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02/10/2021

Ahold Delhaize USA Companies Commit to Diversity & Inclusion

Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Peapod Digital Labs Commits to Diversity & Inclusion CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion
Peapod Digital Lab and RBS' commitment to diversity and inclusion comes straight from the top: parent company Ahold Delhaize.

JJ Fleeman, president of Peapod Digital Labs, the digital and e-commerce engine of Ahold Delhaize USA’s banners; Roger Wheeler, president of Retail Business Services (RBS), the grocer's services company; and Meg Ham, president of the retail conglomerate's Food Lion supermarket banner, have signed on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, a CEO-driven business commitment to further diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Fleeman and Wheeler join a coalition of more than 1,500 CEOs who have pledged to create workplace environments where diverse experiences and perspectives are welcome, and where employees feel comfortable and empowered to address diversity and inclusion.

“It's important to me that we demonstrate our commitment to diversity through our actions,” noted Fleeman. “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. 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.”

“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,” said Wheeler. “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.”

“At Food Lion, our value of care is at the center of everything we do, and one of the ways we care for our associates is by nourishing a sense of belonging,” said Ham. “Joining the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion coalition gives us a greater opportunity to share and learn best practices from organizations who share our commitment to growing a diverse and inclusive environment. The towns and cities we serve are diverse, and a diverse workforce makes us a better neighbor.”

In common with other signers of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, Peapod Digital Labs aims to work collaboratively to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace, which in turn will boost corporate performance, spur growth and increase employee engagement. Peapod Digital Labs is joining other pledge signers in committing to four actions:

  1. To continue to cultivate workplaces that support open dialog on complex, and sometimes difficult conversations about diversity and inclusion.
  2. To implement and expand unconscious-bias education.
  3. To share best-known as well as  unsuccessful actions.
  4. To create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with the company’s board of directors.

Peapod Digital Lab, RBS and Food Lion's commitment to diversity and inclusion comes straight from the top. As parent company Ahold Delhaize notes on its website: “With more than 380,000 employees in 10 countries, our associates reflect the local communities we serve and the people we do business with. In 2017, we turned diversity [and] inclusion ... from an HR concept into a tangible business goal by embedding this work into everything we do. Our Global Diversity and Inclusion Network created a global framework to serve as a compass for our brands to use locally.”

Chicago-based Peapod Digital Labs is the digital and e-commerce engine, and Quincy, Massachusetts-based RBS is the services company, of grocery retail group Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize and No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of thetop food and consumables retailers in the United States. As the innovation lab for the U.S. banners Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Co., Hannaford, and Stop & Shop, Peapod Digital Labs promotes digital and e-commerce innovation, technology, and experience. RBS leverages the scale of those banners to drive synergies, and provides expertise, insights and analytics in support of their strategies with such offerings as information technology, pharmacy, not-for-resale, store, financial, legal communications, supply chain and people systems services. Salisbury, North Carolina-based Food Lion has more than 1,000 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 68,000 associates.

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