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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Supervalu Inc. here earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign's sixth annual Corporate Equality Index, which rates U.S. employers on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) employees, consumers and investors. The company is the first U.S. grocer to achieve the Index's highest score, and is one of only 195 major U.S. companies to earn the top rating of 100 this year.
"As a leading food retailer, it's critical that our company mirror our customer base - a richly woven tapestry of diverse cultures," said Jeff Noddle, Supervalu's chairman and c.e.o. "Embracing diversity and creating a culture of inclusion is a key component of our business strategy."
To help achieve top status this year, Supervalu said it implemented initiatives such as:
- Creating a diversity and inclusion department to ensure the company is proactively addressing issues of diversity and inclusion.
- Naming a v.p./diversity and inclusion to elevate the importance of the function and underscore the company's commitment to diversity values.
- Launching a Corporate Diversity Council - a cross-functional team of senior leaders who meet on a regular basis to discuss and implement diversity and inclusion strategies.
- Adding four new associate-led affinity groups this year alone, expanding the company's total to 24. These groups, which include PROUD and In-sight (GLBT), the Black Leadership Network and the Hispanic Mentoring Group, provide Supervalu associates with a support system and positive forum for professional and personal development.
- Stepping up education, awareness-building, and communications efforts such as a diversity and inclusion newsletter and a dedicated diversity and inclusion microsite on the companywide Intranet.
- Creating a supplier diversity department with a dedicated staff to form partnerships with minority firms and make it easier for minority and female-owned companies to do business with Supervalu.
Darnell Allen, Supervalu's v.p./diversity and inclusion, said the company's efforts "range from the workplace to the in-store shopping experience to the partnerships we have with our vendors and suppliers. Diversity and inclusion energizes associates, creates a competitive edge and drives improved performance."
Released each fall, the Corporate Equality Index rates major U.S. employers on a scale from 0 to 100 percent on their treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, consumers, and investors.