It goes without saying that 2020 was an unprecedented year – the global COVID-19 pandemic, a 500-year flood in our headquarters location of Midland, MI, a long-overdue national reckoning on race and multiple severe weather events impacting our Gulf Coast Operations. We believe crisis reveals character – and, while last year was one of the most challenging in our company’s 124-year history, Team Dow did not allow the uncertainties of these crises to paralyze us. Instead, we maintained our intentional focus on inclusion to help us navigate the challenges and capitalize on opportunities, and took action to deliver sustainable progress.
We continued our efforts to improve the diversity of our workforce through early career recruiting and hosted our signature Diamond and BEST Symposia for the first time in a virtual environment. We implemented a new Inclusive Hiring Standard to drive equal access and opportunity for all. We expanded accountability for inclusion and diversity by including metrics in our annual Performance Award design for our top 300 leaders. And, we responded to racial injustice with a holistic plan, Dow ACTs, which is an acronym for Advocacy, Community and Talent. Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) were a driving force in creating virtual spaces to connect Team Dow, serve the community, deliver professional and personal development offerings, and provide resources to help employees thrive. As we ended 2020, we refreshed our inclusion strategy with the launch of ALL IN 2025, charting a path to build on our foundation and accelerate progress.
This past year reinforced the message that at Dow “inclusion is not canceled.”
In 2017, we began an intentional journey to cultivate a culture of inclusion across Dow. Over a three-year period, we took deliberate action to ensure sustainable progress. The Inclusion 2020 strategy sparked a grassroots movement across the company. The intentional efforts of thousands of Dow people helped move the needle on all of the key performance indicators (KPIs) and elevated Dow as a leader in inclusion.
As we closed out 2020, we refreshed our inclusion strategy to focus on accelerated progress through ALL IN 2025. We will continue to lead with inclusion, while focusing on diversity and embedding equity into our policies and practices.
Dow’s global ID&E strategy is led by our Chief Human Resources and Inclusion Officer Karen S. Carter, who reports directly to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Fitterling. This strategy has been endorsed by Dow’s Board of Directors, and progress is reviewed as part of the Compensation and Leadership Development Committee of the Board.
Three Inclusion Councils drive the ID&E strategy from the top of the company and across the enterprise.
This three-tiered approach is designed to represent and reach employees around the globe, while providing autonomy to set ID&E priorities and plans that are relevant and appropriate to the businesses, functions and\ geographies. Although each council plays a unique role, there is ongoing feedback between them. This governance structure drives enterprisewide alignment, engagement and progress.
Dow’s 2020 annual Performance Award bonus program was redesigned to include a new ESG index and further drive accountability across the organization. This new design was approved by our Board of Directors and holds Team Dow accountable for delivering on our company ambition by including targets on customer experience, sustainability, and inclusion and diversity (I&D). The I&D metrics (Global ERG Participation, Global Representation of Women, and U.S. Ethnic Minority Representation) were directly aligned to the annual Performance Award bonuses of Dow’s top 300 leaders. In 2021, we further expanded shared accountability for enterprise I&D metrics to all ~2,800 people leaders across the company globally and leaders at senior director levels and above.
Operating EBIT is defined as earnings (i.e., Income (Loss) before income taxes) before interest, excluding the impact of significant items.
1Free Cash Flow is defined as “Cash provided by operating activities - continuing operations” less capital expenditures.
2The WLO Index is a composite of four indices: Unplanned Events, Total Worker Health, Environmental Stewardship and Transportation Stewardship.
3Dow policy prohibits hiring, firing or promoting on account of an individual’s race, gender, disability status, religion, age, sexual orientation or any other protected status.