Person

Bradley Gayton

Bradley Gayton is the former general counsel for the Coca-Cola corporation. In 2021, Gayton abruptly resigned from the position after creating controversial diversity policies regarding outside law firms hired by the company. [1] The diversity policies included requirements that law firms doing business with Coca-Cola must certify that at least 30 percent of all billable hours would be from non-white attorneys, and of that 30 percent, half would be from African-American attorneys. [2] Firms that failed to meet the diversity requirements risked losing all business with Coca-Cola. After Gayton’s resignation, the program was put on pause. [3]

Gayton was also believed to be closely tied to Coca-Cola’s “Fostering Allyship project. Tutul Rahman and Michael DiLeondardo are the co-leads on the “Fostering Allyship” project at the Coca-Cola Company. A large part of the project is the “Together We Stand, Together We Must” guidebook, which includes trainings, video testimonies, and communication tools. [4]  According to a statement released by Coca-Cola, the online training “Confronting Racism” encouraging white people to “be less white” was not a mandatory part of the training, but an additional resource available online. [5] The “Confronting Racism” training was in association with Robin DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. [6]

References

  1. Feuer, Will. “Coca-Cola Pauses Aggressive Diversity Plan after Chief Lawyer Resigns.” Fox Business. Fox Business, May 4, 2021. https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/coca-cola-pauses-aggressive-diversity-plan-after-chief-lawyer-resigns. ^
  2. Chen, Ruiqi. “Coke GC Tired of ‘Good Intentions,’ Wants Firm Diversity Now (1).” Bloomberg Law, January 28, 2021. https://news.bloomberglaw.com/business-and-practice/coke-gc-tired-of-good-intentions-wants-law-firm-diversity-now. ^
  3. Feuer, Will. “Coca-Cola Pauses Aggressive Diversity Plan after Chief Lawyer Resigns.” Fox Business. Fox Business, May 4, 2021. https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/coca-cola-pauses-aggressive-diversity-plan-after-chief-lawyer-resigns. ^
  4. “Employee Enrichment.” The Coca-Cola Company. Accessed June 16, 2021. https://www.coca-colacompany.com/shared-future/diversity-and-inclusion/racial-equity/internal-action/employee-enrichment. ^
  5. Rivera, Alfredo. “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Training: Company Statement.” The Coca-Cola Company, March 2, 2021. https://www.coca-colacompany.com/media-center/diversity-equity-inclusion-training. ^
  6. “Explained: Why Coca-Cola Is under Fire for Promoting ‘Reverse Racism’ and ‘Anti-White’ Rhetoric.” The Indian Express, April 20, 2021. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-why-coca-cola-is-being-called-anti-white-after-a-diversity-training-seminar-7204703/. ^
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