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Kraft Heinz Denies That Hiring on Basis of Race and Sex Is the Same as a Quota System

Washington, D.C. – At today’s Kraft Heinz annual shareholder meeting, executives took exception to the Free Enterprise Project’s characterization of the company’s surface-level diversity programs as “hiring quotas,” choosing to describe them instead as “goals.”

Sarah Rehberg

Sarah Rehberg

“I don’t know what else setting percentage-based hiring goals within a particular time frame is if it’s not a quota,” said Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Program Coordinator Sarah Rehberg, who submitted the question at the virtual meeting. “Unfortunately, Kraft Heinz is just another woke company pretending to be against race- and sex-based discrimination when that’s exactly what it’s doing through its alleged nondiscrimination policies.”

Rehberg submitted the following question:

Kraft Heinz has placed great emphasis on its Diversity, Equity, and Belonging initiative. It has set goals of having 30% of its salaried U.S. employee population identify as people of color and 50% of its global management positions to be filled by women by 2025.

At the same time, Kraft Heinz insists it has a zero tolerance policy for discrimination. How does Kraft Heinz reconcile its race and sex-based hiring quotas with its alleged zero tolerance for discrimination?

Rather than ask the question in full, Kraft Heinz deliberately reframed it as having “received a question about Kraft Heinz’s diversity policies.”

Kraft Heinz then responded by denying that its hiring objectives constitute a quota:

The goals that we’ve laid out for the company are not quotas. They are goals that we have specifically designed to say that our business we expect to represent and look like and be similar to the communities where we operate. And so that’s… how we think about that issue, and we are also cognizant of the fact that we are also looking to represent the consumers who ultimately buy our products.

Scott Shepard

Scott Shepard

Audio of the reworked FEP question and Kraft Heinz’s full response can be heard here. Rehberg’s annotated question can be read in full here.

“Kraft Heinz is another company that appears to think that its empty denials of obvious fact are enough to protect it from the consequences of its violations of federal and state civil rights laws,” said FEP Director Scott Shepard. “They are not. Courts will scrutinize these efforts and will conclude that Kraft is discriminating on illegal grounds. This will create easily avoided liability for the company that should be laid at the feet of its somnolent directors and executives in their personal capacities.”

Ethan Peck

Ethan Peck

“Never underestimate the woke’s ability to hold two contradictory ideas in their heads at the same time,” added FEP Associate Ethan Peck. “Kraft Heinz denying its diversity quotas a breath before explicitly outlining its diversity quotas is just like the woke supposedly championing women’s rights while also denying that women exist.”

Kraft Heinz was the seventh shareholder meeting that FEP representatives attended this week to ask questions, and only the first this week to answer an FEP question. At the in-person American Express shareholder meeting on Tuesday, an FEP representative was denied entry despite having proper credentials. Five other companies used the COVID-era virtual meeting format to dodge all difficult shareholder questions.

Today’s Kraft Heinz meeting marks the 24th time FEP has participated in a shareholder meeting so far in 2022. To schedule an interview with a member of the Free Enterprise Project on this or other issues, contact Jenny Kefauver at 703-850-3533 or

Investors wishing to oppose race-based discrimination and other “woke” policies infiltrating Corporate America should download FEP’s 2022 editions of the “Investor Value Voter Guide” and the “Balancing the Boardroom” guide. Other action items for investors and non-investors alike can be found on FEP’s website.

Launched in 2007, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project focuses on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Over the past four years alone, FEP representatives have participated in over 100 shareholder meetings – advancing free-market ideals about health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and other important public policy issues. As the leading voice for conservative-minded investors, it annually files more than 90 percent of all right-of-center shareholder resolutions. Dozens of liberal organizations, however, annually file more than 95 percent of all policy-oriented shareholder resolutions and continue to exert undue influence over corporate America.

FEP activity has been covered by media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Drudge Report, Business Insider, National Public Radio and SiriusXM. FEP’s work is prominently featured in Stephen Soukup’s new book The Dictatorship of Woke Capital: How Political Correctness Captured Big Business (Encounter Books) and Kimberley Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors.

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Author: The National Center