General Mills Opposes Attempt to Ban Gay Marriage
An increasing number of large, prominent companies are recognizing the value of encouraging diversity in the workplace, even when that involves taking public stands on controversial issues. Case in point: General Mills recently voiced its opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment in Minnesota that would ban same-sex marriage.
On June 13, 2012, the company’s chief executive, Ken Powell, spoke of GM’s opposition to the amendment at a company function. The next day, in a post entitled “There is something we need to discuss” Ken Charles, GM’s vice president for global diversity and inclusion, wrote about GM’s position, on the company's blog, Charles wrote that “[w]hile General Mills doesn’t normally take positions on ballot measures, this is a business issue that impacts our employees.” He went on to elaborate:
I am proud to see our company join the ranks of local and national employers speaking out for inclusion…We value diversity. We value inclusion. We always have…and we always will…We believe a diverse, inclusive culture produces a stronger, more engaged workforce — and strengthens innovation. Inclusive communities are more successful economically as well.
General Mills is the latest in a series of prominent companies that have made public announcements supporting gay marriage. In January 2012, Microsoft’s general counsel published a blog post supporting legislation to legalize same-sex civil unions in Washington state, saying it would be good for business and for the state’s economy. “To be successful,” he wrote, “it’s critical that we have a workforce that is as diverse as our customers."
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