Our support of equality and social justice
Like many in 2020, we were saddened by the senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and share the frustration of people who are saying, enough is enough as it relates to the discriminatory events and other incidents that have impacted Black Americans and other underrepresented groups over many years. The demonstrations around the world sent a loud and clear message that we need to do more to create an equal and just society.
At our core, PPG is a company that believes in the basic values of human dignity, diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). These are some of our most important values. Racism and discrimination have no place at PPG. We know that our differences make us stronger.
As such, PPG leaders quickly set up open communication channels and sharing sessions, some of which included industry experts, to discuss race and DE&I. Our goal, as individuals and as an organization, is to ensure our workforce is inclusive of all backgrounds and reflects the communities in which we live and work. At PPG, we know that a diverse workforce - representing wide-ranging nationalities, cultures, languages, religions, ethnicities, professional and educational experiences, and other dimensions - allows us to meet challenges quickly, creatively and effectively.
We are committing to do even more in the cities and neighborhoods that we call home. We will engage with our communities, our customers, and our employees, to listen, learn, and take action. As a global company, PPG can make a difference. Our purpose states that “we protect and beautify the world,” and this has never been more important than now.
One of PPG’s greatest strengths is the diversity of our people. We take a wide-ranging view of diversity, inclusive of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability/ability, religion, nationality, and educational background, among other factors. Our employees’ unique perspectives enable us to meet challenges quickly, creatively and effectively, providing a significant competitive advantage in today’s global economy.
Inclusive cultures and diverse teams perform better and are more successful. More than being a smart thing to do for our business, DE&I is the right thing to do on so many levels. PPG is committed to making it happen – each and every day.
To underscore this commitment, PPG Chairman and CEO, Michael McGarry, was one of the first 150 signatories of the CEO ACTION FOR DIVERSITY & INCLUSION® pledge in 2017, which is now the largest CEO-driven business coalition of 1,500+ companies to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
In 2020, PPG strengthened its focus on DE&I across the company. Through these efforts, we’ve looked more closely at ourselves, our workforce and our workplace, and made a series of eight commitments to grow and strengthen DE&I:
- Adding a dedicated DE&I leader, responsible to design, lead and execute our global DE&I vision and strategy.
- Leveraging fact-based/data-driven strategies, initiatives and decision-making to better understand demographic and culture opportunities across our workforce.
- Continue to listen. PPG leaders and external experts conducted listening sessions with employees across all levels of the organization in 2020, and these will continue.
- Accelerate our diverse recruitment, including a pilot program in the U.S. to develop improved processes for building more diverse candidate slates.
- Develop, together, an aspirational DE&I vision and strategy. We will work to promote inclusion, representation, equity and justice for all employees.
- Review processes, programs and practices to drive alignment with our DE&I vision and strategy.
- Extend our unconscious-bias training efforts. We will extend the reach of the current unconscious-bias training offering across the global organization.
- Communicate our DE&I strategy. We will share PPG's DE&I vision and strategy so that every employee can help drive continued, sustained progress.
In November, we appointed Marvin Mendoza as global head of DE&I. In this newly-developed role, Mendoza will be responsible for designing, leading and executing PPG’s global DE&I vision and strategy, and leveraging data-driven insights to accelerate the company’s DE&I agenda.
PPG also relaunched and expanded our Employee Resource Networks (ERNs). We gathered employee feedback through listening sessions and sought external guidance about best-in-class ERN programs. The new structure provides employees with more opportunities to participate and best leverage the unique skills, experiences and perspectives of our team as we continue to build a more inclusive work environment.
To best support and promote the success of our ERNs, we have designated executive sponsors from the PPG Operating Committee.
PPG’s ERNs comprise:
- Black Employee Network
- Asian Employee Network
- Latinx Employee Network
- Women’s Leadership Network
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) Network
- Young Professional Network
- Abilities First Network
- Veteran’s Employee Network
Our ERN groups will provide an opportunity for more in-depth discussion, focus and recommendations on how PPG can deliver higher growth and performance by creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization. Our expanded ERNs will provide employees with a greater voice and more pathways, making DE&I a more integral part of how we do business at PPG.
Furthermore, our business and functional leaders set goals related to diversity and monitor progress on a regular basis. This is supported by specific actions around the world to ensure there is diverse representation on candidate slates. In 2020, approximately 33% of our professional hires globally were women. Our business and functional leaders set goals related to diversity and monitor progress on a regular basis. We will continue to strengthen these actions to attract, hire and promote employees from underrepresented groups. Across the globe, we have trained more than 1,800 managers over the past few years on unconscious biases.
We are also actively driving diversity recruitment with a focus on representative candidate pools. To broaden the diversity of our talent pools, we recruit at events sponsored by organizations representing diverse candidates. In the U.S, for example, we take an active role in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), participating in its Board of Corporate Affiliates and participating in the Annual Career Fair and Convention, as well as their regional conferences. We also provide PPG Foundation grant money to NSBE’s Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) camp, and our interns volunteer at the camps for at least one day. PPG’s intern class for 2020 was 41% female and 37% racially and ethnically diverse.
As a result of our efforts in 2020, we received a score of 90% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality. Our Workplace Gender Identity and Transition Guidelines, for example, address the needs of transgender employees to ensure their safety and fair treatment, maximize their workplace integration and minimize stigmatization.
Moving forward, PPG is committed to leveraging fact-based/data-driven strategies, initiatives and decision- making to better understand demographic and culture opportunities across our workforce. We will continue to listen, accelerate our impact and evolve our aspirational DE&I vision and strategy, together.