Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc., started in 1978 in a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont, USA, founded by childhood friends and dedicated activists Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield. In 2000 Ben & Jerry’s became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever with the remainder of an independent Board of Directors to provide leadership focused on preserving and expanding Ben & Jerry’s social mission, brand integrity, and product quality.
Ben & Jerry’s has an inspiring ambition to use its position as beloved ice cream company to advance progressive social change. This translates into a fast-paced environment married with an uncompromising grassroots and activist spirit. That is how we remain a true progressive values led organization with a connected 3-part mission that are reflected in our KPI’s:
1. Social mission: We initiate innovative ways to improve the quality of life locally, nationally and internationally specifically on Climate Justice and Social Justice, Racial Justice, and Economic Justice
2. Product mission: We make and distribute the finest quality natural ice cream and euphoric concoctions
3. Economic mission: We operate our Company for sustainable, Profitable financial growth
Who You Are & What You’ll Do:
The Global Social Mission Director serves as a senior leader for the Company’s Social Mission, which together with the Economic and Product Missions, form the three-part mission that drives Ben & Jerry’s. The Social Mission Director leads a dynamic team overseeing initiatives at global and regional levels to advance Ben & Jerry’s core values of human rights and dignity, social and economic justice, and environmental protection, restoration, and regeneration. The Social Mission team is headquartered in Vermont with team members working across ten other countries, leveraging the company’s influence in society to achieve progressive systemic change.
The Social Mission Director is accountable for all Social Mission subjects including company sustainability; carbon footprint reduction strategy & implementation to meet our science-based targets; sustainable packaging progress, activism campaigns in partnership with NGOs on issues such as racial equity, criminal legal system reform, refugee and asylum seeker rights, climate justice, and LGBTQ rights; supporting our Values Led Sourcing strategy covering programs for key ingredients such as dairy and cocoa, partnerships with social enterprises and NGOs, achieving our supplier diversity goals; and overseeing organization-wide certifications like B-Corp and the annual reporting of the SEAR (Social and Environmental Assessment Report)
The Social Mission Director reports to the CEO and serves on the company’s senior leadership team. As Social Mission is woven throughout the company, the Social Mission Director liaises and collaborates across all functions. The position manages a core team of direct reports with extended team members based in Vermont, our European HQ located outside of London, and several additional global markets. The Social Mission Director works with the Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors which has primary responsibility for protecting and enhancing Social Mission and brand integrity under the unique agreement of Unilever’s acquisition of Ben & Jerry’s in 2000. The Social Mission Director also collaborates regularly with Unilever’s sustainability leadership & teams within the Ice Cream division and across various functions to leverage and grow collective positive impact.
What You’ll Need To Succeed:
- Extensive experience managing comparable programs, including experience developing and implementing advocacy campaigns, as well as with driving sustainability initiatives related to greenhouse gas emissions, packaging, and ingredient sourcing. Deep content knowledge and passionate commitment to racial equity, social, economic, and climate justice.
- Proven ability to ensure Ben & Jerry’s mission, vision and values are integrated holistically into the business.
- Proven track record as a talent-catalyst and collaborative leader. Strong facilitation skills and managing teams through creating trust, psychological safety, and effective delegation & empowerment.
- Demonstrated track record leading teams with a rich mix of race, class, cultures, and languages and ability to manage experts on a team to bring out high levels of performance by nurturing empowerment and shared ownership.
- Experience working in a fast-paced & innovation-driven environment, international working culture and managing work across remote teams and time zones.
- Excellent project management and strategic facilitation skills; demonstrated resilience in managing complex and changing agendas.
- Ability to solve complex problems within multicultural organizations and demonstrated ability to work with and influence senior leaders, executives, and Boards of Directors.
- Strong understanding of the use of social media to build movements and support campaigns.
- Ability to thrive in a dynamic, complex and changing environment.
- Understanding of food industry, consumer products or other relevant businesses
Over the past years, we have dedicated ourselves in new ways to understanding and developing strategies for the deep work necessary to uproot the systemic racism underpinning our racial inequity. Ben & Jerry’s is committed to becoming a truly antiracist company by eliminating racial disparities within the company and to disproportionately create Black wealth through our business relationships.
We are actively working to achieve equity in our workforce, franchise network and supplier base through a wide range of ongoing and evolving strategies that eliminate barriers, increase access to opportunity, and make real changes in our business practices and culture. This work will be supported by goals and internal metrics to maintain and report on our progress.
We have chosen to center on racial equity out of an understanding that the culture of white supremacy must be dismantled to achieve equity for all marginalized people. We have focused our strategies on outcomes for Black people because slavery and its legacy remain such a defining element of American life. We believe this targeted work will help us achieve our broader commitment to universal social equity.
The initial phase of this work focuses on our home market of the U.S., where the majority of our employees and business is located. As we learn and build our capacity for this work, we will expand it to our global markets where systemic racism in other forms, with roots in colonialism, persists.