April 1, 2024

Creating a Data-Driven BRG Strategy | Asheli Mann-Lofthouse (The Kraft Heinz Company)

In this episode, we feature Asheli Mann-Lofthouse, a seasoned leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with extensive experience at Kraft Heinz. Asheli oversees global DEI initiatives and sheds light on the transformative power of Business Resource Groups (BRGs) within the company. Tune in as Asheli discusses aligning BRGs with organizational strategy, the importance of data-driven decision-making, and the impact of BRGs on shaping an inclusive workplace at her organization.

Asheli Mann-Lofthouse graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State and brings 15 years of experience in Human Resources, DEI, and Organizational Development. In addition to the day-to-day, Asheli serves as the Director of the Board for an international non-profit, Chairs the Executive Advisor Committee for the Pick Museum of Anthropology and sits on the Regional Office of Education’s early child intervention community council. Asheli is actively committed to contributing to social justice and racial healing efforts in partnership with local, state, and federal organizations, educational institutions, and non-profits.

As an Organizational Anthropologist, Asheli leads the development and implementation of DEI strategies, programs, and initiatives that foster a culture of inclusion and belonging for all, and has a proven track record of delivering results in equitable process and program management, evaluation, and improvement in the spaces of diversity and Inclusion, employee engagement, human capital and talent management through learning and leadership development and organizational priority alignment. Asheli is a servant leader and life-long learner, committed to understanding the human experience from all perspectives using anthropological methodologies to break down systemic barriers for those facing adversity.

With Afro-Indigenous values leading her path, Asheli brings a unique perspective and a passion for promoting cultural awareness, community engagement, equity, and justice for previously historically underrepresented and systematically marginalized individuals and communities. An expert consultant and facilitator, Asheli speaks and trains on topics such as: access, allyship, belonging, change management, cultivating culture, diversity, employee engagement and experience, equity, inclusion, Indigenous values, mental health, psychological safety, organizational development, and resource groups.

Where to find Asheli:

Key Takeaways

  • In distinguishing between Business Resource Groups (BRGs) and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), we discuss how BRGs drive business impact, whereas ERGs primarily focus on providing resources for employee inclusion and belonging. This distinction highlights the strategic importance of BRGs within Kraft Heinz, serving as platforms for fostering inclusion and advancing diversity initiatives. By aligning their efforts with broader business objectives, BRGs can effectively contribute to organizational growth and success.
  • Developing annual plans well in advance is crucial to proactively align initiatives with organizational strategies, track progress, and report achievements effectively. This proactive approach ensures that BRGs and ERGs' activities are in line with the company's broader goals, fostering greater alignment and synergy across departments. Anticipating challenges, allocating resources efficiently, and engaging stakeholders early on increase the likelihood of successful outcomes.
  • Asheli discusses the significance of data-informed decision-making in shaping initiatives. By soliciting feedback through engagement surveys, focus groups, and direct communication with leadership teams, Kraft Heinz tailors programming to meet employees' specific needs. This targeted approach allows for interventions to address challenges and capitalize on opportunities, with metrics like engagement scores, retention rates, and philanthropic impact serving as indicators of BRG/ERG effectiveness in driving business outcomes.

In this episode we cover:

  • (01:08) Overview of ERGs at Kraft Heinz
  • (02:24) The Strategic Role of BRGs in Business Outcomes
  • (03:28) Global Strategy for DEI and BRG Structure
  • (05:24) Adapting BRG Strategies to Local Needs
  • (06:20) Leveraging Data for Strategic BRG Decisions
  • (10:25) Empowering BRG Leaders with Data and Strategy
  • (12:36) Aligning BRG Initiatives with Business Outcomes
  • (16:20) Communicating Strategy and Building Alignment
  • (23:06) Annual Planning and Best Practices for BRGs
  • (29:52) Integrating Mental Health into DEI Strategy
  • (34:35) Closing Thoughts and Contact Information

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