Carlos Guzmán, North America Procurement Lead
As a gay employee, I have been transparent with previous employers about my sexuality. But, I never felt comfortable enough to put a picture of my husband and me on my desk without fearing a negative response from coworkers or the possibility of being limited for career opportunities. That feeling changed when I started working at Monsanto in 2012.
Prior to accepting Monsanto’s job offer, I researched the company’s commitment to inclusion and diversity. That’s how I learned about Encompass, Monsanto’s business resource network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees and their allies. A couple of years later, when I was leading the Encompass network, I learned just how dedicated Monsanto is to the inclusion of the LGBT community to its workplace. During my time as president of Encompass, we advanced policies that drove inclusion and acceptance in the workplace, which resulted in achieving a 100% score on the Human Rights Coalition’s Corporate Equality Index and a ranking on DiversityInc’s Top 50 companies.
As one of the largest employers in the St. Louis region, it is important that we demonstrate inclusion of every diverse community in the area, including the LGBT population. This year, Monsanto is once again a co-presenting sponsor of St. Louis PrideFest. I’m proud to say this is Monsanto’s third consecutive year of sponsorship, and the company continues to be outspoken in protecting the rights of LGBT employees at the state, national, and global levels.
Earlier this year, Monsanto executives were especially visible in their opposition to SJR39 in Missouri, a religious freedom law that many considered to be designed to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. This piece of legislation ultimately failed thanks to the opposition from businesses, such as Monsanto. In addition to these efforts, Monsanto joined the Human Rights Campaign Business Coalition for Equality earlier this year. And, the company supports the Equality Act which, if passed, will provide the same protections for LGBT people as are provided to other protected groups under federal law.
On a personal level, in my current role, I have the opportunity to drive diversity initiatives through leadership of our North America Supplier Diversity program. This is a unique program that helps grow diverse businesses in places where Monsanto employees live and the company operates. The Supplier Diversity Program embraces LGBT suppliers and other protected business classifications and considers integrating these diverse businesses into our supply chain as an integral component of our success.
I am very proud to work for a company that is committed to its employees and the communities where we operate, as we strive to develop solutions that will help feed a growing population. Bringing diverse perspectives to the table is one of the best opportunities we have to solve the challenges we face as a society and to help provide a balanced meal to everyone. Our company’s LGBT business resource network, diversity supplier program, and our executive commitment to diversity are visible representations of our focus on diversity, but it is the culture of inclusion that makes Monsanto a great place to work. My husband Jim and I are both proud to call Monsanto and St. Louis home. We are #MonsantoProud.