Suffolk-based brewer Adnams is among the latest companies to leave the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), as the culture of the organisation continues to be called into question.
A report by The Guardian earlier this month highlighted claims of rape as well as harassment at the organisation.
According to The Guardian, Adnams joins around 60 businesses that have cancelled or suspended membership, including the likes of John Lewis and Rolls-Royce.
“Adnams is a business that sets high standards for itself and its business partners,” said CEO Andy Woods (pictured above). “As an organisation that is vocal about responsible business behaviour and that expects adherence to a set of core values from its team, it has become unsustainable for us to remain members of the CBI.
“It is crystal clear the CBI has some engrained cultural and behavioural issues to deal with and this further series of allegations has led us to the decision to withdraw our support.”
In an open letter to members, CBI president Brian McBride said the company had failed to filter out culturally toxic people during the hiring process.
“We failed to conduct proper cultural onboarding of staff,” said McBride. “Some of our managers were promoted too quickly without the necessary prior and ongoing training to protect our cultural values, and to properly react when those values were violated. In assessing performance, we paid more attention to competence than to behaviour. Our HR function was not represented at board level, which reduced escalation paths to senior levels of the company when these were most needed. And we tried to find resolution in sexual harassment cases when we should have removed those offenders from our business.
“In retrospect, this last point was our most grievous error, which led to a reluctance amongst women to formalise complaints.” To read the full letter, click here.