You matter. Let’s ACT.

 

Dows comittments to acelerating change

Jun 15, 2020 | Jim Fitterling

We are listening. And, just as importantly, we’re taking action to accelerate change and address racism, inequality, and injustice.


Recently, on this blog, I committed to “act on behalf of those who deal with racism, bigotry, and the threat of violence everyday simply because of the color of their skin … starting with Team Dow.”

In keeping with this commitment – and our commitments as a company to build an inclusive culture – our leadership team spent time listening to our colleagues and external partners. It’s something we should have been doing better all along.

As one of my colleagues so eloquently put it in an email this week: “… if people would have been listening all along, we would have known that people of color have been saying, “I can’t breathe” for many years. Maybe we would have heard what Colin Kaepernick and other athletes were saying when they took a knee.”

We are listening. And, just as importantly, we’re taking action to accelerate change and address racism, inequality, and injustice.

Reflecting back, until now, we hadn’t fully committed to our significant role here. In the pursuit of our ambition – which includes becoming the most inclusive materials science company in the world – we have certainly made dedicated efforts to address issues of bias and injustice in the past. But these efforts have not been enough.

We know we must do better going forward, fully committing to our foundational responsibility of human decency. It is both the smart thing to do and the right thing to do … for business and for society. But overcoming hundreds of years of systemic racism will require a holistic approach and long-term action from all of us.

We’re committing to anti-racism through a series of strategic actions; and we pledge $5 million over the next five years to help advance racial equality and social justice.

We must ACT, together.

With this strategic framework, which has been reviewed and fully supported by our Dow Board of Directors, we recommit to existing actions, outline a set of new actions we’ll take to move the needle, and put forth further actions that will accelerate us towards our ambition.

Advocacy

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I recognize the importance of corporate advocacy in achieving the advancements we’ve made. And Dow has been at the forefront of that work – offering numerous public statements supporting and opposing proposed legislation and court rulings at the state, federal and international level, and working diligently to offer our LGBTQ+ employees the most inclusive policies and practices possible.

We will take similar actions to address racism and racial inequality, such as…

  • Establishing a cross-functional Social Justice Council to monitor matters of inequality and advise Dow on our response.
  • Driving policy change through engagement at the U.S. state and federal levels, including with the Congressional Black Caucus, and directing funding to organizations dedicated to fighting racial injustice, including judicial reform, healthcare disparities and economic inequalities in the Black community.
  • Providing paid time off for all employees for voting in the U.S. and leveraging employee resource groups for voter registration campaigns.

Community

When faced with the global COVID-19 pandemic, we announced financial support locally and worldwide, and Team Dow changed processes to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our people and stakeholders. Additionally, when catastrophic flooding affected the region near our global headquarters, we offered financial support to local organizations and employees, and Team Dow built a distribution network to get relief materials directly to where they were most needed.

Our community response to racism and racial inequality should be no different. We will…

  • Recommit through our Dow Promise Grant Program to positively impact Black communities near Dow locations, where economic and educational challenges may be barriers to success.
  • Include Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a U.S. paid holiday and an opportunity for a day of service. This is an action we should’ve taken long ago; and it’s a shame it took us until now to recognize this important national holiday.
  • Ensure our procurement practices eliminate any barriers for Black-owned and all minority-owned enterprises to do business with Dow and influence our entire supply chain to do the same.

Talent

We have work to do to improve the diversity of Dow’s workforce and our talent pipeline. As noted in our 2019 Inclusion Report, Black employees make up 8.5% of our U.S. employee population. According to the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau’s estimates, the U.S. population is 13.4% Black.

To improve representation across all levels of the company and help ensure our workforce reflects the stakeholders we serve, we will…

  • Ensure a strong focus on retention and development of our Black employees.
  • Build a more diverse talent pipeline for Dow and our industry through further strategic investment in historically Black colleges and universities, and community college skilled trades programs.
  • Redouble our efforts and maximize the impact of our existing diversity recruiting programs, such as Diamond Symposium and BEST Symposium.
  • Require racial equity and advanced inclusion training for all our leaders and Human Resources professionals.

I am committed to leading Team Dow and supporting our external partners every step of the way as we progress on this plan. This is our starting point, but we know it can be improved upon. Further details will be added, and our plan will evolve. The listening cannot – and will not – stop.

As a manufacturing company – and as an engineer myself – we tend to focus on process … creating or improving a given process to solve a defined challenge. But addressing this challenge can’t be a process-focused endeavor. We must focus on our people.

We’ll do this by listening, learning, adapting and committing to be a part of the ongoing solution.

We don’t have all the answers. But this we do know: Black Lives Matter.
 

Jim Fitterling, Chairman and CEO


ACTing on our Commitments

 

Dows comittments to acelerating change

Sep 28, 2020 | Karen S. Carter, Rebecca Bentley, Louis A. Vega

Racism and discrimination are personal, and we believe it will take people of all backgrounds partnering together to alter history’s course.

Across our nation – and our world – peaceful uprisings and global citizens speaking out against social injustice have turned the spotlight on systemic racism and the undeniable, long-overdue reckoning on race. At times, it has been hard to find the right words that truly capture the hurt felt across our nation, and in the world around us.

Is it anger? Is it sadness? Is it helplessness? Is it confusion?