The heads of Ahold Delhaize USA’s Retail Business Services (RBS) and Peapod Digital Labs subsidiaries have joined CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, a coalition of more than 1,500 CEOs and other top business executives that aims to advance diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace.
With the move, Roger Wheeler, president of Quincy, Mass.-based RBS, and JJ Fleeman, president of Chicago-based Peapod Digital Labs, have committed to cultivating workplaces that support open dialogue on diversity and inclusion, furthering education on unconscious bias, sharing best practices on D&I strategies, and creating and sharing D&I plans with their company’s board of directors.
“At Retail Business Services, we hold ourselves accountable for fostering an environment where all associates feel welcome and know they work for a company where they belong,” Wheeler (left) said in a statement. “In joining the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, we are continuing to care for and support our associates by taking one more step in the right direction. I am proud to be a part of an organization that is committed to creating a work environment where our associates can openly address challenges, present opportunities and share perspectives in meaningful ways that will lead to lasting change.”
The services arm of Ahold Delhaize USA, RBS provides the company’s grocery chains — Stop & Shop, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Food Lion and Hannaford — with support in merchandising, marketing, private label, IT, store operations, pharmacy, sourcing, financial, communications, supply chain and other areas. Wheeler has served as RBS president since January 2018.
As CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion signatories, Wheeler and Fleeman also have pledged to improve corporate performance, spur growth and enhance employee engagement as part of their efforts to foster D&I at their organizations.
Peapod Digital Labs, which provides e-commerce and digital services and innovation to Ahold Delhaize USA’s grocery brands, noted that it has embraced D&I as a pillar of its work environment, ranging from inclusive employee benefits to non-discrimination policies.
“It's important to me that we demonstrate our commitment to diversity through our actions. In fact, this past year emphasized the need to have honest dialogue about challenges that exist in the workplace and to find new ways to act and do more,” according to Fleeman (left), who has served as Peapod Digital Labs president since its formation in May 2018, as well as chief e-commerce officer of Ahold Delhaize USA. “We recognize there is work to do, but this is one step we can take towards creating a work environment where everyone feels welcomed and enabled to do their best work. We want to openly address challenges, share experiences, and collaborate to achieve lasting and meaningful change in the lives of our employees.”
Last month, Ahold Delhaize’s Stop & Shop, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Food Lion and Hannaford chains announced they earned 100% scores on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index, earning designations as a “Best Place to work for LGBTQ+ Equality.” The Corporate Equality Index rated companies on such criteria as non-discrimination policies, employment benefits, demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBTQ diversity and inclusion, public commitment to LGBTQ equality and responsible citizenship.