Griffith Foods offers thoughts on gender parity around the world
International Women’s Day sees considerable activity and yet it can be really important to make time to reflect on the day's action. Developing resources that continue to remind and engage employees on the need for gender equality in the workplace is an impressive strategy to ensure IWD mindsets are continued.
Following Griffith Foods' IWD events in 2019, Griffith Women Leaders (GWL) Taskforce teams came together to share learning, stories, photos and develop an engaging video to further communicate the gender parity messaging from across the entire organization. This video was shared internally at all levels, as well as during a special presentation to Griffith Foods’ Global Executive Team. The video provides a great example of best practice for groups seeking to develop an engaging resource that summarizes and reinforces their IWD activity post IWD.
Launched in 2016, Griffith’s GWL network consists of employee resource groups in North America, Central and South America, Asia and Europe. Local taskforces focus on advancing women in their development and leadership. A key success factor for Griffith’s program is leveraging external resources, products and communication opportunities, like those provided by IWD.
A call-to-action to help drive gender balance
Griffith Foods is a family-owned food product development partner with a powerful purpose: We Blend Care and Creativity to Nourish the World. Driving gender parity is integral to the company’s triple-bottom-line approach to sustainability, including empowering women leaders and contributing to the success of the company and the communities it serves.
IWD 2019 and the Balance for Better campaign provided a great opportunity for Griffith Women Leaders global taskforces to launch a coordinated, global celebration, uniting its teams in recognition of achievements of women leaders and in challenging stereotypes and bias.
Planning and coordinating global IWD events across seven countries
Seeing the opportunity to further the company’s vision to empower and advance women leaders in the organization, the global Griffith Women Leaders (GWL) taskforce members came together to plan and coordinate global IWD celebrations in North America (celebrations in Canada, USA and México), Central and South America (celebrations in Costa Rica, Colombia, and Brazil) and Asia (Japan).
In the lead up to IWD, Griffith hosted global calls to discuss objectives and share ideas for championing the most impactful and region-appropriate local events. Teams posted campaign “teasers” on the company's internal Yammer feed to create excitement. Selfie cards were developed to encourage employees to make commitments and contribute comments, and the teams took photographs of IWD cards and employees' #BalanceforBetter pose. The entire organization was invited to wear purple on IWD and attend the events local to their unit. On IWD,the individual locations offered local, inclusive engagement events to raise awareness and commitment to driving gender parity in Griffith units around the world.
Griffith Canada created opportunities for maximum participation
In Canada, the teams held three separate “tradeshow booth” events to engage all production shifts and allow opportunities for maximum participation across the organization. Griffith asked employees to bring photos and use the IWD Activity Cards to write names of women who inspire them, in order to create a giant collage. The company also asked employees to use the IWD selfie cards to make statements and personal commitments around driving gender parity, incentivized in good humor by various give-aways and cookies. In addition, it asked representatives from the GWN Dragon Boat Challenge event, in support of breast cancer, to join the company at the booth to help recruit an all-women’s team for the charity race.
Griffith USA shared stories and hosted TED talks
In Lithonia, Georgia, Griffith Foods chose to celebrate the stories and profiles of the incredible women leaders at all levels and in different areas of the business including Engineering and Maintenance, Operations and HR. It provided pictures and leadership profiles, including quotes on their achievements provided by the Management teams. The teams also led an organized discussion and workshop on empowering women in families and communities. Griffith Foods’ worldwide headquarters in Alsip, Illinois organized a TED Talk and engaging discussions for its teams, and offered great networking, food and refreshments.
Griffith México, Central and South America hosted parties and events
In México and Central and South America, Griffith offered engaging parties and events for its teams. It provided speaking opportunities for its women leaders to share stories, facilitate networking and discussions, and enjoy great food together.
Griffith Japan honoured Women Leaders in the organization
In Japan, there was a celebration honoring Women Leaders, led by the Japan Leadership Teams and including a special surprise recognition and gift.
Implementing global coordination and local execution
The GWL taskforce incorporated the IWD and #BalanceforBetter campaign theme into its internal employee resource group program to drive meaningful impact. Their groups supported IWD in impressive and flexible ways that enabled global, regional and local relevance, respecting cultural differences.
GWL teams rolled out their IWD campaign to augment internal communication and engagement efforts and to help further the company's work in contributing to a more gender-balanced world.