Creating A Gender-Equal World
Natalia Wallenberg, CHRO, Ahold Delhaize
Out of Ahold Delhaize’s 413,000+ associates, women make up 53% of our total workforce. And when it comes to the 55 million customers we serve each week, the majority are also women.
Women are vital in achieving Ahold Delhaize’s success.
As most of our retailers are well known face-to-face brands, we play a significant and visible role in society. We believe we have a responsibility to set the right example on diversity and inclusion and to help dismantle structures that systematically disadvantage some and advantage others.
Personally, diversity and inclusion has been a passion of mine in every organization I’ve worked in, and generally in life. My goal is to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and included, where everyone can be the best version of themselves, where we can all learn and grow, and solve various problems better thanks to the diverse perspectives and experiences of our colleagues. While we still have much more progress to make, I feel that at Ahold Delhaize, diversity and inclusion is embedded in our thinking and actions, more so than ever.
In 2020, we established a bold ambition for diversity and inclusion across Ahold Delhaize and all of the brands and businesses. We aspire to achieve 100% gender balance at all levels, to be 100% reflective of the markets we serve (as defined by each local brand), and to strive for 100% inclusion, every day.
While I am proud to share that our workforce is currently quite balanced, at 47% men and 53% women, more needs to be done. We haven’t yet achieved our goal of gender balance across all levels, as today we see less women at senior leadership and executive roles. Thus, we need to continue to enable women to grow into leadership and management positions. And we do so by making sure women are heard, encouraged to speak up and share their voices. More concrete examples at Ahold Delhaize include how we drive inclusion at all levels through inclusive leadership training, provide training and development opportunities, balanced slates for recruitment and succession planning, pipeline development with a focus on accelerating underrepresented groups and by having pay parity across all our brands. At the same time, we need to address the ‘confidence gap’, improve our culture of belonging; bring men along the journey and focus on inclusive behaviors like empathy and curiosity.
As a large organization, so involved in local communities, as a leading local place to shop, we have the opportunity to influence the world around us by promoting inclusion, equity, and diversity in our communities for a better and kinder world.
Ahold Delhaize is proud to support International Women’s Day. Let’s use this time of year to remember how far we have come in creating a gender-equal world and continue challenging the status quo. I will #BreakTheBias by fighting for a future that enables equal possibilities for women.