We know that the best solutions come from a mix of ideas, perspectives and backgrounds. Our ambition is to offer a working environment where every employee’s voice is heard and to enable all employees to realize their full potential.
Our initial efforts focused on gender diversity with a goal to achieve 40% female representation in manager and above roles by 2025. In 2020, we began to broaden our focus, increasing our efforts on diversity in race and ethnicity. With our diversity in those categories currently amounting to about 22% of our U.S. workforce, we are committed to the work necessary in this critical area and are making it a priority for 2021 and beyond.
Because transparency supports accountability, we are, for the first time, making publicly available our 2020 EEO-1 (equal employment opportunity) statistics, which are collected by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission to ensure compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws. EEO-1 data includes self-identified information about race, ethnicity and job category for our U.S. workforce. See our EEO-1 data in our most recent ESG Download.
Creating the structure for inclusivity
In 2019, we began formally encouraging and more actively supporting Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), a few of which had already begun to form through the initiative of their individual founders. ERGs bring together employees who have shared interests and a common desire to make Avery Dennison a more open and inclusive workplace. ERGs also provide our team members with peer support and career-development resources. Currently, our ERGs include 13 groups focused on driving inclusion and advancement for women, employees of color, LGBTQ+ employees, veterans and others.
After benchmarking how other companies measure inclusion, we have established employee engagement surveys as our primary measure. For the past four years, we have made an inclusion index part of our survey, which every Avery Dennison employee receives. We ask employees to respond to several inclusion-related statements, including, “Avery Dennison respects individuals and values their differences.” Since our initial survey, at least 80% of responses are favorable.
Assessing our Diversity Climate
To further advance diversity, we must gain a better understanding of what diversity and inclusion look like at our company today. To do that, in 2018 we engaged a third-party consultant to conduct a climate assessment by soliciting feedback from 200 select leaders and randomly selected employees. The assessment intended to provide insight through data collection and analysis of employees’ perception of diversity and inclusion as it relates to women in our company. The findings from this exercise provided a clearer picture of the employee perspective and helped identify improvement opportunities, which we are working to address.
Seeking Gender Diversity
In 2014, we set a goal for women to hold at least 40% of our leadership positions, which we define as manager-level and above by the end of 2025. We pursued that goal by creating a more flexible work environment, developing female employees’ leadership skills, and raising awareness of unconscious gender bias across our company. We’ve seen success in all three areas and are constantly adding more women in leadership roles.
Making Diversity and Inclusion Local
Diversity and inclusion look different in different parts of the world. At the corporate level, our enterprise-wide Diversity and Inclusion Council identifies and removes barriers to inclusion while advocating for change in how we attract, engage, develop and retain people with diverse talents and backgrounds. We recently introduced Regional Diversity and Inclusion Councils that help drive local accountability and create opportunities for advancing diversity and inclusion in the ways most relevant to each of our business regions.