This month Kroger has invited customers and associates to celebrate Women’s History Month through a collection of inspiring experiences and stories, uplifting women in the company and across its communities and supply chain.
“Kroger believes in supporting women in our business and where we do business,” said Stuart Aitken, executive sponsor of Women’s EDGE (associate resource group) and senior vice president of alternative business. “Kroger invests in women’s success and advancement every day. We employ more than 250,000 women and partner with a growing number of nearly 500 women-owned businesses in the U.S. Kroger also sources products that are Fair Trade Certified as part of our Simple Truth private brand, supporting women-owned cooperatives and businesses internationally.”
Throughout Women’s History Month, Kroger is highlighting the impact and influence women have across its business through celebratory events and empowering women through storytelling.
Empowering Women through the Supply Chain
Kroger’s global supply chain is powered by women on all levels. Members of the company’s Our Brands team traveled with Fair Trade partners in February to Africa to spend time at the Sorwathe Tea Estate in Rwanda, where the retailer sources its Simple Truth Organic Chai and Simple Truth Earl Grey Black Tea. During this celebratory month, Kroger encourages everyone to take time for tea–and other products powered by women–like Simple Truth Orange Blossom Honey and Private Selection® Raw and Unfiltered Wildflower Honey, both produced by Dutch Gold Honey, a woma
n-operated business in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. These products, as well as thousands of other items from women-owned businesses, are available in Kroger Family of Stores across the country, as well as through Ship, Delivery and Pickup.
Kroger also welcomes everyone to travel to the fields of the Sorwathe Tea Estate through a mobile virtual reality experience to explore a day in the life of the women behind Simple Truth tea, who are accomplishing firsts in their families and cultivating change in their communities.
In 2018, Kroger awarded funds to the Assopthe Tea Cooperative to build a preschool and implement a meal program. During the team’s trip last month to Rwanda, they celebrated the opening of the new youth learning center with the students and educators.
Empowering Women through Career Advancement
More than half of Kroger’s workforce are women, each offering a unique personal story and career journey like Lisa Black, who’s worked as a professional driver for the company’s Ralphs division for 28 years in Los Angeles.
“I’m passionate about identifying, developing and advancing talent across our dynamic organization. I also admire and appreciate all the women who are leading positive change in our business and society,” said Lanell Ohlinger, vice president of talent development. “My 19-year career with Kroger is an illustration that we are a company that supports the development of women, whether you’re pursuing a STEM, retail, corporate, human resources, manufacturing or logistics profession. At Kroger, you can have a career with promise.”
Kroger is again celebrating International Women’s Day by illuminating its downtown Cincinnati headquarters with the Venus symbol, displaying its commitment to uplifting women in the workplace.
Empowering Women through Storytelling
Every Monday in March, you can visit KrogerStories.com to read a feature story about an inspiring woman who embodies Kroger’s purpose to Feed the Human Spirit™. The series will feature women across the company leading change and making a difference.
Empowering Women Financially through Business Development
Kroger supports an increasing number of nearly 500 women-owned businesses across the country and is recognized by the Billion Dollar Roundtable for reaching more than $1 billion in spending with certified minority- and woman-owned suppliers. Kroger is also a part of the Omni50, which is a list produced by Omnikal featuring the top 50 corporate and government buyers of products and services from inclusive and diverse suppliers.
The company is participating in and sponsoring the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) Summit & Salute event on March 11-13 in Houston. Angel Colón, Kroger’s senior director of diversity, will attend the event to accept WBENC’s prestigious America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises award.
“As the nation’s largest certifier of women-owned businesses, WBENC is proud to partner with corporations like Kroger that are dedicated to supporting a diverse supply chain and providing opportunities for women entrepreneurs,” said Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC president and CEO. “We created the Women Owned Logo to help consumers use the power of the purse to identify and support women-owned businesses. For International Women’s Day and every day, we encourage everyone to #BuyWomenOwned.”
This spring, Kroger will host a Supplier Inclusion Innovation Summit in Cincinnati, presenting the opportunity for women- and minority-owned emerging brands, businesses, and startups to engage and pitch their products and services to Kroger buyers, category managers, and leaders.