Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing

Barilla pasta company announced this week that it’s taking steps to get itself out of hot water, following its chairman’s comments about LGBT-headed households.

Barilla has established a Diversity & Inclusion Board in order to establish goals and strategies for improving diversity and equality in the company’s workplace, in addition to participating in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.  

“Diversity, inclusion and equality have long been grounded in Barilla’s culture, values and code of conduct. They are reflected in our policies and the benefits we provide to all employees, regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation,” said Chief Executive Officer Claudio Colzani in a statement. “At the same time, we are committed to promoting diversity further because we firmly believe that it’s the right thing to do.”

Recently, Chairman Guido Barilla made headlines and prompted several boycotts after he said on an Italian radio show that he would not consider using a same-sex couple in an advertisement. 

The chairman told the radio host that he believes LGBT-headed households do not reflect a “classic family where the woman plays fundamental role; and, “If gays don’t like it, they can go eat another brand.” 

The Corporate Equality Index is a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT employees.

Released each fall, the CEI report provides an in-depth analysis and rating of large U.S. employers and their policies and practices pertinent to LGBT employees.

The CEI, which is the basis of the HRC Buyer’s Guide, allows the LGBT community and its allies to vote with their dollar and hold companies accountable to fair policies and practices.

To learn more about how your favorite brands and companies are stacking up on LGBT equality, visit  

Filed under: International

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