United Natural Foods Inc. has earned a top score of 100 in the Disability Equality Index (DEI) and is being recognized as a DEI Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion. UNFI was the only North American grocery wholesaler to achieve the score and recognition. This is the second workplace accolade UNFI has recently received. The company has been designated as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality, earning a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index, the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality.
“UNFI celebrates all of our associates living with disabilities and those who are caregivers,” said Guillaume Bagal, vice president of diversity and inclusion at UNFI. “We are proud to be recognized as a DEI Top Scorer and Best Place to Work for the progress we’ve made in disability inclusion. We will continue to strive to create space for disability education and awareness, promote accessibility, physical and psychological safety, advancement opportunities, and help eliminate stigma and misperception.”
The DEI was launched in 2015 by Disability:IN and The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and is acknowledged today as the most robust disability inclusion assessment tool in business. Now in its eighth year, the DEI exists to help businesses make a positive impact on the unemployment and underemployment of people with disabilities.
UNFI is working to advance inclusion in the workplace by fostering a culture of inclusion and empathy through open dialogue, effective associate training, and by honoring holidays and special events that speak to the identities of the company’s associates, according to the company.
In the past year, UNFI has taken a variety of steps to advance this mission, including:
Launching the DREAM belonging and innovation group (BIG); a UNFI associate resource group for the disabled community and caregivers. DREAM (Disability Resources, Equity, Allyship, and Mentoring) advocates for UNFI associates, caregivers, and allies in all aspects of business, aiming to promote an environment where all may flourish without barriers;
Collaborating with the UNFI supplier diversity team to increase spend with disabled-owned businesses;
Creating Real Talk, a series of virtual discussions focusing on the intersection of diversity, equity and inclusion with career, wellness, and leadership development; and
Developing UCount, an initiative to encourage associates to share more about themselves, including their disability status.