As a global company, Greif encourages and embraces diversity of many kinds. Diversity is called out in The Greif Way, which documents the key principles that guide the business. Within the organization, a group of Greif colleagues work together as the Greif Women’s Network to enhance the development of women in the company and improve gender diversity. The network is run at the Greif corporate offices in Delaware, Ohio and has 33 active members that includes 27 females and six males. Operating under a formal leadership structure of seven committee members and two executive sponsors, the network organizes regular activities and events that fall within its three main focus areas of development, diversity and networking. In 2018, the network held 12 events which included developmental workshops, guest speakers and networking socials.
“We hope this network can serve as a pipeline that lead members to greater leadership roles within Greif,” said Sheri Hunter who serves as the Greif Women’s Network president.
Greif publicly discloses gender statistics in its annual Sustainability Report. In 2018, the percentage of women colleagues was 24 percent and women in management represented 16 percent. Greif has set an organizational goal of increasing the proportion of women in management positions to 25 percent by 2025.
Reaching this goal is a focused effort at Greif with involvement from the company’s Leadership Council. Some of the deliverables to assist in achieving the 2025 goal include further educating leadership and hiring managers on the benefits of diversity in business, enhancing the strategic approach recruiters use to diversify candidate pools and further expanding the Greif Women’s Network across the organization.
“Enabling a diverse workforce is critical to the execution of Greif’s business strategy. The Greif Women’s Network is pivotal to growing women leaders at Greif,” said Bala Sathyanarayanan, senior vice president and chief human resources officer.
During the past year the network has nearly doubled its membership and also increased its visibility in the community, partnering with the Women’s Leadership Network of the United Way, along with the American Heart Association in the Columbus, Ohio area.
Still in its infancy after being formed in 2016, the network aims to expand beyond Greif’s corporate headquarters, growing throughout the United States and globally.
“We want all women at Greif to feel empowered and supported as we look to further develop the future leaders of our company,” Sheri said.