Building an inclusive culture and diverse teams at Dow is an ongoing, evolving effort that we hope demonstrates a standard for society at large.
We honored Pride 2021 with the theme #ShareYourPride, because building a more inclusive and equal world is a shared effort — and a lot more fun to do together.
As we continue to take action and raise awareness for the importance of inclusion, we’re finding more ways to amplify the voices of underrepresented groups in our communities. The month of June has given us the opportunity to join so many others – in our industry and beyond - to support the multifaceted LGBTQ+ community by setting out to find ways in which we can empower, support and educate the masses. It's with this determination that we executed events across the globe, magnifying the impact Pride has on our Company and one another.
From internal events to external showcases and partnerships, Team Dow was busy taking action to raise awareness worldwide. As executive sponsor for Dow’s LGBTQ+ and ally ERG, GLAD, I heard from my colleagues to learn a little more about the amazing initiatives and events they organized.
With pleasure! We have exciting Pride celebrations across the globe. June started with a Kick-off event with Louis Vega, Dow President North America; Vice President, Government Affairs & Advocacy, North America, and special guest Suki Sandhu, Founder & CEO of Involve, to discuss the future of inclusion in workplaces. We also launched this month’s theme - #ShareYourPride, which cuts right to the point of building inclusive culture; agreeing on shared values which consider all as equals, no matter their sexual preferences or identifications.
To end this month, as you know, we will have a wrap-up event co-hosted by yourself, the executive sponsor for Dow's LGBTQ+ and ally employee resource group, GLAD, Dow Chairman and CEO, Jim Fitterling, and GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis to discuss the importance of intersectionality. Because that’s so important to keep in mind when considering underrepresented communities – that they aren’t siloed. Many communities overlap, causing different modes of bias to bring attention to.
I would love to. Dow is an important supplier to General Motors as we work together to innovate and drive change in the transportation industry. Dow and GM are both committed to leading the journey of inclusion in the workplace and beyond. When GLAD came up with the idea to sponsor Austin Dillon’s #3 NASCAR to increase visibility and awareness for Pride month, we immediately thought about extending this partnership to GM. GM’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group— GM PLUS— didn’t blink an eye at the opportunity to collaborate! We designed the Chevrolet Camaro, with support from RCR Racing, in rainbow colors to light up the racetrack. Both Dow and GM are proud of our own achievements, but we know they mean nothing without additional action. This inclusive collaboration has strengthened our business relationship, while magnifying impactful change within our shared communities and industry.
Absolutely. Dow has advocated for full inclusion of all citizens for many years. Dow was one of the first three companies to publicly support the Equality Act when it was first introduced in 2015. And, today, the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act has more than 416 member companies across all 50 states.
Our longtime support for the Equality Act and other similar proposals continues to show that commitment. No matter who they are or where they choose to work, live, or play — everyone should be treated fairly and with decency and respect. And while Dow already provides clear and comprehensive non-discrimination policies to help foster a fully inclusive culture amongst our employees, it is important that all citizens are able to expect the same in all aspects of society — everything from health care to housing to public accommodations and education — because we know that equality and opportunity for all is good for people, business, and the economy.
ALBERTO: We came from very difficult months: friends and families lost, spending months alone working from home or the cautions of going into work every day with all the ambiguity we had surrounding the global pandemic. As humanity, I think we were very tired. And as a result of that, the GLAD team came up with the idea of supporting #ShareYourPride: a vibrant spirit to engage in with communities by volunteering, sharing experiences and really expressing yourself with others by celebrating the magic of true inclusion together- and that’s what this month really means to me. It’s a celebration of each other, how we identify, and what our unique heritages are.
ERICA: I love this year’s Pride month theme. To me, it meant extending our progress outside of the company. Dow has made significant progress building an inclusive culture where employees can bring their whole selves to work– feeling proud, inspired and a having a true sense of belonging. This culture has personally allowed me to not only come out at work, but to raise my voice to continue progressing the journey. I want to not only progress the journey internally at Dow, but externally working together to drive real change. This is why I found the event in partnership with GM as the perfect opportunity to work together in order to share our pride as a united voice.
ALEX: For me the campaign is much more than a one-time company event – and underscores the efforts within Dow to engage in our communities. When I grew up in a small town in upstate New York, the only LGBTQ+ resource for me and my family was PFLAG, Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. We would attend monthly meetings and get to know others in our community. These early years of meeting other LGBTQ+ families and learning about our history motivated me to become engaged in LGBTQ+ activism.
Today, Dow is more involved than ever in our local communities and we actively participate along with local non-profits. Although this campaign is during Pride month, Dow employees have volunteered and engaged for decades in local communities, from the Attic Youth Center in Philadelphia, Perceptions group in Michigan to Transformando in Brazil. I am proud to work for not only a company that is dedicated to local communities but notably the employees who volunteer and help build a better tomorrow for the LGBTQ+ community.
ALBERTO: So many times, I’ve heard that inclusion in manufacturing is difficult. But after almost 10 years at Dow, I’ve seen that nothing can’t be overcome when you have a troop of people who share similar passions and ambitions. This company has shown how every site celebrates diversity during Pride. I was delighted to see so many flag raising ceremonies, donations in São Paulo, webinars for companies located in Mexico and Pride Activations in the neighborhoods of Midland. Our employees show that a leader in Material Science can also be a leader in inclusion. I am so proud that other companies are learning and getting inspired by the great vision of our Office of Inclusion and the activities our ERGs are doing to celebrate Pride across the globe!
ERICA: When companies such as Dow and GM make internal commitments in the space of diversity and inclusion, I see it as an obligation and opportunity to also help show customers, suppliers and industries the right direction. Manufacturing industries, and specifically automotive, have traditionally lagged in the journey of LGBTQ+ Inclusion. This was the first time the fans have seen a pride-themed car, but we know it won’t be the last. The car represents our continued fight for LGBTQ+ rights to ensure the community feels seen and heard, driving us towards a more diverse, inclusive and equal workplace and society. People are the heart of our automotive solutions and the ‘why’ behind our commitment to create safer and more sustainable vehicles. They come from diverse communities and backgrounds, and the full spectrum of diversity must be represented in order to achieve success.
ALEX: We’re focused on recruiting and retaining top talent so we can most effectively collaborate with our partners and work with them to develop solutions. When people come to work, we want them to know they are part of Team Dow and that their individuality is valued because it makes us better and it makes us stronger. But, more than that, we reflect our core values to the world, and we advocate to make the places we live and work more inclusive.
Helping to raise awareness for Pride and for LGBTQ+ equality are a part of our overall strategy. We need all our stakeholders to know that they belong, that they are valued, and that we have their back — we need them fully engaged to deliver a sustainable future.
As we wrap up Pride month, we recognize that these events are only a stamp in time, marking how far we’ve come and how much work there is still left to do. Building an inclusive and diverse culture at Dow is an ongoing, evolving effort that we hope demonstrates a standard for society at large. As we move past June, we will carry on the theme – building a more inclusive culture begins with sharing our core values with those around us.
Amy Wilson, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary