As companies across the retail sector have continued the advancement of racial equity and diversity, Bimbo Bakeries USA has announced a new initiative to help in the fight and create lasting change. Part of this new strategy includes a $1 million commitment by BBU, a member of the Grupo Bimbo family of companies, to national and local organizations furthering the education, financial well-being, and health of minority Americans. Additionally, the company formed a Racial Equity Action Council and appointed Nikki Lang as its first Head of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging.
“I’m excited to lead the Diversity, Equity, and Belonging initiatives for BBU,” said Lang. “Our intentional effort to improve from the inside will help BBU continue to improve equity internally and in our communities.”
Lang has been with the company for 14 years. In her new role, she will focus on BBU’s overall Diversity, Equity and Belonging (DE&B) strategy, lead the development and implementation of DE&B programs, and provide support and guidance to the Racial Equity Action Council and Business Unit DE&B Councils. She will also partner and collaborate with leaders across BBU to ensure that the principles of diversity, equity, and belonging are embedded in all of the company’s decision-making.
Lang previously served as BBU’s Director of eCommerce and has served on BBU’s Diversity, Equity, and Belonging Steering Committee for the past three years.
“Over the last nine months, it became clear that creating sustained and meaningful change in this area requires dedicated leadership and resources,” commented Fred Penny, President of Bimbo Bakeries USA. “Nikki was the ideal person for this role, and I look forward to the progress her leadership will bring. These are important first steps on our renewed Diversity, Equity & Belonging journey, but this is a long-term commitment. We hope these steps will be a catalyst to encourage others to consider how they can contribute to racial justice and equity in their communities.”
Bimbo Bakeries has been focusing its efforts on strengthening the culture of its organization through more widespread representation and retention of its diverse employees, according to a press release. The company has also been promoting racial appreciation while addressing explicit and implicit bias.
“Last year, the U.S. experienced a reckoning moment with racial equity and injustice,” added Penny. “BBU acknowledged our responsibility to do more within our organization and our communities. We have taken the last nine months to engage and learn from our diverse associates and thoughtfully consider how we could have the broadest impact.”
As part of its efforts, BBU’s $1 million commitment will have $500,000 dedicated to United Negro College Fund (UNCF), one of America’s largest and most effective minority education organizations, having helped 500,000 students earn college degrees since its founding. Through the partnership, BBU will be able to provide scholarships and internships, and participate in the UNCF Student Leadership Conference.
“This generous gift will impact many talented and deserving students seeking to get to and through college,” said UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax. “We thank BBU for the investment and look forward to growing our partnership to support our students and historically Black colleges and universities. Support like this is critical, especially during the ongoing health pandemic we are all facing.”
The other $500,000 half of its commitment will go to nonprofit organizations throughout the country that focus on education, financial well-being, and health. These include The Lebron James Family Foundation, 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, and The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia.
“It is important to us that our partnerships extend beyond a financial donation. Our Racial Equity Action Council has been instrumental in identifying organizations where BBU and our associates can make a real difference. We look forward to identifying additional partners and beginning our work with these organizations,” continued Penny.
The initiative put in place by Bimbo Bakeries USA also includes allocating a percentage of its brands’ marketing budgets toward minority-owned media partners.
To help drive the initiative forward, the company has created its Racial Equity Action Council composed of Black and ally associations from across the nation. The Council’s first steps include:
How will this initiative continue to drive forward change for Bimbo Bakeries USA? Keep reading Deli Market News as we keep you updated.