BBU Hosts 2022 Diversity, Equity & Belonging Forum

Last month, more than 150 Bimbo Bakeries USA associates and guests gathered in Charleston, SC for our 2022 Diversity, Equity & Belonging Forum. This event served as a celebration of BBU’s 10-year Diversity, Equity & Belonging journey as well as an opportunity for associates to learn and discuss Diversity, Equity & Belonging topics and what the journey looks like moving forward. The event sparked energy among attendees and inspired them to become culture carriers, bringing their learnings from the Forum back to BBU to share with their fellow associates and teams.

Associates heard from senior leaders who discussed the evolution of Diversity, Equity & Belonging in the past decade and how we can build on that momentum to continue enhancing and improving Diversity, Equity & Belonging to ensure every associate feels that they belong.

“The results that we have accomplished are a testament to the associates who took this on, really show they have a passion for it. And I think that's going to be the case going forward. I was reflecting on this, this morning if we had had this meeting 10 years ago, maybe even five years ago," said Fred Penny, President. I believe this room would look completely different, and not for the better. This is a much more diverse room. Maybe the most diverse room that we've had since we've had these kinds of meetings. It would be wonderful one day to have the entire organization of BBU look more like this. And I think we can accomplish that at some point.”

As a part of the Forum, attendees listened to two keynote speakers discuss Diversity, Equity & Belonging in the workplace. Luvvie Ajayi Jones, speaker, bestselling author and podcast host, opened the Forum with a compelling discussion about being a “Professional Troublemaker”, encouraging associates to shift behaviors to disrupt the status quo and make positive changes in the workplace. Dondeena Bradley, VP of Health & Wellness Strategy Innovation at Mars, closed out the Forum by speaking with our associates about happiness and well-being in the workplace and how they lead to a sense of belonging.

Forum attendees had the opportunity to participate in several breakout sessions planned by members of BBU’s BIGs (Business Inclusion Groups). These sessions featured both internal and external speakers and allowed associates to learn and discuss a variety of Diversity, Equity & Belonging topics in more detail, including gender identity, all abilities in the workplace, racism and racial bias, men in the workplace, health disparities among Hispanics, identifying your personal brand, veterans in the workplace, impostor syndrome and introversion and conflict resolution in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

Additionally, a portion of the Forum was dedicated to an awards ceremony celebrating associates who have made significant contributions to BBU’s Diversity, Equity & Belonging journey.

Forum attendees participated in a Day of Impact, an initiative that encourages associates to give back to their location communities. Associates spent time volunteering with several organizations in the Charleston area by helping local residents in need through various volunteer activities with the following organizations: The Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, The Green Heart Project, Charleston Beach Clean Up and Lowcountry Food Bank.

Finally, attendees who are members of BBU’s BIGs (Business Inclusion Groups) participated in 2023 planning sessions to identify their strategies for the upcoming year as well as the resources needed to continue expanding the impact of our BIGs across BBU.

We are #BBUPROUD of the strides we have made in the Diversity, Equity & Belonging space so far and cannot wait to see that our journey has in store over the next 10 years!

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