Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

One of our Cornerstone Values at Gordon Food Service® is Everyone is Important. It’s something we hope comes through in our day-to-day operations. We are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within our organization and the communities we serve. We aspire to listen, learn, create and support lasting solutions that are equitable and that strengthen an atmosphere of dignity and respect.

“If we value different perspectives, we don’t have to choose to live in one world or the other. We can exist in multiple worlds and draw value from them all.”

— Khumbo Croft, Chief People Officer

Empowering People

A Seat for Every Voice

Building a Culture That Lasts

By offering targeted initiatives, such as the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Internship, Veterans, Women’s Mentorship and Kindred Programs, we aim to attract and support individuals from underrepresented communities.

These initiatives help build and retain a culture of inclusion that values diverse perspectives and experiences and attracts talented individuals from all backgrounds to join the Gordon Food Service team.

Supporting Veterans

We have organized job fairs and invited speakers to our United States Distribution (USD) areas, and highlighted the inspiring journey of a female veteran who began working at Gordon Food Service. By taking those steps, we have demonstrated our unwavering commitment to the military veteran community. We actively explore additional avenues to attract, retain and enrich the employee experience for veterans. These efforts provide veterans with direct access to employment opportunities, valuable insights, role models and specialized support, creating an inclusive and supportive environment for their professional growth and well-being.

“Gordon Food Service has been instrumental in my success in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. The company’s benefits and flexibility have assisted me and my family while serving almost two decades and deploying multiple times in support of OIF and OEF over the years well as other stints away from work for the military.”

— Dale Tate, Transportation Director Allegheny

“I couldn’t have asked for a better company to transition into civilian life with! I have been blessed with an awesome team and continue to be impressed by the culture of the business. I am extremely grateful for my experience so far!”

— Danielle Cortez, Training and Business Transformation Coordinator

HBCU Program

Our partnerships with HBCUs have experienced remarkable growth. Starting in Florida, the program has expanded to include our Texas and Southeast divisions, while also establishing a new team in the Carolinas.

Through these partnerships, we engage with HBCUs, exchange knowledge, provide leadership-development training and identify prospective talent to foster the growth of our organization. What initially began with a single hire in 2021 has now blossomed into an additional seven summer interns hired in 2023. We take pride in our collaboration with over nine HBCUs nationwide that all actively participate in the program. The success of our recruitment initiatives and future job placements highlights our strong commitment to the program.

A Warm Place to Begin Again

Our Kindred Program provides valuable assistance to forcibly displaced individuals in the US who are looking for employment. In collaboration with community organizations, this program facilitates job placements for displaced persons from Sudan, Afghanistan, Colombia, Venezuela, Congo, Somalia and Syria. We acknowledge that relocating to a foreign country can be a daunting experience, which is why we offer translation services, transportation arrangements, job coaching and cultural awareness training. Seven of our divisions actively support the program currently with an urge toward expansion.

Mentoring Women

By collaborating with Tent and Catalyst, we proudly stand among several organizations supporting a mentorship program dedicated to displaced women. Our commitment involves mobilizing our employees to provide valuable professional guidance, assistance with resume writing, job interview best practices and insights into the local job market. When displaced women find rewarding jobs, they achieve financial independence, make valuable contributions to the economy and feel a sense of belonging.

Collaborating For Change

Encouraging Conversation and Change

Creating a Culture That Values, Supports Employees

Our internal community programs and events, like the North America Women’s Conference, Inclusion Summit, Truth and Reconciliation training, Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) partnership, Inclusion Starts with I and DEI Speaker Series, provide our employees with opportunities to learn, share ideas and gain insight.

These programs help us foster a sense of community and support within our organization while also promoting a culture of inclusivity. We believe in creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and supported, and we are dedicated to supporting our internal community in this way.

Women in Trucking

The Women in Trucking program is designed to support and empower women in the transportation departments at Gordon Food Service. Piloted in the US, the six-month mentoring program pairs aspiring female transportation professionals with seasoned employees who will serve as mentors. As mentors, they will provide personalized guidance and support for career growth. Monthly group meetings offer networking opportunities and guest speakers to enhance their professional development. Through this initiative, Gordon Food Service is committed to fostering a supportive community and promoting greater gender diversity within the industry. We believe in the power of mentorship and remain dedicated to empowering women to thrive and achieve their goals within our organization.

Collaborating for Change

Our new partnership with Indigenous Works will provide our employees with valuable resources and tools. This collaboration includes monthly webinars on Indigenous workplace inclusion and truth and reconciliation while offering thought leadership and learning opportunities. Together, we will make meaningful strides toward a more inclusive and equitable future.

Fostering Inclusion

Our regular programming initiatives include Black History, Women’s History, Hispanic Heritage, National Day of Truth and Reconciliation awareness, and more. We offer an enriching platform for inspiring guest speakers, thought-provoking articles, discussion guides and engaging activities. These impactful segments foster knowledge, challenge preconceptions and contribute to a workplace that deeply values diversity and actively fosters inclusion. By removing barriers and driving positive change, we aim to cultivate a culture of acceptance that embraces the strengths of every individual.

