Fostering Inclusive Workplace Culture Through Food

Eating at a Meeting Podcast Episode 52

Smiling red headed woman leaning towards the camera in an orange blouse with white dots. She works to Foster Inclusive Workplace Culture

Learn how workplace culture and inclusion can be impacted by food at work

Positive office culture is essential to happy, productive employees. Food and beverage have often been part of office culture, but what and how it was served may have subversively impacted diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

In this episode, leadership and workplace culture expert Nora Burns talks about how to advocate for inclusion-based employee meal planning and shares ways employers can strengthen cultural diversity and foster inclusion and belonging at work through food.

What do safe, inclusive & sustainable food and beverage experiences look like to you?

Shame-free dining environment that accommodates religious beliefs, medical needs, and overall health needs.

Do you have an example of a situation that negatively effected you and/or other individuals or groups’ food and beverage experience?

The classic is pizza for the team. For decades I have cringed whenever a manager raves about how they “rewarded” the team by bringing in pizza. There are so many food restrictions with this one menu choice and yet it remains a go-to for many managers today. The first time I experienced this was ~1990 … I wish things had shifted more over 30 years!

What do you wish people knew about what you do?

The basis of an organization’s workplace culture is defined in the recruiting and hiring process. I am exceptionally strong at tweaking hiring process design to enhance the hiring process (and hires) exponentially. It’s my superpower.

What is a best practice you use/or have seen to create safe and inclusive F&B experiences?

A variety of options provided, and easily labeled. For smaller meetings and events I appreciate when food storage is available for those of us who would like to bring our own. Give me access to a fridge and a microwave and I’m happy as can be!

Just for fun…What is your favorite food and your favorite drink?

Food: Sushi. My favorite sushi – Copper River Salmon.
Drink: Coffee. Black. I’m a bit addicted to my Nespresso and have been ordering Stormio pods like it’s my job.


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Check out other featured guests on the Eating at a Meeting podcast