On Wednesday June 13 General Mills CEO Ken Powell made a brief announcement that General Mills as a corporation is in opposition to the marriage amendment that will be on the Minnesota ballot this fall. His decision is explained and discussed in this blog post written by Ken Charles, Vice President of Global Diversity and Inclusion for General Mills.
While, General Mills doesn’t normally take positions on ballot measures, this is a business issue that impacts our employees.
I am proud to see our company join the ranks of local and national employers speaking out for inclusion. We do not believe the proposed constitutional amendment is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy – and as a Minnesota-based company we oppose it.
We value diversity. We value inclusion. We always have … and we always will.
While we all have our own beliefs and feelings about this issue, and we all need to respect the beliefs and values of each other, but what makes the decision of General Mills significant is that they are basing it on the business case, saying that for them to continue to attract and retain the best possible talent of all cultures and orientations, it is imperative that everyone feel valued and included in the society where they live. By constitutionally excluding any group from fully participating in the local society, General Mills believes they will not be able to continue attracting and retaining the best people to make their corporation succeed.
As expected, the praise and backlash from those opposing and supporting the amendment began immediately. I have my beliefs and values about this amendment, and as a member of the UST community that publishes the conviction that “we strive to create a vibrant diverse community in which, together, we work for a more just and inclusive society,” I will be voting my beliefs this fall and I urgently encourage everyone else to do the same. I also applaud Ken Powell, General Mills, and Ken Charles for their courage to take a stand for inclusion.