“In March 2022, alongside the Human Rights Campaign and a coalition of 58 other companies, Dow placed a full-page ad in the digital and print editions of the Dallas Morning News opposing Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s directive aimed at transgender youth and calling on policymakers to abandon efforts like this to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people, especially trans youth.”
- Neal Sheorey
Thanks in large part to the work of the members of GLAD, Dow’s LGBTQ+ and Ally Employee Resource Group (ERG), Dow has placed an emphasis on ensuring that we’re an inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees – becoming the first company in our industry to score 100% on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index more than 17 years ago. And all year round we put that value into action by supporting employee participation in parades and events around the world, elevating and exploring LGBTQ+ issues on our webcasts and other internal communications, and celebrating our partnership with organizations like Out Leadership, Out & Equal, the Victory Institute, GLAAD, PFLAG and the Human Rights Campaign.
But Dow’s inclusion mission goes well beyond the month of June. Dow’s ID&E efforts are largely driven by employees and supported by leadership committed to sharing workplace values and demonstrating compelling business reasons for others to follow. And others in the business community are noticing--seeing the value that ERGs such as GLAD can bring, not only from an employee engagement standpoint, but also from a business perspective.
Partnerships are what bind us together, connect our communities and help to advance ID&E awareness as well as innovation. When we work together across the industry, with our partners both in and out of the supply chain, we can make great things happen. That means collaborating with our customers, suppliers and partners to come together to share our lessons, learnings and all the progress we’ve made as an organization. This has helped our partners along their journey, in turn helping the world become a more equal and inclusive place, while ultimately increasing value to our business relationships.
A perfect example of this is our recent Rainbow Container initiative in partnership with Maersk, the global logistics and transport company and Dow supplier. The project kicked off in July 2020, when Maersk reached out about working with large partners that were shipping products with them internationally. Dow applauded the project and was more than happy to participate because the two companies have worked together on successful initiatives in the past, including an ongoing effort to eliminate plastic waste in the shipping process.
The initiative featured two fully functional containers that were painted with a Pride rainbow and then put in Maersk’s ongoing fleet, traveling across the globe from Houston to the Port of Antwerp in Belgium. Prior to making its way to Europe, and during a stopover in the U.S., Dow hosted a ‘send-off’ event for one of the containers, where employees had the opportunity to come together to see it and add their personal, hand-written messages of inclusion.
“This project with Maersk opened the door to much broader collaboration,” said Gael De Martelaere, Global Logistics Sourcing Director at Dow. “It has enabled us to engage in discussion around the importance and necessity of I&D initiatives while also advancing Maersk cleanup and sustainability projects. Working with partners with shared values is a tremendous opportunity to enhance existing business relationships.”
Following the event, the container was then shipped off to Europe to continue its global journey of inclusion awareness and making connections across borders, where other Maersk employees were able to contribute their own messages of inclusion.
An important component of allyship is visibility, and the 20-foot Rainbow Container’s stop at Dow’s site at Terneuzen, The Netherlands – Dow’s largest site outside of the U.S. – offered just that. We encouraged all Dow employees and contractors at the site to join us in amplifying our allyship with a #DowProud social media campaign, taking the Rainbow Container from the Dow Diamond Centre in The Netherlands to social feeds around the world. These images of the container and the messages of support and celebration enabled our values to show up in a very visible way.
This is just one approach we are taking with our partners to enhance ongoing relationships and build on our work in the ID&E space. Stay tuned for more details around what Dow is doing to Imagine Better, and connect with us on social media using #DowProud — future opportunities to collaborate and create value are only a connection away.
Neal Sheorey; Business Vice President, Coatings and Performance Monomers; GLAD Executive Sponsor, North America