Every year, the Human Rights Campaign releases a Corporate Equality Index to score and rate corporations on how inclusive and equitable they are for the LGBTQ+ community. For the 2022 list, 842 companies made the list to earn a 100% rating and were dubbed the ‘best places to work for LGBTQ+ equality,’ including nine restaurant chains: Chipotle Mexican Grill, Darden, McDonald’s, Papa John’s, Shake Shack, Starbucks, Sweetgreen, and Wendy's. In addition, several foodservice vendors made the cut as well, including DoorDash, Uber, and Yelp.
“Equitable policies and benefits are critical to LGBTQ inclusion in the workforce but alone are not sufficient to support a truly inclusive culture within a workplace,” the Human Rights Campaign said in its report released this week. “Employers recognize that beyond the letter of a policy, additional programming and educational efforts are necessary.”
For Papa John’s, this is the second year in a row that the company has made the list, following the transformation of the Louisville, Ky.-based pizza chain’s culture over the past few years into a people first, equity-minded company.
“At Papa Johns, everyone belongs,” said Marvin Boakye, Papa John’s chief people and diversity officer in a statement. “The first of our strategic priorities as a company – ahead of improving profits, ahead of expanding our footprint – is to build a culture of leaders who believe in diversity, inclusivity and winning. This unique culture, where everyone is encouraged to bring their own flavor to our table, is propelling our business forward. Our commitment to an inclusive workplace helped us lead during the pandemic, transformed our company and established our path for future growth.”
Of course, Papa John’s is not the only company that made the list that has doubled down on equality in the workplace for protected groups. Over the past couple of years, several big-name foodservice companies have created diversity and equity goals, and although many of these policies seemed centered on gender and racial diversity, a renewed focus on all protected groups.
At the Informa CREATE conference this past October, Chipotle chief diversity, inclusion and people officer, Melissa Andrada encouraged “getting uncomfortable” about tough topics around equity and inclusion and not resorting to using cliched buzzwords.
“It’s okay to be uncomfortable and it’s okay to not say the right thing,” she said at the time.
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