NEW ORLEANS, April 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 3, 2014, Victoria B. Mars, Chairman of Mars, Incorporated gave a keynote presentation at the 2014 Great Place to Work Conference. In her presentation, entitled "Mutuality a Principle That Fosters Shared Benefit," Victoria shared insights from her 35-year career and explained how the success of Mars, Incorporated is rooted in the family's values, which are brought to life within Mars, Incorporated as "The Five Principles". These principles form the foundation for Mars' approach to business and empower Mars employees, known as Associates, to create a unique, open and egalitarian workplace culture. Victoria passionately supports this culture at Mars. She believes it is what allows Mars to offer easy access to senior leaders and non-traditional career development opportunities alongside more traditional corporate programs.
Victoria commented, "The Five Principles are all about the 'how' versus the 'what' at Mars and they serve as a solid base upon which we build everything. Mixed with a sense of entrepreneurial adventure that has permeated the business since the beginning, they create a workplace where our Associates can be proud and business can thrive."
The Mars family is actively and visibly engaged in the running of the business through their work on the Board, the Family Assembly and other roles within the organization. Victoria contends that being family owned and principles-led has been fundamental to the success of the business and allows Mars to make decisions for the long-term. It has allowed the family to maintain its freedom to operate across generations, and to re-invest in the business in order to grow it authentically within the culture established by Victoria's grandfather.
During her career at Mars, Victoria has always had a passion for Associate engagement. In her talk, she outlined the role that she played in creating the company Ombudsman program and, then, leading it for 16 years. Mars encourages an open culture, and the program she helped create at Mars provides every Associate with an independent and confidential channel of communication. It's a way for them to be heard and have a dialogue about issues that matter to them while empowering them to find solutions. Victoria cites these experiences and learnings as being instrumental in improving the business and driving her passion for making Mars a great workplace.
Victoria commented, "It's about using listening, coaching and individualized support as a way of helping Associates grow and develop. The Ombudsman program at Mars is one way for Associates to be heard and collaborate on problem solving with a senior leader or family member like myself. Nothing gives me more pride than having them thank me for creating that outlet or hearing they had a long, happy career because they felt valued as individuals and empowered to find solutions to overcome issues that mattered most to them."
"Our model of a great workplace emphasizes the relationship between employees and management and gives particular weight to practices and behaviors that build trust," commented China Gorman, CEO of Great Place to Work. "Mars' Ombudsman program is a prime example of the sort of practice we see as essential for achieving transparency and sustaining a high-trust work environment."
Mars Recognized as a Best Company to Work For Around The World
To date in 2014, Mars has been recognized in six markets around the world, including (with applicable ranking): Japan (#16 Best Workplaces), US (#76 on Fortune's 100 Best Companies To Work For List), Ireland (#2 for Medium Business Category), Belgium (#7 and winner of the special award for Inspiring Culture), Germany (#7 and Best Newcomer of the Year), France (#2).
In November 2013, Mars was ranked #22 by the first global workplace excellence ranking, the World's Best Multinational Workplaces list by the Great Place to Work® Institute. This saw the business receive recognition of its high percentage of women in executive and senior management positions where for the last decade, it has gradually increased the proportion of women in management roles by one percent each year to now 38 percent globally. Additionally in November 2013 as reported by Buzzfeed, Mars was listed as number three among twenty companies with the coolest employee perks highlighting access to free candy and bringing your pet to work.
In 2013, Mars was also recognized by 19 Great Place to Work® Best Companies to Work For lists including (with ranking as applicable): Argentina(6), Austria(4), Belgium(5), Brazil(24), Central America(5), Chile(8), Denmark(14), Finland (8) France(3), Greece(5), Ireland(1), Italy(3), Japan(25), Korea, Poland(7), Portugal(7), Spain(10), Switzerland(9) and USA(95) and being featured 16th on the 25 Best Multinational Workplaces in Europe list as well. In 2013, Mars was also featured on other national workplace lists including Australia (Aon Hewitt), Mexico (6 in Super Empresas), New Zealand (Kenexa Best Workplaces Award for the Medium-Large Workplace category), Thailand (Aon Hewitt), United Kingdom (58 in Times Top 100 Employers).
About Mars, Incorporated
In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars' first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a "mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders" – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.
Mars brands include: Petcare – PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital, CESAR®, SHEBA®, DREAMIES® and NUTRO®; Chocolate – M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Wrigley – DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® AND LIFESAVERS® mints. Food – UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE® and ROYCO®; Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA COMPANY™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience – COCOAVIA® and WISDOM PANEL®. For more information, please visit www.mars.com. Follow us: facebook.com/mars, twitter.com/marsglobal, youtube.com/mars, linkedin.com/company/mars.
About the Great Place To Work Conference
The annual Great Place to Work® Conference is the only national event that teaches, inspires and connects professionals across industries and functions to strengthen workplace culture through building trust. This premier event provides actionable information through presentations, panel discussions and facilitated networking sessions. To learn more, please visit: http://www.greatplacetowork.com/2014-conference
About Great Place to Work®
Great Place to Work is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and employer branding programs, including Best Companies lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures
SOURCE Mars, Incorporated