Barilla pasta maker announces new measures for diversity
Follows furore over president's anti-gay comments04 November, 17:28
Made up of external independent experts, it will coach the world's largest pasta maker on how to improve its corporate culture.
So far, internationally renowned Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights advocate David Mixner and Parlympics gold medalist Alex Zanardi have agreed to sit on the board. "Diversity, inclusion and equality have been part of the Barilla code of ethics for some time, as reflected in our employee benefits, which are extended without regard to age, disability, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation'', CEO Claudio Colzani said. ''Also, we are committed to promoting diversity because we firmly believe it is the right thing to do''. President Guido Barilla, part of the pasta dynasty's fourth generation since Pietro Barilla founded the company in 1877, sparked controversy with comments during a September 26 radio interview.
''I would never make a spot with a homosexual family. Not out of a lack of respect but because I don't see it like they do. (My idea of) family is a classic family where the woman has a fundamental role'', he said.
Within hours, Italian activists and politicians launched a boycott of Barilla products, which has 20 brands of pasta, sauce, and various jarred foods.
Guido Barilla eventually apologized.