Symba: The Go-To Platform for New Hire Readiness
Empower your new hires to reach their full potential from Day 0, and fast-track preboarding to productivity.
  • Improve administrative efficiencies by up to 99.7%
  • Reduce time-to-onboard by 50%
  • Increase early career new hire conversion rates by up to 20%


#OpenUpTheWorkforce with Monique Lanaux, General Vice President and Chief Talent & Diversity Officer for Albertsons Companies Inc.

Written by Mitra LeBuhn on August 8, 2023
5 min read

Presented by Symba, #OpenUpTheWorkforce interviews feature executives advancing inclusion, diversity, and equity for the future of work. In these short audio-only episodes, host Ahva Sadeghi speaks with top leaders about what it takes to develop and implement inclusive processes. 

In this episode of #OpenUpTheWorkforce, Monique Lanaux, General Vice President and Chief Talent & Diversity Officer for Albertsons Companies Inc, shares her background and journey that led her to her current role and discusses the innovative initiatives Albertsons has implemented to foster an inclusive work environment. Listen here.

"Opportunity shows up sometimes a little differently than you expect," remarks Monique, reflecting on her transition from an HR Business centered role to leading the Diversity and Talent operations for the company. For Albertsons, an unexpected opportunity came in the form of a tragic event – the death of George Floyd, which pushed the company towards fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce. This event prompted the company, and many others, to reevaluate its values and develop a framework to lead with inclusion, extending beyond mere bias training. The focus shifted towards providing opportunities to build empathy and challenge biases, to cultivate an environment where all associates feel valued and empowered.

Leading With Inclusion

As a result, Albertsons built the “Leading With Inclusion” training to educate leaders on how to lead themselves and others in an inclusive manner. The goal is to create a space where courageous conversations can take place around diversity, equity, and inclusion topics to enhance awareness, educate about biases, and equip leaders with tools to create a more inclusive environment. Additionally, Associate Resource Groups play a crucial role in driving the impact of the workshop by fostering engagement and community outreach. Over 15,000 Albertsons associates completed the training in 2021. Monique notes, "Leaders have to have an intentional and purposeful commitment to create space where people can be who they are.” By creating a workspace that brings out the best in individuals, leaders inspire a deep commitment and dedication to excellence in the workforce.

A rise in Associate Resource Group participation and community impact

Monique advises that each person wants to have the opportunity to thrive, whether that’s vertically or horizontally. Ultimately, people crave feeling successful. For many, success is felt when their work contributes to a broader impact. Associate Resource Groups are a strategic priority at Albertsons, and they have 8 that empower employees to drive initiatives with local communities. One of these initiatives is the Racial and Justice Grant Program established in 2020, which enables Albertsons associates to engage their communities by promoting the grant to local nonprofits. Monique shares that, “year to date, we've been exceptionally proud and pleased that we have over 3 million dollars that have been provided to those nonprofits.” Albertsons measures the efficacy of its diversity and inclusion efforts by employee engagement, and these generous donations are a clear indication that associates are highly involved.

Equity in Career Advancement

Another one of the six strategic priorities embraced by Albertsons is centered around metrics. Understanding the current state of the community, workforce, and leadership is crucial in determining the path toward an inclusive future of work. The leadership team recognizes the importance of reflecting the diverse communities they serve, making a concerted effort to ensure equal representation. They set goals to improve diverse representation at the management level for women and individuals from Black and diverse communities. By transparently measuring progress and having aspirational goals, they strive to ensure a more equitable career advancement journey for their employees. The focus is not just on promotions but also on providing equal access to opportunities and resources for all associates, regardless of background or tenure.

Albertsons' commitment to diversity and inclusion extends to its talent acquisition strategy. Albertsons believes in developing talent from within the organization and continuously evaluates job designs and architectures to stay relevant and forward-looking. By identifying emerging skills and matching them with future job roles, they ensure their talent aligns with the company's strategic goals. Monique adds, “Retaining talent is equally as important as bringing in talent because ultimately, [for] the best of environments, you want to be able to have a solid foundation that consists of great people who want to be here and be able to drive the organization to the next level.” 

