Kroger provides inclusion training to all management and many hourly associates, and most work locations (stores, plants, distribution centers and offices) have a Cultural Council. These councils, comprised of a diverse group of associates, work on projects that reflect Kroger's core values of safety, integrity, respect, honesty, diversity and inclusion.
They also provide leaders with feedback and facilitate
communication with associates to champion company
Kroger is equally committed to retaining talented associates and providing career development opportunities to help motivated associates realize their advancement potential within the company. Career development plans for women and people of color are reviewed annually by our senior management team as part of the company’s successor planning. Kroger requires managers and department heads to report quarterly on the recruitment and promotion of women and people of color. Today, 51% of all associates are female and 34% are people of color. 51% of exempt associates are female, and 22% of exempt associates are people of color.
ASSOCIATE RESOURCE GROUPS (ARGS)
Associate Resource Groups provide our associates the opportunity to connect with people of similar backgrounds or interests, and they help associates feel a part of a community at their workplace, too. ARGs also offer opportunities for networking, professional development and community involvement. Kroger has 10 ARGs at our headquarters in Cincinnati: African-American, Alliance of Kroger (LGBT and Allies), Asian, Cancer Awareness, Disabilities Resource Care, Kepasa (Hispanics and Latinos), Parents, Veterans, Women's EDGE and Young Professionals. ARG chapters are growing in a number of our retail supermarket divisions across the country, now up to 30 groups.
In 2016, Kroger received a score of 95 out of 100 on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The CEI is sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign and rates companies based on their employment policies related to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender associates.
ARGs Build Connections and Create Opportunity
In 2016, Kroger associates formed the Disabilities Resource Care Associate Resource Group to offer an internal support network for those who have family members with disabilities. This new ARG focuses on empowering Kroger associates with disabilities or associates who have dependents with disabilities an opportunity receive support from others who share similar backgrounds and experiences.
Here are a few other ways our ARGs helped build connections and improve our business last year:
- Women's EDGE hosted the first-ever National Women's EDGE forum with representatives from every Kroger division across the company. The agenda focused on inspiring participants to make a difference for our associates, customers and communities.
- The Cancer Awareness ARG hosted a Lung Cancer Breathe Stair Climb in partnership with the Cincinnati chapter of the American Lung Association.
- Kepasa donated school supplies and provided snacks to students at the Santa Maria Back-to-School event in support of the English as a Second Language Program.
- The Veterans ARG sponsored its annual Honoring Our Heroes 5K Run, raising more than $15,000 for local charities that support our veterans.