The injustice and disheartening turmoil unfolding across our country this week has once again brought into the light an unacceptable reality Black Americans face every day — discrimination in civic life, the workplace, education, healthcare, housing and every aspect of the American experience.
Our national mourning is made even more tragic by the fact that the racism and violence evidenced in George Floyd’s senseless death is neither new nor rare. We acknowledge that this tragedy has added even greater heartache during a time already marked by unprecedented challenge and loss.
With a mission to support and advance women in their careers, our thoughts are especially with women of color for whom workplace barriers are even more pervasive and persistent than for White women. Women of color struggle against subtle racism, blatant prejudice and dangerous indifference. Research from the Women in the Workplace study shows women of color often lack the support of their managers and employers despite possessing both the talent and ambition to excel. In the Food Industry, where women now hold one in five C-Suite positions, only one in 25 is held by a woman of color.
That is unacceptable. It must change. WFF is committed to be an agent of that change. We will never fully realize our mission of accelerating the advancement of women if some women are excluded from that progress.
To that end, WFF will continue to partner with the Food Industry to prioritize - gender diversity, including racial diversity, and provide programming that furthers that goal. We will work tirelessly to increase understanding of unconscious bias, expose microaggressions that harm women of color, advocate for making the “only” experience rare and help build a circle of support for Black colleagues, further utilizing our ongoing Women of Color Community of Interest (COI) as one vehicle of support.
We also recommit ourselves to being trusted, active and courageous allies who speak up and step up to combat racism, sexism and the ignorance and indifference that allow them to continue. Ultimately, we look to the future with hope because we see people joined in pursuit of a common goal as a powerful force for change. We hope you will continue to work with us to accelerate the pace of that change.
- Women’s Foodservice Forum