Debating the fight against structural racism is an increasingly present and important topic in our society. Brazil is today a country in which 54% of the population declares themselves black or brown, but when considering the inclusion of these people, especially in leadership spaces, a lot still needs to be done. In this context, Grupo Carrefour Brasil held this Wednesday, the 10th, the event “Dialogues that Transform”, expanding this debate that is so important for society.
“We have been committed to inclusion and equity for a long time. We are one of the largest employers in the country, with 100,000 employees, and we are aware of our responsibility to the culture and diversity of Brazilians. We need to fight structural racism, with zero tolerance policies for violence and discrimination, with the education of our employees through racial literacy, with investment in education, with encouragement to entrepreneurship and, above all, with the mobilization of our partners, service providers and suppliers to do the same", says Stéphane Maquaire, CEO of Grupo Carrefour Brasil.
The event was attended by members of the Independent External Committee, which has been guiding Carrefour in the implementation of the commitments made by the company in November 2020. “Having a company that assumes what happened, calls civil society to think about how to repair it, creates actions and invests in the entire process, is something new”, says Adriana Barbosa, CEO of Feira Preta and member of the External Committee.
Grupo Carrefour Brasil will invest R$ 144 million over three years to promote inclusion and fight against racism. The largest private investment made by a company for racial equity. According to Renato Meirelles, President of Instituto Locomotiva and Member of the Independent External Committee, what has advanced in the racial agenda in the last year is much more than what has been done in the last ten years.
Divided into four central themes (employability, combating discrimination, investing in entrepreneurship and education), the event reinforced the company's commitment to the anti-racist fight.
Retail is responsible for a large part of the direct jobs generated in the country and moves a significant chain of suppliers. It was thinking of this strength and reach that the Carrefour Group has in Brazil, that actions were created to include black and black youth, as well as professionals who are already in the job market, to offer opportunities for career acceleration and professional development. With the support of CUFA (Central Única das Favelas), the Affirmative Internship Program was carried out, which selected 18 young people from different favelas in São Paulo for corporate positions. The project selected people who were not yet at the university, offering the cost of up to 80% of the tuition fee.
Also along the same lines of employability and leadership, the company launched a career acceleration program aimed at black professionals. Unlike usual in trainee programs, Talentos do Futuro 2021 is not focused on recent graduates and aims to accelerate the career of talents who have already entered the job market but have not yet assumed leadership positions. There is no age limit or second language requirement, which will be covered by Carrefour if necessary. The Program will last for 18 months and includes an international module.
Grupo Carrefour Brasil announced the inclusion of an anti-racist clause in all its contracts, as part of the Zero Tolerance Policy. As a result, it brought more rigor to internal policies and contracts. In addition, it expanded the internal channel for complaints through Carina (our virtual assistant), in addition to strengthening the external channel for customers, which can be done through the Conexão Ética (0800.772.2975).
The internalization of prevention agents was a work carried out in less than a year. The new security model brings inclusion and respect guidelines, resulting in a more humanized security, with a welcoming profile, which is present in stores with the aim of providing the best experience for the customer. Additionally, these professionals will have body cameras. There was also an increase in the participation of women in this role. Only in the last year, within Carrefour, the percentage of women working as prevention agents jumped from 19% to 36%. Another point that is worth mentioning is that this new profile is not just for the prevention agent, but for everyone who works in the store, as taking good care of the customer is everyone's job.
Investment in entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is a great challenge and often ends up becoming a necessity due to the difficulty of entering the job market. A survey by the Locomotiva Institute this year shows that the unemployment rate among black women is twice that of non-black men. This is a fact that exemplifies that supporting black entrepreneurs is fundamental in the racial equity process.
Grupo Carrefour has a work group exclusively focused on black entrepreneurs, with two fronts: one of them, in partnership with Afrobusiness, seeks to include black entrepreneurs in Carrefour's supplier portfolio, or to insert products into stores or in the provision of services. This month a pilot begins in ten Carrefour stores to offer products from companies run by black entrepreneurs, such as Makeda (cosmetics for black people) and Madiba Pet (products for pets). Another front looks specifically at the acceleration of black entrepreneurs, where we look for accelerators that help to map these potential talents so that it is possible to support and invest in their projects. One example is the work that is already being done with Fábrica Cultura, which plays this role with entrepreneurs in Bahia.
In addition to internal actions, Carrefour also sought to support entities that have been working with the theme of black entrepreneurship for years. This year, 38 entities were included in three different public notices aimed at institutionally strengthening Afro-Brazilian civil society organizations working on the fronts of: support for black entrepreneurship; and actions to combat and raise awareness of racism and discrimination. “It's not just notices. They are public notices to train people and to make projects viable”, says Celso Athayde, CEO of Favela Holding and Member of the Independent External Committee.
Racial literacy plays a central role in combating racism. It is essential that people know the topic, identify their privileges and reflect on their behavior. At Carrefour, discussing this topic is part of everyday life. There are more than 100,000 employees who, when they get home, can take this dialogue to another 3 people, who can take it to others and thus stimulate the progression of this debate. More than 40,000 employees from all hierarchical levels have participated in the racial literacy course.
Another important front is the development of talents that are already in the company. There is a development program that currently has 100 black professionals and includes knowledge acceleration (undergraduate, MBA, languages, etc.) and career mentoring.
Despite having made significant progress in the racial agenda in 2021, the commitments made by Grupo Carrefour Brasil are long-term and will continue for the next few years. Later this year, two more notices focused on education will be launched with a focus on technology training and scholarships. All these commitments and future news can be followed here.
Click here to watch the event video: https://youtu.be/tRfdIQ0lTgg
On the night of November 19, 2020, João Alberto Silveira Freitas was killed on the premises of our store in Passo D'Areia, in Porto Alegre/RS, in an act that does not represent and is not consistent with Carrefour's values.
On this website, we reinforce the actions we are taking in view of this fact and the commitments made to society and to our body of more than 100,000 employees throughout Brazil. With the objective of continuing to evolve as a company and contributing to the fight against structural racism in Brazil.