Engaging Events Foster Workplace Culture

With both internal and external keynote speakers, we touched on many important topics: Finding and Owning Your Voice, Women Across Generational Work Styles, The Power of Mentorship, Expanding Your Network and Learning Into Bravery. We also highlighted our customers and the daughters of Gordon Food Service employees in a perspective video. This internal conference is an integral part of our effort to educate and inspire women and men to foster a workplace culture that is characterized by equality, diversity and inclusivity.

Expert Insights and Life Experiences Shared With Employees

We prioritize cultivating partnerships with distinguished keynote speakers as part of our Inclusion Starts with I speaker series and our monthly programming initiatives. Our carefully curated roster of speakers encompasses a diverse range of backgrounds, ensuring a comprehensive and expert perspective on crucial topics such as: supplier diversity, Black History Month, cultural intelligence, etc. These speakers lend their expertise to enrich our events and provide valuable insights to our audience.

Employee Education

Setting a Place for Support

Developing Our People

There are numerous initiatives in place to encourage employee education and development. DEI roundtables facilitate open conversations about important topics. We discuss diversity, our biases, unlocking potential, silence and microaggressions. Our Development Dimensions International (DDI) offerings provide targeted training and actionable takeaways. We have a large group of employees participating in action teams throughout Canada and the US to help drive awareness, learning and development within their respective groups.

DDI Training Sees Growth

Our certified internal DEI team delivers tailored DDI training, offering employees a customized learning journey. This comprehensive training covers crucial areas like creating inclusive environments, and inclusion by taking action and valuing differences. By investing in this training, we create an inclusive workplace where employees feel valued and supported.

Our action team leads actively contribute to regular programming initiatives and champion DEI efforts in the workplace. This provides valuable development opportunities for team members and extends reach across all divisions in the US and Canada. By encouraging individuals to embrace discomfort and learn from one another, thought-provoking conversations that promote growth and understanding result within our organization.

“During my time as a DEI action team lead, I have learned so much. I have learned to be bold, how to advocate for others who may not have a voice or a seat at the table, and how to respectfully challenge and influence those around me. Leading the team, I have learned the value of harnessing the skills and interests of each team member to move our initiatives forward.”

— Kathleen White, Manager, Customer Marketing US Distribution Shared Services

Aiming for an Inclusive Workplace With Open Dialogue

Our DEI roundtable discussions provide open dialogue workforce, addressing workplace bias and microaggressions and promoting career advancement for under-represented groups. These sessions create a safe environment for participants to share their own life experiences. They aim to positively impact employees through understanding. It promotes empathy and inspires positive change within organizations. We strive to build an inclusive workplace culture where every individual feels empowered and valued.

Elevating the Onboarding Experience

The newly developed Jumpstart program aims to create an exceptional onboarding experience for our new employees. At Gordon Food Service, we understand the importance of a smooth transition into a new role, which is why Jumpstart has been thoroughly designed to provide invaluable resources, guidance and support. By pairing our experienced team members with new employees, this program offers a unique opportunity for knowledge exchange and mentorship. This allows our newest team members to navigate our company culture, policies and procedures with confidence.

Developing Our Leaders

At Gordon Food Service, leadership development is a top priority. We empower individuals at all levels to excel through comprehensive programs and initiatives. This bridges the readiness gap, leading to more internal promotions and organizational growth. With tailored learning tracks, personalized coaching and a focus on innovation, our leaders are equipped to navigate the changing business landscape. Together, we drive our vision forward for continued success.pulvinar dapibus leo.

Supplier Diversity

Measuring Impact at the Table

Providing Access and Opportunities

Having a diverse group of suppliers drives competition, provides multiple channels for sourcing and promotes innovation. Our portfolio includes products from businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities which enables us to meet demands from operators and consumers who want to support these businesses.

We track diversity statistics to identify areas for improvement and remain committed to recognizing and supporting supplier partners who share our values. Our Vendor Involvement Process (VIP) program is one way we celebrate outstanding efforts and partnerships.

Our organization stays on top of advancing diversity initiatives and has established the VIP program as a way to uphold our commitment to supplier partners who share our values.

Acknowledging and supporting the endeavors of diverse suppliers is something we are proud to do. Their unwavering determination, commitment and support necessary to thrive does not go unnoticed. We also actively facilitate the journey of these suppliers by helping them establish connections and gain visibility.

Our customers value the ability to easily identify diverse suppliers and their products. We introduce diverse suppliers at Gordon Food Service shows, leverage social engagement channels and incorporate diverse products into the Gordon Ordering™ product selection. By doing so, we enable seamless connections between our customers and these valued suppliers. Diversity allows us to grow in a way that’s sustainable as it creates many more avenues for sourcing and encourages origination.

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