“With over 270,000 Aramark employees serving millions of clients and consumers globally every single day, we believe Diversity and Inclusion to be a strategic priority for our company with significant people, product, and business outcomes” says Ash Hanson, Aramark’s Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. The company’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusion is clearly driven from the top. Eric J. Foss, Aramark Chairman, President and CEO personally chairs the company’s Diversity Advisory Board, which consists of leaders from across the enterprise and has responsibility for sponsoring and delivering Aramark’s Diversity and Inclusion agenda. Foss feels strongly that Aramark’s people are at the center of that agenda. “When you are in the people business, diversity and inclusion is essential to achieve success,” said Foss. “We want people from different backgrounds, experiences and orientations to come to Aramark and be successful because a diverse workforce enriches each of us and our company,” he said. Aramark’s commitment to a diverse workforce is evident in programs like the Executive Mentoring Program, where every member of the company’s senior leadership team mentors a high-performing diverse manager from the front line and Accelerate to Leadership, Aramark’s campus recruiting program that had approximately 60% diverse hires in both 2014 and 2015.
While commitment from senior leadership is critical, Aramark’s six global Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are evidence of enterprise-wide involvement in the Diversity and Inclusion efforts. “Our ERGs are thriving organizational networks that provide a forum for connection, collaboration, and innovation,” says Hanson. “Our ERG teams work on ideas and projects that impact our people and our culture, but they also have a tremendous impact on the communities in which we serve.” Each ERG has an annual plan that is directly tied to the company’s overall strategy and impacts the workforce, workplace and marketplace through programs like the Aramark Young Professionals ERG’s mentoring program for early career managers and Aramark ImpActo’s work with the marketing team on addressing the growing Hispanic communities the company serves.
Aramark’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts have been well recognized in recent months. The company earned a perfect score of 100% on the Human Rights Campaign 2015 Corporate Equality Index; was named one of the 2015 Top 40 Best Companies for Diversity by BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine; deemed a Top 10 Veteran Friendly Employer by Veteran Recruiting, and was named one of CAREERS & the disABLED magazine’s Top 50 employers for providing a positive working environment for people with disabilities. In addition, Aramark was recently named to DiversityInc’s 2015 25 Most Noteworthy for Diversity list. “We are proud to be recognized among DiversityInc’s most noteworthy companies for diversity,” says Foss. “Our mission is to enrich and nourish lives and we believe that the best way to do this is through the rich mosaic of backgrounds, styles, perspectives, values and beliefs that our associates bring to our clients, customers and communities around the world every day.”
Hanson concludes by saying, “our Diversity and Inclusion strategy is broad and includes everything from workforce diversity and organizational culture to supplier diversity and development. We’ve done some exciting work this past year, but we are just getting started and see the potential to do so much more.”