Our business succeeds when our employees thrive. Our commitment to ID&E has allowed us to navigate through challenging times with increased employee engagement and enhanced innovation. In 2021, Team Dow delivered a record-breaking year of financial performance for our company, fueled by our commitment to advance inclusion, diversity and equity for all.
U.S. ethnic minorities
Women in people leadership globally and 28.9% women globally
Global ERG participation
Retention of diverse suppliers
Diverse suppliers generated positive EBIT impact to our bottom line
Overall employee satisfaction
In 2021, we updated Dow’s ID&E strategy – ALL IN 2025 – which focuses on leading with inclusion, elevating our focus on diversity, and embedding equity into our practices, policies and processes. And we outlined bold new actions to deliver breakthrough results by 2025, while amplifying transparency and accountability
Bottom-up alignment and action
Dow’s 10 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) continued to be a valuable resource for employees and the company by cultivating positive employee experiences and providing a platform for business growth.
During times of racial injustice, open conversations are some of the most powerful tools that bring people together. That’s why ADN hosted a “A Day of Understanding” in alignment with CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion’s approach to creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace. The session provided an opportunity for ongoing dialogue around the topic of anti-Asian sentiment. Nearly 750 ERG participants, including Dow leaders, took part in the conversation, which covered topics such as intersectionality, bias, microaggressions and ways to become an effective advocate.
The Singapore Permanent Shoes Waste Recycling Ecosystem project collects school and athletic shoes to be recycled and made into sports infrastructure such as jogging tracks and playgrounds. Leveraging this project, DEN recently raised S$34,200 ($25,000 USD) for the Autism Association Singapore to partner with a local school serving autistic students and a tailor-instructor, who teaches graduates how to sew the casings for pads and mats that are made from the recycled shoes. These pads and mats are then used to enhance safety at the school. This partnership helps the students learn a new skillset and prepare for future job opportunities.
In June, GAAN, the Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN), the Dow
Consumer Solutions business and Dow Government Affairs partnered to support legislative actions to pass the C.R.O.W.N. Act, which stands for Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair and prohibits race-based hair discrimination in employment and educational opportunities.
In 2021, Dow also announced a collaboration with THE MOST™, a start-up company specializing in textured hair care solutions, to better understand and address the needs of the underserved multicultural textured hair care market.
Leveraging consumer insights of GAAN members, Dow launched a Textured Hair Care Kit, showcasing six uniquely formulated products that have been tested and tailored to meet the needs of consumers.
As part of Dow’s 2021 Pride month, Dow and GLAD partnered with Richard Childress Racing and General Motors to sponsor NASCAR driver Austin Dillon’s racecar in Pride-themed paint to bring awareness and drive towards a more diverse, inclusive and equal workplace and world.
For over 20 years, HLN’s mission has been to promote an inclusive culture and provide development, mentoring, networking and community engagement opportunities for its members and allies.
The Benelux HLN chapter in Terneuzen partnered with NGO Stitching Present to support 20 families with immigrant backgrounds with supplies, food and toys for children.
Team Dow co-sponsored the Arab American National Museum Gala in Dearborn, Michigan. The gala helped to raise funds for the museum, which provides free and accessible online educational and cultural programming to keep the Arab American community engaged, connected and safe.
PR!ME produced a video series with executive leaders to help coach employees on how to have meaningful career conversations with their leaders and to make the most of their career regardless of age, level or life situation.
In collaboration with ADN, HLN and PR!ME, RISE launched a next-generation Buddy Program globally. The program helps familiarize new employees with Dow and equip them with the resources they need to get a great start, and assists incoming expats with the challenges that involve
joining a new culture.
RISE created several opportunities to connect Dow’s newest employees to influential leaders and helpful resources. RISE hosted a global fireside chat with Executive Sponsor and Vice President of Global Public Affairs Rebecca Bentley and President and Chief Financial Officer Howard Ungerleider to learn more about the company’s 2021 financial strategy. Ungerleider provided insight on how RISE participants can contribute to Dow’s success and financial performance, as well as shared his reading recommendations for increasing personal business and financial acumen.
Team Rubicon serves communities by mobilizing military veterans to continue their service, leveraging their skills and experiences to help people prepare, respond and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises.
