To celebrate Black History Month, Vegan Women Summit (VWS) announces the first diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) program made specifically for plant-based and food tech industry leaders.
Taking place throughout the month of May, this first-of-its-kind program will be led by renowned DEI expert Dr. Amie Breeze Harper, and is designed to help businesses build stronger companies through diversity, equity and inclusion strategies. The four-week virtual curriculum will feature live lectures and workshops covering topics such as inclusive leadership, recruitment and retention, unconscious bias, and how to design and market food products with inclusion in mind.
The program is open to all leaders within the food industry, including founders, executives and investors. Through the groundbreaking initiative, VWS says it hopes to drive industry-level change to ensure traditionally underrepresented groups such as women, people of color, LGBTQ and other minority communities take part in the conversation of how we eat.
In early January, the organization released The State of Women in the Future of Food and Animal Alternatives, which gathered data from 145 founders and CEOs across six continents. The report revealed increased accounts of bias and discrimination from investors, with women of color 1.5 times more likely to report experiences of investor bias.
“The data is clear: prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is integral for our future food system to thrive. After working with both leading venture capital firms and companies in the plant-based space, we have demonstrated clear value for this work through helping companies improve recruitment, create social impact, develop inclusive marketing, and increase profit, to name a few,” commented Dr. Harper.
“Our work at VWS has always been to elevate the role of women, particularly women of color, to create a more sustainable future. We must not only fund women and other marginalized communities, but build companies and organizations that seek to amplify and harness their talent. To put it simply, diverse teams build better products and the more diversity we can bring to the future of food, the more people we can reach and the faster we can save the planet,” says VWS founder Jennifer Stojkovic.
Participants of all backgrounds, including all genders, are invited to learn more and apply for the program at http://veganwomensummit.com/dei.