Recently, I had the opportunity to join Kellogg Company in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month as its keynote speaker for a Networking and Development Day, hosted by ¡Hola! – Kellogg’s Business/Employee Resource Group (B/ERG) dedicated to creating a vibrant work environment that empowers Hispanic employees.
As a business consultant and motivational speaker, I frequently travel and present to companies like Kellogg, sharing my journey and passion for creating a culture of inclusion. I was excited to see firsthand how Kellogg empowers its diverse workforce to be their authentic, best selves.
During my visit, someone asked me how I found the courage to take big steps throughout my career. It reminded me of a moment in high school when I told my counselor I wanted to study political science in college. He asked me, “What if you fail?”
“Oh, but, what if I succeed?” I thought.
That counselor inspired me to be successful, to seek out opportunities to find work that is meaningful and worthwhile and, to share my experiences to help inspire others. I speak to inclusion because it’s a personal passion of mine – I want others to start asking, “What if I succeed?”
Fostering inclusion in the workplace ensures that companies don’t miss out on opportunities. Inclusion makes the workplace more meaningful and worthwhile for employees – and it makes for a more profitable bottom line.
Real inclusion isn’t about how many people of color, LGBTQ, or women employees you have on the payroll. The question is: how many of these people have a meaningful seat at the table? How many are invited to provide input in how the business is run? Are their opinions considered when making important workforce and business decisions?
These are hard questions, with no easy answers. But, companies must make diversity and inclusion a real priority in all facets of their business. At Kellogg, its B/ERGs are a valuable resource for innovation and idea generation, helping them to remain agile and relevant with its employees and ultimately consumers.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, and throughout the year, Kellogg continues to live its values because it recognizes that a diverse workforce and supplier base produces unique ideas and better reflects the consumers it serves. Diversity and inclusion isn’t just the right thing to do, but it also creates a competitive business advantage.
Since the early days of Kellogg, its founder W.K. Kellogg, fostered diversity in the workplace and understood that running a good business also means doing good for society. Today, Kellogg continues to recognize the importance of equity and inclusion – creating an environment where everyone’s ideas, views and perspectives are sought out and valued. And, while they have made progress in diversity and inclusion, the company knows it still has work to do.
Angel Gomez is a business consultant specializing in strategy, leadership development, executive coaching and motivational speaking. He holds Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, graduating with honors and distinction for his academic, research and speaking achievements. He is based in Chicago.