Eight Dow employees from Team Rubicon were deployed in 2021, with participants coming from Texas, Michigan and Louisiana in the United States, and from Alberta, Canada. Team members helped Little Warriors, a nonprofit camp near Fort Saskatchewan, supporting children who were victims of sexual assault. They also supported the Louisiana communities of Hammond, Houma and La Place following Hurricane Ida. Team Dow contributed more than 400 volunteer hours to Team Rubicon’s efforts in 2021.
VetNet welcomed Dow Canada to Team Rubicon for the first time. Twelve Dow Canada employees were trained and are now ready to deploy and v volunteer.
WIN placed a particular emphasis on increasing representation of women in manufacturing. The Women in Manufacturing webinar, MFG Day 21, featured Dow women operations leaders at a Creators Wanted event presented by the Manufacturing Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers. These leaders shared their experiences and celebrated the achievements of women in the industry.
WIN also hosted a global internal webcast which featured a fireside chat between Teresa Keating, global director Environmental, Health, Safety & Sustainability, and John Sampson, senior vice president, Operations, Manufacturing and Engineering. They discussed the results of a survey of global women operations leaders on how to address barriers to increasing the number of women in manufacturing.
To continue to advance Dow’s ambition, we must develop tomorrow’s talented workforce today. A focus of our 2025 ID&E strategy is improving representation across multiple dimensions of diversity, especially in areas where we have measurable gaps such as women globally and U.S. ethnic minorities.
Diamond Symposium is intended for top, U.S. ethnic minority undergraduate students from universities across the United States. In 2021, Dow hosted 53 students and extended 25 internship and full-time offers with 15 acceptances and increased the offer acceptance rate from 2020 by 36%.
BEST Symposium is primarily intended to introduce Black, Hispanic and Native American U.S. doctoral and postdoctoral scientists to the wide range of rewarding careers in industrial research and the many opportunities at Dow. Twenty-eight candidates attended the 2021 BEST Symposium, and Dow extended 16 full-time offers with 13 acceptances, the highest absolute number of BEST hires in a single season.
Military Degree Equivalency (MDE) Program
Veterans acquire outstanding skills during their years of service – skills that bring tremendous value to a business. Understanding the opportunity to bring these veterans’ broad scope of training and experience into a successful career at Dow, the MDE program recognizes relevant military experience of E6 ranking or greater (OR6 for Canada) as equivalent to a bachelor’s degree for U.S. and Canadian job postings. The E6 ranking translates to 8-12 years of experience and has generally equivalent responsibilities across all branches of the military.
Increasing intern diversity through Dow Brazil’s Jump to the Future
In 2021, Dow Brazil introduced the Jump to the Future initiative with the goal of increasing diversity among interns. To broaden the talent pool, the program was strategically redesigned, making the English fluency requirement optional. Interns were offered an English course called the “Trampolim Program” and also learned other skills relevant for future job opportunities.
Developing and retaining a diverse workforce is imperative to deliver the best results at Dow. That is why one of our top priorities is developing diverse talent and equipping leaders and employees with the tools they need to succeed. To do so, we employ a range of leadership development approaches, including on-the-job learning, classroom training, online learning, development through ERG participation, and formal mentorship and sponsorship programs. We know that investing in diverse talent will make a difference for our people and for our business.
The second cohort of the Advocacy-in-Action Sponsorship Program began in 2021. AiA strategically pairs Black protégés with senior leader advocates to share real-world experiences and speak openly and constructively about barriers to career progression. The program takes place over a 15-month period, during which participants receive personalized coaching and development and engage in structured networking. AiA provides intentional exposure and improved visibility for protégés, with the goals of advancing and developing protégés for the next level of career opportunities. Advocates learn to recognize and actively address barriers and biases, serve as sponsors, and set the tone for other leaders to create real change.
AiA Cohort 1&2 Results:
~50% of participants receieved promotions and/or role changes [*as of March 2022]
~90% protege retention
~85% of participants believe AiA meaningfully addressed barriers to advancement and inclusion of Black employees.
The Peer Allies program is designed to build cross-functional and cross-business relationships through networking. Participants are randomly assigned a new peer ally connection each month and are encouraged to meet for a 30- minute one-on-one introductory conversation. The program has over 1,400 participants at all job levels across North America.
“One of the greatest gifts we can give and receive is time, and I always look forward to spending time getting to know someone I may not interact with daily. Peer Allies has enabled me to purposefully refocus and re-energize by learning about another Dow colleague outside my organization, which helps me pay it forward in my current responsibilities at work and outside of work.”
