is not always enough. We need to treat them as well as we can, put ourselves in their shoes and open our doors to new opportunities, to give people different choices and learn from them,” she said.
While Kellogg’s Brazil offices are working to expand their roster of D&I programs, Celia notes progress is already being felt. This year, Kellogg’s Brazil invited women across the company to watch the Balance for Better event, a celebration of Women of Kellogg’s (WOK) 5th anniversary, broadcast live from Querétaro, Mexico. The event struck a chord in a country where women still face many barriers to equality.
“It is something different for women here from S?o Louren?o do Oeste to watch the SVP & President of KLA talking about gender equality and seeing that a woman is there, fighting to empower other women in the company,” Celia said.
Now, Celia and her team are continuing to push forward on D&I efforts and have plans underway to strengthen the presence of B/ERGs like WOK across Kellogg in Brazil.
“I know we have a long way to go,” Celia said. “But, as a millennial, I think by living the values of integrity and respect, we will naturally become more inclusive and more diverse. We must see others and their values in order to learn more and do more as a company.”
Carey H. – Diversity Champion in Kellogg North America
As Sr. Director of Sales, KNA, Carey wears many hats at Kellogg. But one role that has been especially rewarding has been his active involvement in many aspects of D&I. This includes his efforts to expand diversity in the recruiting pipeline through partnerships with select universities and diversity organizations like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
“It’s truly a passion,” said Carey, this year’s KNA D&I Champion. “It is rewarding to see the exceptional talent that our campus teams recruit to join our robust summer intern program, and then even more fulfilling seeing many of these students transition to high performing full-time employees with the company,” he added.
By helping to build a more diverse workforce from the ground up, Carey believes Kellogg can cultivate the future leaders the organization needs to meet the business trials of tomorrow.
“D&I challenges the organization to ideate, respond, and execute differently to meet the needs of the diverse customers and consumers we serve,” he said. “It is essential for hiring managers aiming to fill open roles, to pursue candidates that not only fill gaps in capabilities but also existing gaps in perspectives.”
Carey’s commitment to D&I goes well beyond just recruiting for diverse backgrounds. He is one of ten people in the KNA region trained as a facilitator for unconscious bias training and has been a dedicated advocate for D&I across North America. Carey also proudly serves as co-chair for the PDC3 (People Development Committee), which is responsible for developing strategies that support the growth and development of senior level sales roles. Diversity is a key component of the many strategies deployed by the PDC3.
For Carey, these D&I efforts collectively have the power to impact the entire business.
“Diversity & Inclusion is critical to the success of any organization,” he said. “In fact, I view Diversity & Inclusion as a strategic business imperative in which all employees’ differences are welcomed, valued, and considered a competitive advantage.”
Zuleikha C. - Diversity Champion in Kellogg Europe
Zuleikha K., this year’s D&I champion for KEU and a Project Management Officer in Manchester City’s I.T. department, has always been passionate about diversity issues. It is a trait she ascribes, at least in part, to her own personal background. “I grew up with diversity around me and have met lots of people from varying backgrounds and experiences,” she said. “Additionally, I’m an ethnic minority and a woman and have felt some of the pain points around lack of inclusion due to this.”
That life experience, including an early focus on social responsibility from her elder sisters, has helped her champion D&I values in all aspects of her work at Kellogg. Encouraged by a manager, she first became involved in Kellogg D&I programs about two years ago. Since then, she has organized an unconscious bias training session for her department, worked with students with visual impairments to make Kellogg a more accessible product, and is a member of the K-Pride & Allies B/ERG. She also leverages flexible working policies to free up her Fridays for volunteer work with an NGO that supports refugees.
But for Zuleikha, the true power of D&I goes beyond the typical narrative of hiring for diverse backgrounds or supporting nonprofits. Instead, she says, D&I is something that can improve the workplace for everyone.
“D&I is about building more flexible and nurturing structures that allow people to be their best,” she said. “There is so much that people can offer, and sometimes our structures at work are better at putting people in boxes than bringing out the best they have to give.”
While Zuleikha may go above and beyond the call of duty to support D&I, she has encouraging advice for those looking to get more involved.
“Find something that you love to do, a skill or talent and get support from your managers,” she noted. “I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve had very good managers here. Speaking from experience from working at past companies, I’ve never had this kind of support at other companies.”
Belinda T. – Diversity Champion in Kellogg AMEA
Belinda Tumbers, Managing Director, Kellogg AMEA Snacks, is a rare breed amongst her peers. Not only was she the first female Managing Director in Kellogg’s 90-year history in Australia, she also had an improbable start on her journey to the executive suite. She started out as a receptionist at an advertising agency and after rising through the ranks, was eventually headhunted by Kellogg to join their marketing team. She has spent the last 20 years at Kellogg, in various positions and locations around the world.
In addition to her current role of expanding the snacking market in Asia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Belinda is dedicated to helping more women move up the career ladder. Approximately 12% of CEOs in the fast moving Consumer Goods industry today are female, leaving plenty of opportunity for more diverse representation in these key leadership roles.
“I am a very driven person and I love seeing our business do well. What drives me equally is being a role model to women who aspire to take on more senior leadership roles. Being able to give other women someone they can look up to is what makes me do what I do every day,” said Belinda. She was recently on the EY Women In Leadership Steering committee in Australia and in 2017, Belinda was presented the New South Wales Telstra Business Woman of the Year award.
Her leadership style is focused on creating the right conditions to help employees feel heard, as well as being unafraid to take risks. “I have a fundamental policy of open and transparent leadership,” Belinda said. “I operate with an open door because I think it’s very important that people feel they can come forward and share ideas or business concerns. I also feel that businesses thrive when boundaries are pushed and people challenge the status quo and conventional norms. I live by the saying, ‘get comfortable being uncomfortable,’ as this pushes you into new territories and ensures you are always growing.”
Her diversity efforts have begun to show results. Whilst Managing Director in Australia, management roles shifted from 90% male to a 50/50 split along gender lines, with greater age diversity. Under Belinda’s leadership, more women were promoted to positions of leadership, and ethnic diversity also increased in the business unit.
Now entering her third decade at Kellogg, Belinda shows no signs of stopping. “It’s important to continue pushing the equality agenda, to get more women into senior roles so they can make a bigger contribution. We need to provide them with a platform to be seen and heard and the rest will take care of itself" she said.