Waving the Pride Flag

By Chelcy Walker
Jun 21, 2019 9:45 AM ET
Blog

We’re committed to being a Force For Good at General Mills, and we believe that means being a force for inclusion, too.

We believe every employee should bring their authentic self to work every day, and we’re working to build a culture of belonging that embraces and celebrates employees’ differences.

And this week, if you drive past our world headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, you’ll spot a new symbol of our ongoing commitment to make General Mills a beacon of inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community.

This morning General Mills’ LGBTQ+ employee network group, Betty’s Family, partnered with our Veterans Network group for a monumental Pride flag ceremony. It was a historic moment for General Mills, as we’re among the first companies in Minnesota to fly the rainbow flag at their headquarters.

“After so many years of being a visible champion of the LGBTQ+ community, this will be the first year that we’ve raised the pride flag on our campus,” says James Momon, senior director for Global Inclusion at General Mills. “While this may pale in comparison to some of the things we’ve done in the past to support the LGBTQ+ community – like our vocal opposition to the Minnesota anti-marriage equality amendment – flying the Pride flag at our corporate headquarters for the first time is a really visible way to symbolize our ongoing commitment, and to have some of our veterans display this level of allyship is very meaningful.”

Our track record in standing up for the rights of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees – and for supporting the rights of the LGBTQ+ community overall – has been recognized over the years with several awards. As of 2019, we’ve earned a perfect 100% on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for 14 years running.

And we’re a long-standing advocate for the Equality Act, federal legislation that would provide the same basic protections to LGBTQ people as other protected groups under federal law. It’s in our DNA to stand for diversity and inclusion, because we believe it makes us – and the world – better.

Kaylee Pohlmeyer, brand experience manager for Cheerios and president of Betty’s Family, helped lead the flag-raising ceremony. She says the partnership of Betty’s Family and the Veterans Network for the ceremony meant something special for her.

“As a member of the LGBTQ+ community that was raised in a military family, to have the Veterans Network team up with us for this special flag ceremony is beyond words for me,” says Pohlmeyer. “I am honored, grateful and most importantly proud to work at General Mills all days, but especially today.”

Pohlmeyer adds, “This is General Mills standing up and saying, not only do we recognize and support you inside these walls, but also externally for all to see. General Mills has made a significant impact on the fight for equality, but this simple gesture of raising the flag says to our community, ‘I see you. You are welcome here. You belong.’”

Throughout Pride week, General Mills will be showing up in other ways in support of the LGBTQ+ community, with several events for employees.

And on Sunday, June 23, we’ll participate in the Twin Cities Pride Parade, with our giant Cheerios “Love is Love” float, with a full band of employees as marchers along with it. General Mills is one of the sponsors for the parade, which has a special significance this year, as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of June 1969.

Outside of our hometown, General Mills will be represented at the World Pride Parade in New York City, by our Nature Valley and LÄRABAR brands.

To learn more about our commitment to global inclusion, visit GeneralMills.com/Responsibility.