For several years now, the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ civil rights group in the U.S., has awarded Nestlé Purina with a perfect score on its Corporate Equality Index. The organization’s national benchmarking survey scores businesses on their corporate policies and practices relating to the LGBTQ+ community.
While we are proud of our perfect score, we’re prouder of the hard work we’ve done to become a welcoming, inclusive employer.
We do this because it’s the right thing to do from a moral and business perspective. We firmly believe that all employees — regardless of their sexual or gender identity — deserve to feel welcome at work.
And a workforce made up of people with diverse backgrounds, beliefs and talents brings greater innovation and creativity, helps us understand our consumers, and makes it easier to hire and retain talent. That means creating an LGBTQ+ –friendly workplace.
Here are just four of the many ways we’re supporting our LGBTQ+ employees— and the LGBTQ community at large:
We’ve been able to attract and retain LGBTQ+ talent by having policies in place such as non-discrimination workplace protections and domestic partner benefits. We also offer transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to guarantee [GL1] all our employees can access the care they need.
Equality and diversity are critical factors for success if we want to be able to engage with our associates, customers, and communities. We must continue to attract diverse talent to survive and thrive in today’s environment.
Create Allies Across the Organization
We empower all our employees to become strong allies for their LGBTQ+ friends and employees. Our Diversity & Inclusion Ambassadors play a key role in supporting these efforts. They are associates from a mix of different business units and a wide variety of backgrounds and do things like host internal conferences and speakers.
Make a Broader Footprint in Your LGBTQ Community
We know that to be true allies, we need to think about supporting our LGBTQ+ employees beyond the workplace. We want to build a more inclusive environment everywhere.
Purina associates, friends and family have a tradition of volunteering at PrideFest in downtown St. Louis near our corporate headquarters and in many of our factory communities.
Besides being a lot of fun, participating in PrideFest shows that when it comes to supporting our LGBTQ+ employees we are committed to action, not just rhetoric.
Purina has also been supporting Vivent Health (formerly known as Saint Louis Effort for AIDS) through its PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) program since 2013. In that time, we’ve donated more than $90,000 to help people living with HIV/AIDS keep their pet companions in their homes through medical treatment. Donations from Purina help supply people living with HIV/AIDS with pet food, medications, veterinary and boarding services for their pets.
Create Consumer Packaging and Marketing Campaigns That Represents LGBTQ+
Like volunteering at PrideFest, featuring LGBTQ+ families and individuals in our marketing and packaging signals to the world that Purina is serious about supporting the LGBTQ+ community. We believe the diversity of pet owners should be reflected in the images we use on our packaging and in our marketing campaigns. And we are in a position to do just that.
Creating LGBTQ+ friendly workplaces is smart because it makes sense for your bottom line. More importantly, it is the right thing to do, and it makes you, and your employees feel good. Want to come work with us at Purina? Check out our job openings at: jobs.nestlepurinacareers.com.
Rodney White, Senior Director Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Nestlé Purina
Rodney White has worked in Human Resources at Purina for more than 30 years. Rodney has worked in Purina factories and at headquarters in areas such as employee relations, safety and training, and strategy. He now provides leadership and strategic direction for all diversity, equity and inclusion efforts for Purina in the United States. Rodney serves on the board for two local non-profit organizations: VOYCE whose mission is to educate and empower individuals and their families for quality living across the continuum of long-term care and Cultural Leadership which develops a diverse group of youth into social justice changemakers who advocate for equitable and just practices. Recently, Rodney and his dog Brooklyn volunteered to participate in Purina’s official launching of an employee-led Touch Therapy dog program in response to increasing demand for therapy dogs by organizations serving youth and families.