The basic “Big 3” for successful talent management

The conversation moves to innovation. But Monique recommends that before delving into innovation, the company must lock in the basics. This involves conducting regular 1:1s, team meetings to communicate business plans, and recognizing the achievements of the team. Utilizing technology for talent management enables setting SMART objectives, providing necessary resources, and fostering growth for future leadership roles. Procuring talent involves considering various approaches, including external hiring and internal development, with a blend of both to encourage diversity of thought. These are the foundational elements of a successful talent management strategy, and with an established framework your team can then reflect at the end of the year and improve the talent management process.

What’s on the horizon?

To achieve sustainable growth and impact, Albertsons builds a roadmap that encompasses short and long-term goals, looking ahead at least three years in order to observe trends. They are publishing transparent reports showcasing accomplishments in DEI, community impact, and supplier diversity. These reports promote both inreach (engaging associates) and outreach (exciting customers). All these efforts are underpinned by the organization's value of doing the right thing even when no one is watching.

What do leaders need to do to #OpenUpTheWorkforce?

  1. Monique emphasizes the need for leaders to have an intentional and purposeful commitment to creating an inclusive environment where employees can be their authentic selves. She stressed the importance of harnessing and uplifting the strengths of individuals so that they feel good about what they do, proud about who they are, and confident that someone has their back. 
  2. It is essential to foster an intentional culture that embraces diversity and drives innovation. She highlights the significance of increasing diverse representation across all levels of the organization, reflecting the rich diversity of the communities served.
  3. Monique affirms the value of equal access to opportunities and resources, recognizing the unique contributions each individual brings to the table. By doing so, leaders can create a sustainable and equitable workforce that fosters personal and financial wealth, ultimately leading to greater success and positive impact in both individual lives and the communities they reside in.

In conclusion, Monique's vision for an inclusive workforce at Albertsons revolves around purposeful commitment, equal representation, and the seamless integration of DEI principles. By nurturing empathy, challenging biases, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture, Albertsons empowers its associates to thrive and drive success for all. As Monique eloquently states, "Be in it for the long game," underscoring the enduring value of creating an inclusive environment where every individual can reach their full potential.

About Monique Lanaux

As Group Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Officer for Albertsons Companies Inc., Monique Lanaux is responsible for advancing and continuing the company’s unique culture of putting people first and building belonging for more than 290,000 associates.

In her current role, Monique oversees DEI&B, and creates space that puts people first and strive to reflect the diversity of communities we serve and foster an inclusive culture that embraces differences.  Monique is also responsible for setting the strategy that enables our associates to build belonging, so that everyone is respected, valued, and has equal opportunity to contribute to our company’s purpose.

Monique is an angel investor, a board member of the Greater Washington Urban League, former board member of SheRises, a non-profit organization focused on empowering young mothers in the Washington, DC metro area, and she is the published author of From Glass to Stone: 10 Transformational Stories of Resilience. 

In 2023, Monique was recognized by Savoy Magazine as a Most Influential Executive in Diversity & Inclusion.  She is also the recipient of the Mass Market Retailers Most Influential Women honors.  Monique earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from New York University and Master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University. She lives in Upper Marlboro, MD.




You can view other episodes of #OpenUpTheWorkforce here. Are you an executive leader increasing access to jobs and wealth creation? Request to be featured and show us how you #OpenUpTheWorkforce.

Don't Forget to Share the Article

Mitra LeBuhn

Mitra is the Head of Impact and Communications at Symba and leads social impact, PR, and marketing partnerships for the business. She combines a unique background in Global Health and Higher Education, and speaks French. Beyond Symba, Mitra spends her time outdoors, traveling the world and making music.

Related Articles

Subscribe to the Symba Blog

Get best practices and actionable tips for new hire readiness, early careers, and DEI straight to your inbox.

© 2021 Symba. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy
Back to Top
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram