In this IBIE blog post, Robb MacKie, President & CEO of the American Bakers Association offers reflections on diversity and inclusivity in the baking industry. The American Bakers Association (ABA), is a co-owner of IBIE, along with BEMA and in partnership with the Retail Bakers of America.
As bakers, we applaud the richness of diversity and the differences that make our country a beacon to the world. America has always been more than a geographic location. Since its founding and despite its flaws, America is a promise. A promise of opportunity for success, of equality for all. The promise established many of today’s baking companies as leaders in the hearts of their then-immigrant communities. The promise led many of our industry’s companies and employees to achieve great accomplishments. However, for many of our country’s citizens, the promise has gone unfulfilled.
The baking industry’s diverse workforce includes people of all races, nationalities, and religions. Our successes directly reflect the hard work and passion of hundreds of thousands of skilled, dedicated employees supplying ingredients and equipment, and baking the products which feed our country and the world.
While our workforce is extremely diverse, our senior management ranks are an area that requires attention and work. We must foster an environment where we, as an industry, can have constructive and purposeful conversations around the very raw and vexing issue of racial equality. The first step toward action and ultimately results is an honest dialogue with an open mind and an open heart. In order to heal the symptoms, it is critical to understand and address the underlying causes.
It is our responsibility, as a leading food manufacturing industry, to do better. The dedication of our workforce matches the dedication of our sector’s leaders to ensure the equal treatment of everyone in our industry and our country. We are committed to helping the baking industry have a constructive, action-oriented dialogue. We are committed to improving our industry’s diversity from the plant floor to the board room. Most importantly, we are committed to upholding America’s promise for all of its citizens.
This guest blog post has been provided by the American Bakers Association, a voluntary trade association dedicated to representing the interests of the wholesale baking industry before the United States Congress, state legislatures, and international regulatory authorities. Formed in 1897, ABA tackles key issues on behalf of grain-based foods and initiates key reforms to make positive impacts on the industry; ABA is committed to promoting public policy that is in the best interest of the baking industry.