Kraft-Heinz says its diversity hiring goals are ‘no quotas’

The Kraft Heinz Co.’s diversity goals for hiring multicultural employees are “no quotas,” the food and condiment maker’s board of directors told shareholders on Friday.

Kraft Heinz’s Diversity, Equity and Belonging initiative aims to have 30% of its salaried US employees be “people of color” and 50% of its global management positions be filled by women by 2025.

“The goals that we’ve laid out for the company are not quotas,” company officials told shareholders in a statement at its annual meeting.

“They are goals that we have specifically designed to say that our business we expect to represent and look like and be similar to the communities where we operate,” it added.

The company’s board was responding to a question from conservative shareholder-activist Sarah Rehberg, a program coordinator at the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project. The project buys stock in companies to try to purge America’s boardrooms of woke bias.

Ms. Rehberg asked the board to explain how the company could have a zero-tolerance discrimination policy while favoring some races over others in its hiring.

“How does Kraft Heinz reconcile its race- and sex-based hiring quotas with its alleged zero tolerance for discrimination?” Ms. Rehberg asked.

After the meeting, Ms. Rehberg accused the company of playing word games.

“I don’t know what else setting percentage-based hiring goals within a particular time frame is if it’s not a quota,” she said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, Kraft Heinz is just another woke company claiming to be against race- and sex-based discrimination when that’s exactly what it’s doing through its alleged nondiscrimination policies,” she added.

Kraft Heinz was formed in a 2015 merger of Chicago-based Kraft Foods and Pittsburgh-based Heinz.

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