- Shannon Hemmelgarn
PRISE Connections, a program structured by RISE and PR!ME, was launched in 2021 to foster integration and meaningful discussions among employees from both ERGs. Approximately 120 new connections were made..
The WIN+5 networking program seeks to increase interaction between female talent and leadership and create a safe environment for participants to develop their skills and build broader professional networks. In 2021, the program helped connect 86 female employees.
In 2021, the Wazobia Program launched as a peer-to-peer mentoring and coaching initiative that pairs Africanheritage participants with mentors across the Europe, Middle East, Africa and India (EMEAI) region. The goal is to build relationships, strengthen trust and collaboration, deliver robust and innovative solutions, and enable career growth. The 2021 program included sessions focused on employee development, networking and Dow strategy. .
The Africa Leadership Program (ALP) just completed its first cohort in 2021. Participants engaged in training and business growth projects with the aim of accelerating the development of African leaders to support growth on the continent. The program’s success has inspired the team to extend its impact beyond Africa and develop an IMEAT (India, Middle East, Africa and Turkey) program, which will launch next year..
Every member of Team Dow is at the heart of our success and plays a role in helping us achieve our goals. We strive to be flexible, agile and inclusive to meet the needs and preferences of our diverse workforce. We have continued to make several enhancements to existing programs and policies to cultivate a positive employee experience for all.
Total Rewards program
We reward the contributions of Team Dow by investing in them through Dow Total Rewards, a combination of pay, benefits and other company-sponsored programs. In 2021, we reviewed the rewards offered to ensure they are competitive and continue to meet the needs of a diverse workforce. After researching best practices, listening to feedback from colleagues through an employee survey and considering Dow’s long-term vision and goals, we modernized our rewards and reinforced our commitment to offer equitable and market-competitive programs.
Parental leave policy
Dow’s new global parental leave policy was expanded in 2021 to provide 16 weeks of paid time-off to ALL parents – birthing, non-birthing and adoptive, regardless of gender. Designed with inclusion in mind, this policy provides all parents equal time away from work to bond with their child.
Family caregiver leave policy
The family caregiver leave policy provides employees with up to three weeks of paid time-off to care for family members who are sick or injured. Family caregiver leave can be used for activities such as accompanying a family member to a scheduled medical appointment, visiting an ill family member in the hospital or hospice, and/or providing care as they receive treatment for and/or recover from an injury or illness.
Volunteer and ERG time off
Every member of Team Dow – whether they work at a manufacturing site, in an office or in the field – is encouraged to make a positive difference by volunteering and getting involved in one of Dow’s ERGs. As part of the company’s comprehensive enhancements to Total Rewards and aligned to our 2025 Engaging for Impact sustainability goal, we launched a Global Volunteer and ERG Participation Policy. The policy allows our employees 12 hours of paidtime-off to volunteer and engage in ERG activities.
Dow ACTs is our strategic framework designed to address systemic racism and inequality, backed by a $13 million pledge over five years to help accelerate change. ACT is an acronym for three action areas: Advocacy, Community engagement and our own Talent pipeline. Since the launch of Dow ACTs in 2020, progress highlights include:
After a one-year hiatus, Dow hosted SOAR – an immersive inclusive leadership event that has become a highlight of the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational in Midland, MI. The goal of SOAR is to bring together Dow leaders, customers, suppliers, community members and guests to develop concrete actions to advance inclusion in their own organizations and communities. Karen S. Carter, chief Human Resources officer and chief Inclusion officer, stated in her opening remarks: “Admission to SOAR is free – but it does come with a price. And the price you pay is the willingness to look inside yourself. The willingness to unpack your own biases and engage. The willingness to commit to action when you exit these doors.”
Our Supplier Diversity program continued to make strides in becoming an industry leader. To expand our reach and elevate this business imperative, we created the role of global purchasing director for sustainability, supplier diversity and ESG. In 2021, we surpassed our target and achieved approximately $220 million globally in diverse supplier spend while retaining 81% of our diverse suppliers and contributing approximately $9 million in EBIT to our bottom line.
Grow diverse spending in North America and achieve top benchmark performance and further expand program in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, Asia Pacific and Latin America
Drive accountability across all functions and businesses at Dow – Supplier Diversity becomes a corporate-wide program – and across our entire value chain
Increase support for diverse suppliers and influence top spend (non-diverse) suppliers to promote workforce ID&E and inclusive procurement