Three years into our dedicated work to Stand Up Against Racism, Giant Eagle remains steadfast in our commitment to create equitable opportunities for our Black Team Members, business partners, and neighbors. Even though we are always mindful of being at the beginning of a journey, we are encouraged by the progress we have made against our goals since 2020. And we are motivated to continue making meaningful progress in the months and years ahead.
As an organization, it is incredibly important that we continue to transparently demonstrate the progress that we’re making to Stand Up Against Racism to our communities, neighbors, partners and Team Members. Following are updates on our work. Click below to read more about our goals:
While we adhere to our commitment to always hire or promote the most qualified person for a role without regard to diversity, we also must be deliberate in recognizing that Black people have been historically underrepresented in Giant Eagle leadership and work to close the gap. We selected 14 percent as the goal because it reflects U.S. Census national representation when including people who identify as two or more races, one of which is Black. With this in mind, our focus is on ensuring we have a diverse candidate pool when hiring and promotion opportunities arise, clearing barriers to opportunity, and ensuring Giant Eagle is a place where Black leaders feel like they belong.
We started this fiscal year with 5.37 percent Black representation in leadership and are currently at 6.35 percent. The total number of Black leaders in our company during this time period increased by 14. Our goal for the upcoming fiscal year is to reach 10 percent Black leadership representation.
While we are excited by the growth in representation, much work remains to achieve our overall 14 percent goal. We continue to focus on identifying and attracting future Black leaders from our communities, including universities and colleges. We are strengthening our partnership with HBCUconnect.com, the largest network of students and alumni from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. We also partner with leading workplace inclusion organizations such as Vibrant Pittsburgh, exploring educational offerings and how they can be incorporated into Giant Eagle’s continued training curriculum.
We recognize that to have a diverse slate of qualified candidates, we must also provide career development opportunities to our existing Team Members. To this end, in July 2022, the Giant Eagle Black Leadership Development Program successfully completed its first cohort. This initial effort resulted in 50 percent of program participants earning a promotion. Participation in the second cohort is strong with 17 confirmed participants from across the organization. We also launched a new mentorship program with 17 percent Black participation in its initial year, with plans to increase Black representation in future years. Additionally, we have built on the success of our Supermarket Regional Inclusion, Equity and Diversity Councils with the introduction of a GetGo-focused council and the forthcoming launch of a Pharmacy-focused council. We are also hosting quarterly diversity leadership planning sessions with key areas of the company. This is a process through which we ensure we’ve identified high potential diverse talent and that they are being developed appropriately. While we will always hire the best candidate for the role regardless of diversity, these efforts ensure we continually expand the diversity of our talent community.
All our internal Team Member development work is strengthened through key external partnerships, highlighted by our sponsorship of Giant Eagle participants in leadership programs of The Advance Leadership Institute (TALI), a Pittsburgh-based organization with a mission to cultivate Black executive leadership to strengthen companies, institutions and communities.
We completed a compensation equity study in 2021. It showed no systemic diﬀerences in pay related to race or gender throughout our company. We remain committed to a recurring cycle of compensation equity studies, the next of which is planned for the upcoming fiscal year.
We made significant strides in understanding which of our existing food access solutions have been impactful to our neighbors. As we experienced growth of the Giant Eagle Mobile Market and our targeted free grocery delivery initiative, we conversely struggled with Guest acceptance of our Community Pickup Point Program. For this reason, we have replaced the Community Pickup Point Program in the communities it had served with the more robust and accommodating benefits of free grocery delivery and have seen positive results.
Still only 16 months since its inception, the Giant Eagle Mobile Market offers more than 550 fresh food items and grocery staples to eight Pittsburgh-area neighborhoods with significant Black representation, including: Rankin, Manchester, Homewood, Larimer, Sheraden, Mt. Oliver, Homewood South and Braddock. Across those communities, we serve approximately 150 people each week. To maximize its impact, the Mobile Market hosted community wellness activities with Giant Eagle Pharmacy and other partners to offer an array of services ranging from COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots to information about Veteran services. More recently, the Mobile Market expanded its impact by becoming the only store of its kind in Pennsylvania that accepts WIC as an authorized payment.
Our targeted free grocery delivery service also continues to be well-received by Guests. By waiving delivery convenience fees for Guests across four communities, including Pittsburgh’s Hill District and Larimer neighborhoods as well as the Youngstown and Maple Heights areas of northeast Ohio, we are creating incremental access to food for more than 200 people each week.
As we look toward the next 12 months, we are challenging ourselves to both improve these programs for existing Guests and introduce them to new communities. We are learning from each Guest experience and benefiting from the guidance of community partners such as Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Catapult Pittsburgh, Just Harvest and others.
Giant Eagle is actively seeking out and building partnerships with more diverse suppliers. This work is critical because we can leverage our buying power to invest in the growth and development of diverse businesses and therefore the economic well-being of the communities in which we operate. We have added 34 new Black-owned business partners since June 2020, including products from Booker’s Soul Food Starters and Casablanca Foods and partnerships with HBCUconnect.com, Pack Elephant and Ten10.
In our first three years with this reinvigorated focus on Supplier Diversity, we have learned a great deal about the needs and challenges Black-owned businesses face. As a result, in the past 12 months we have worked diligently to strengthen our external business relationships and internal Supplier Diversity Councils to better reflect how we support Black-owned businesses with a focus on the success those business partners experience working with Giant Eagle.
While it is imperative that our progress be measured in various quantifiable ways, we must not overlook our responsibility to ground this work in an inclusive working and shopping environment. Ultimately, we will only truly be able to end racism when we successfully build bridges between one another. This requires that each of us takes responsibility for building our own understanding of and empathy for our differences and individual life experiences. To that end, we continue to conduct annual Team Member inclusion surveys to understand the unique perspectives of our diverse workforce and the sense of belonging each Team Member feels. We nurture our Team Members through an ever-growing framework that begins with a true sense of ownership among company leaders. In recent months, the entire Giant Eagle executive leadership team participated in a learning session led by a diversity expert.
This framework extends to other developing resources throughout the organization, including new inclusion, equity and diversity store champions, continued efforts to identify future Black leaders and growing members in our Business Resource Groups, which experienced 23 percent growth in the past 12 months and now have 1,606 participating Team Members.
Additionally, we continue to challenge ourselves to acknowledge the challenges our Black Team Members, Guests and neighbors face, recognizing that we must have the courage to talk about difficult events and share our perspectives.
We committed to Stand Up Against Racism in the wake of the tragic killing of George Floyd in 2020, as well as so many other African Americans. These murders led us to deeply reflect on racism and social injustice, and as such, we recognized the need to provide a safe platform for all Team Members to express their feelings in the wake of these tragedies. Most recently, we held multiple, optional sessions in January and February of this year where Team Members could express their grief for the killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee and show support for each other.
Although we remain steadfastly committed to doing what we said we’d do, we also continuously recognize that we are barely taking our first steps. There is still so much learning and hard work ahead of us. But we are hopeful for the future and look forward to being able to report on more progress. We thank all those in our organization and across our communities who make an impact and help us along our own journey.