If Safeway Cares, It Will Add Two Women to Its Board
  • Petitioned Safeway

This petition was delivered to:


If Safeway Cares, It Will Add Two Women to Its Board

    1. Victoria Pynchon
    2. Petition by

      Victoria Pynchon

      Los Angeles, CA

As Law.com recently reported, the general counsel of Safeway Inc., a Fortune 100 company, compared Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to pigs at the supermarket chain’s annual meeting this past Tuesday.

Gordon, 59, has been Safeway’s GC since 2000. The company operates 1,675 stores in the U.S. and western Canada and had annual sales of $43.6 billion in 2011.

Here's the "joke."

. . . among the instructions given to Obama's Secret Service agents was to try to agree with the president more and support his decisions. And that led to this exchange that took place last week, when the president flew into the White House lawn and an agent greeted him at the helicopter.

The president was carrying two pigs under his arms and the Secret Service agents said, "Nice pigs, sir."

And the president said, "These are not ordinary pigs, these are genuine Arkansas razorback hogs. I got one for former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and one for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."

And the Secret Service agent said, "Excellent trade, sir."

When a major American corporation whose primary source of income is the women who patronize their stores shows this type of sexist attitude, the time has come for the company to put at least three women on its Board of Directors. Safeway has one, Janet E. Grove.

The GC of Safeway has made the type of apology we've become accustomed to hearing from people who refuse to be accountable for what they said. In this case, he said " "I sincerely apologize if the opening comments I made at the recent annual stockholders meeting offended anyone. As these comments have been interpreted, they are not a reflection of my personal beliefs or that of my employer. I understand how my comments have impacted others and I hope they will accept my apology."

In other words, people have interpreted the inoffensive thing that I said as being offensive and I'm sorry they did that.

There's no reason to call for the resignation of someone who is suffering from implicit bias so much that he does not recognize just how outrageous comparing two of the world's most powerful women to pigs is. What he and Safeway need is diversity in their ranks.

Because it takes at least three women on a Board of Directors to change corporate culture (in this case, obviously sexist corporate culture) this Petition is a request to Safeway that it make amends to the women customers on which it bases its fortune by adding two more women to its Board of Directors.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 25 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Alyse Hart WOODLAND HILLS, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      This is overt antiquated behavior and it's just a glimmer of what's going on covertly in big business and politics. It's hard to ignore this and we can vote with our wallets and shop elsewhere.

    • Jeanne Bishop SAN LEANDRO, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      Most supermarket customers are women. Why aren't more women outraged about this? Spread the word!! Boycott Safeway until they take action.

      I sent snail mail letters to Steven Burd, Pres, CEO, Chairman of Board and Janet Grove, only female board member, requesting Robert Carlson be demoted from corporate counsel, that a new (hopefully female) corporate counsel be hired, that Carlson be put in a new philanthropic endeavor by Safeway to provide legal services to victims of abuse, that he directly interact with the clients. (Should have asked that his retirement compensation be tied to his cooperation.) He is completely out of touch, as is the Safeway Board.

    • Marcia Eckerd NORWALK, CT
      • over 2 years ago

      because of the complete lack of respect and total lack of intelligence of saying this publicly at an annual meeting. Did he think no one was listening?

    • Deborah Rothman LOS ANGELES, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      There is absolutely no excuse for this type of insensitivity in the 21st Century. Clearly Mr. Gordon needs oversight by a Board that has a sufficient number of women on it to be able to set the proper standards for Safeway in its communications, and its conduct. If the GC thinks prominent women are fair game for sexist jokes, I imagine class action lawyers will be taking a close look at Safeway's employment policies and procedures.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.