In the world we want tomorrow, society is inclusive and diverse.
And it begins with an unfiltered look in our own mirror.
At Mars, we’re committed to fostering an environment where our more than 130,000 Associates feel valued and respected, regardless of any visible or invisible differences. Where they’re comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work, where they enjoy equal opportunities to be heard, where they feel supported to reach their full potential.
And while inclusion & diversity (I&D) has long been a business priority, we knew we could do better. So in 2020, we recognized the need to accelerate our commitment to I&D, both in our workplaces and communities.
“Sustained change requires sustained action. Action requires education, allyship, analysis of our processes and procedures and a commitment to deconstructing and adjusting our systems, where needed. And the time for action is now.”
– Ibtehal Fathy, Global Inclusion and Diversity Officer, Mars
We started by listening, asking our Associates and our leaders for their input. Then, we looked deeper, auditing our talent pipelines, policies and procedures, and our I&D strategy, which rests on four pillars:
- Ensuring all our leaders are visible and accountable champions of I&D
- Embracing a culture of belonging that values and harnesses the power of differences
- Harnessing diverse groups of Associates and leaders that represent the diversity of the Mars business
- And equipping our business with cohesive policies, processes, practices and training – including unconscious bias programs – that support our I&D aspirations
These pillars have led to three key goals that will help us to deliver our I&D ambitions:
- Gender Balance: We aspire to achieve gender balance across 100% of our leadership teams. Learn more about Full Potential, our platform for gender equity and our #HereToBeHeard global listening study.
- Workforce Representation: We believe our leadership teams and Associate representation should reflect the race and ethnicities of the labor force in the markets in which we operate. Our ambition includes:
- Increasing racial minority representation among our management population in our Mars CPG businesses in the U.S. by 40%. We will also promote expanded opportunities for all racial minorities across our total workforce.
- Strengthening our senior leader representation from Emerging Markets by 20%.
- Inclusion – We want to achieve at least an 80th percentile ranking, as measured by the Mars Associate Survey (MAS), which also serves as our internal inclusion barometer by tracking Associate sentiment on this statement: ‘My company treasures diverse opinions and ideas.’
With our pillars and goals to guide us, we’ve been making a number of course improvements.
Where we are today…
- 41% of Mars leaders are women and we’ve advanced the number of gender-balanced (defined as between 40% and 60% of any one gender) leadership teams from 43% to 50% over the past year.
- We’ve expanded leadership development training for women across our regions and functions, based on our flagship “Women Leading Purposefully” course designed with Harvard University.
- We’ve recently launched a pilot program, “Advancing Female Leaders,” and are placing a dedicated focus on functions that have underrepresentation of women, including Supply and Digital Technologies.
- We’re committed to gender pay equity across our global workforce, more than half of whom are women. To ensure we continue to deliver equal pay for equal work for male and female Associates across our global businesses, we’re continuing to review our pay practices.
- We made a $500 million multi-year commitment to increase wages, benefits and workforce diversity across Mars Veterinary Health North America, the nation’s largest employer of veterinary professionals and employer of more than 45,000 women.
- We’re advancing our global, flexible hybrid working practices for all.
- We’re expanding U.S. childcare benefits. Additionally, we’re improving a range of family support benefits, such as more paid parental leave in the U.S. and the U.K., as well as actively exploring ways to enhance parental leave support globally.
- We’ve rapidly expanded our Associate Assistance Program (AAP), a mental health-support helpline available in over 60 countries.
- We’ve expanded Banfield Hospital’s emergency assistance fund – the Better Together Fund – to include grants that support Mars Veterinary Health Associates in situations of domestic violence.
- In leadership representation, we’ve seen an almost 5% increase in both our racial/ethnically underrepresented groups and Emerging Market talent among our global management population.
- In the U.S., we’ve made significant improvements in hiring ethnically under-represented groups, such that nearly one of two external hires are from this population.
- As we continue to act, we’re intentionally leaning on new and expanded strategic partnerships, including the National Hispanic Corporate Council, McKinsey’s Black Leadership Academy program, ASCEND (pan-Asian) and others.
- To further advance our work related to racial equity, we’re working with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Expanding Equity Program and with PolicyLink, a U.S. research and action institute.
- We’re advocating for equal opportunity for quality education and addressing the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color and Black-owned businesses through our partnerships with NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) and HBCUs.
- We’re proud to partner with The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change “The King Center.”
- Within our Veterinary Health businesses, we taking action including joining the Diversify Veterinary Medicine Coalition, inclusion training and mentorship programs, and a partnership with Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine.
- While we have yet to meet our goal, driven by our broad efforts to engage Associates, we’ve seen an overall increase to the 65th percentile (when comparing on a like-for-like basis from 2020), with improvement in Mars Associate Survey (MAS) inclusion scores across different segments of our business.
- To continue gaining expert insight and advice, we’ve recently expanded our partnerships with world-class non-profit Inclusion and Diversity organizations including Catalyst (Gender), Out & Equal (LGBTQ+), Stonewall (LGBTQ+), Tanenbaum (Religion), Disability:IN and Gender Fair.
- We now have more than 50 Associate Resource Groups (ARGs), which we’re leveraging to create spaces and communities for Associates of every race, ethnicity, culture and background to freely and safely engage and express themselves and act as an ally.
- We’re reimagining our workplace practices, policies and habits to optimize productivity and Associate health and wellbeing.
Moving forward, we…
- Intend to keep listening, learning and doing more to drive awareness and action on gender equity as part of our Full Potential platform.
- Are fully integrating our I&D principles and guidance into our enhanced global talent processes.
- Are investing in inclusive and objective talent processes to attract, retain and grow diverse talent such as introducing new standards for interview panel diversity requirements and reviewing leadership competency development programs.
- Are also investing in learning programs across our senior leaders, managers and all Associates to help continue our learning journey as a business.
- Want to continue to ensure all our Associates, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, disability, veteran status, age or sexual orientation or identity, experience inclusion on a day-to-day basis.
At Mars, we want to ensure everyone in our workplace and communities is heard, valued, and given equal opportunity thrive within our four walls – and in every aspect of their lives.
Together, we’re working to make sure everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.