Ahold Delhaize hosts over 20 companies in joint event with LEAD Network on navigating gender diversity in fast-moving consumer goods industries; company urges psychological safety, different approaches per geography, a holistic look on gender balance

Sample article from our Retail & Omnichannel

December 19, 2023 (press release) –

 As a proud member of the LEAD Network Europe and its Netherlands Chapter, colleagues across Ahold Delhaize business functions hosted a joint event about navigating gender diversity with the LEAD Network at our Zaandam office. Ruben Santos, European HR Strategy Director and Master of Ceremonies of the event: “We were pleased to host over 20 companies to learn more about the topic and see how to progress in it.” 
The LEAD Network is an organization that strongly advocates for gender diversity in retail FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) industries – a topic that Ahold Delhaize strongly values and positions as one of the key pillars of our 100-100-100 aspiration in diversity, equity and inclusion. This is why hosting a session on Navigating Gender Diversity: Inclusive Leadership & Identity Conversations was a not-to-miss opportunity with great speakers and participants from more than twenty companies and organizations in the Netherlands. 
The event was opened by Natalia Wallenberg, CHRO Ahold Delhaize and Tanya Kopps, CHRO for Europe and Indonesia. The pair reflected on gender diversity and Ahold Delhaize’s partnership with the LEAD Network. Participants then had an opportunity to take part in a workshop led by Marcel Herwegh, Senior L&D Lead Consultant UNLOQ and Frits Kesting, Privacy Counsel at Ahold Delhaize and Ahold Delhaize Pride BRG Chair. This was followed by a great panel discussion where the group was joined by Ron van der Wouden, People & Culture Lead Netherlands at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners – moderated by Ruben Santos, our European HR Strategy Directory, and the master of ceremonies of the event.

This interactive and insightful session provided a lot of great takeaways and ideas on how to create a more inclusive workplace. Below are a few of those takeaways to serve as inspiration.

  • Caring conversations remain at the heart of everything that we do, as different geographies may require different approaches to the topic. There is no one-size-fits-all model, but there is always a way to provide a psychologically safe and inclusive workplace for our associates, which is one of the important conclusions of the event. 
  • Gender is not binary; therefore, looking at gender balance more holistically is recommended rather than only trying to balance the number of males and females in our organization. This is something that Ahold Delhaize has also been actively working on within our 100% gender balanced aspiration. 
  • Understanding gender diversity and raising awareness around it is an important step for every organization, but also acknowledging that making mistakes is human and that our values accommodate this. 
  • Psychological safety, implementing balanced slates in recruitment and succession, supporting business resources groups are a few of the examples of what companies, including our own can do to drive this agenda forward. 

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Jason Irving
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