The CorpComms Awards 2021 awarded Greene King the ‘Best Diversity and Inclusion Initiative’ prize for its ‘Calling Time on Racism’ action plan, which was partnered with the Slave-Free Alliance.
The action plan saw a reverse mentoring programme where every member of Greene King’s executive board was assigned a mentor from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, to see how diversity and inclusion impacts team members at all levels, across all divisions in the business and the hospitality sector as a whole.
Actions speak louder than words
Greene King corporate affairs director Greg Sage said: “We are delighted to win this award and see our early work recognised.
“We know there is still much more to do and our journey to becoming a truly anti-racist organisation is only just beginning.
“Actions speak louder than words and so we spent time listening to our colleagues, customers and wider stakeholders and coming up with a detailed, target-led initiative that we will work towards over the next few years as we strive to create meaningful change in our company, our industry and wider society.”
Greene King has also pledged to combat modern slavery within a wider supply chain and has already changed the names of four pubs which were linked to racism (three called the Black Boy and one called the Black’s Head), as well as an employee led race diversity group, called ‘Unity’, which was to sit alongside two existing groups, an LGBT network and a Women’s network.
Working towards a more diverse future
Another pledge included a five-year agreement with the Prince’s Trust, which saw funding increase by a third and investment in projects to raise the percentage of young people from BAME backgrounds Greene King employs through the charity from 24% currently to 40% by year five.
The strategy was created as part of a response to company founder Benjamin Greene who, having handing over the brewery to his family, went on to profit from transatlantic slavery in the 1800s and argued against its abolition.
Sage added: “While we can’t change what happened 200 years ago, we are determined to use our position as an employer of 40,000 people to affect what we do now and for the future."