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PMA and CGT double down on diversity and inclusion

Center for Growing Talent by PMA has announced the first two initiatives to come after a task force was convened in September to determine how the industry could advance diversity, equity and inclusion across the produce and floral supply chains. Beginning in April, Center for Growing Talent will host a month-long Diversity & Inclusion Program featuring weekly virtual sessions.  The program is free for all registrants and will present topics to share knowledge and resources to help participants create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture in their companies and the industry.  Center for Growing Talent has also announced a new partnership with Cornell University to offer a certificate program and courses on diversity and inclusion.  

“PMA and Center for Growing Talent are committed to supporting our members’ efforts, wherever they may be along this path, to create a culture in which your people, your companies and our industry thrive,” said Center for Growing Talent Executive Director Doug Bohr. “Diversity and inclusion are essential to attracting and retaining talent and, increasingly so, buyers and consumers.  Our Diversity & Inclusion Program and the suite of eCornell Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Programs and single courses are designed to help members build a base of knowledge and practical resources to apply what they learn to their own DEI initiatives.”

The program consists of four weekly sessions beginning on April 20 and continuing through May 11.  Each week will welcome guest experts to discuss key issues.  The schedule is designed so that each session builds on the last; beginning with changing demographic, consumer and talent trends, how diversity and inclusion drive team and company performance, unconscious bias and conscious inclusion, and how to create a more inclusive culture within your companies. The program will culminate with members sharing their own diversity and inclusion efforts.   Throughout the course of the four sessions, members will participate in peer-to-peer learning and self-reflection to help them take what they learn and apply it to their individual role, team and company.

Registration is open for all sessions and attendees can register for individual weeks or for the entire series. The schedule for each session is as follows:

  • April 20: How Diversity & Inclusion Drives Team and Company Performance
  • April 27: Unconscious Bias, Conscious Inclusion
  • May 4: Creating a More Inclusive Culture
  • May 11: Hear From Your Peers: Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

Due to the essential nature of the content and because of the generous contribution of our Lead Program Sponsors, Mission Produce, the program is free for all industry members.  

“At Mission Produce as we look to the future, we understand the need to learn, explore and adopt practices around diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Steven Barnard, founder and CEO of Mission Produce.  “Our people are our greatest asset, and we must do our part to value, protect and foster that asset. That is why Mission has chosen to be the lead sponsor in the produce industry’s first ever initiative on DE&I.”

In addition to the Program Series, PMA and Center for Growing Talent are also proud to announce that we are offering a suite of Diversity & Inclusion Certificate Programs and Courses in partnership with Cornell University’s eCornell online learning platform through FreshEd Academy. 

The certificate programs and courses are designed to provide members more immersive training opportunities for their teams and company employees. They include two programs on diversity and inclusion:   

  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Diversity & Inclusion for HR

And, building on Center for Growing Talent's longstanding support for gender diversity and inclusion through Women’s Fresh Perspectives, two programs for women and, notably, for male leaders and industry professionals who wish to better understand gender dynamics in their organizations:

  • Women in Leadership
  • Executive Women in Leadership

Members have options that meet their unique training needs and budgets — they can choose to enroll in the full certificate programs or purchase single courses.  All are offered at a discounted price.  A certificate is awarded when the full program is completed.  More details about these FreshEd Certificates and Courses can be found at learning.pma.com.   

The initiatives included in this announcement follow a number of highly attended Virtual Town Halls on D&I including the March 3 Virtual Town Hall: From Planning to Action: Diversity and Inclusion Resources for Members. Speakers updated the industry on the work of task force that Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and Center for Growing Talent convened in September 2020 to guide work and conversations on why diversity, equity and inclusion matter and how our companies are already working to create a more inclusive industry. 

All interested in registering for the series can do so here, and those interested in pursuing further education in the form of a certificate or a single e-learning course can learn more here

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April 16, 2021

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