We believe in the power of building a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment where all employees feel heard and valued, have equal opportunities to grow, and are empowered to share and implement their ideas for making our company better. We know that embracing diverse experiences and points of view leads to increased innovation, better decision-making and, ultimately, a much stronger company. It is also just the right thing to do — for our people and the communities where we work.
THE BUSINESS CASE IS CLEAR
Diverse companies are more successful; this is clear from the research. Every year, more studies reinforce the connection between workplace diversity and financial success, and diverse companies are also more innovative, which drives ongoing improvement and competitive advantage. Companies that focus on improving diversity also play a critical role in society by creating opportunities for traditionally excluded individuals to prosper, and by raising awareness about the importance of equity and inclusion in the workplace. We know that improving in this area requires much more than recruiting diverse talent — we must also ensure our policies and practices are equitable, and we must work to build a culture that compels people to stay once they join our team.
THE URGENCY OF THIS WORK HAS NEVER BEEN GREATER
In 2019, we added inclusion to our company vision as a core value. Our values are long-standing and sacred at Weyerhaeuser, and we don’t change them lightly. We added inclusion because we understand that to drive real change at our company, we needed to make it clear that our commitment to building a truly inclusive workplace is unwavering and won’t be compromised, just as it is for safety, integrity, citizenship and sustainability.
To help us better understand our strengths and gaps, we formed an Inclusion Council, comprising 20 diverse employees from all corners and levels of the company. This council convenes regularly to discuss diversity, equity and inclusion opportunities at Weyerhaeuser; share insights and ideas for how we can improve; and make recommendations for our senior management team.
OUR COMMITMENT TO ACTION
Based on input from our Inclusion Council, we’ve established six focus areas for improvement at Weyerhaeuser (below). In each category we set targets — some are evergreen actions we work on every year, and others are improvement targets we set and implement annually to drive progress. In 2020, in response to the widespread social unrest and protests following the tragic death of George Floyd, we convened our Inclusion Council to discuss what more we can and should do to accelerate our work. Based on their input, we updated our 2020 targets to the list below. We have a lot more work to do, and we understand this is just the beginning of our journey toward real change.
LEADERSHIP & ACCOUNTABILITY
Diversity Data Review: Our senior management team regularly reviews our diversity data to monitor our progress. Our board of directors reviews this information annually.
Leadership Pledge: We are modifying our existing People Principles pledge to include an explicit commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. This pledge is designed to drive leadership accountability for appreciating, respecting, valuing, listening to and communicating with employees. All leaders will review and sign this pledge annually.
Training for Top 50 Leaders: As the primary decision-makers at our company, we recognize how critical it is for our top leaders to understand issues related to race, gender, privilege and equity in the workplace. All our top leaders have participated in unconscious bias training at least once, and we will expand this to include racial justice/equity training as well.
EQUITABLE PRACTICES & POLICIES
Policies & Training: We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind in our workplace. We have anti-discrimination, anti-harassment and equal employment opportunity policies in place, and we deploy regular employee training on these policies to ensure understanding and compliance.
Employment Actions: When hiring, promoting and terminating employees, we use consistent processes to ensure all decisions are based on clear performance criteria. In making these decisions, we do not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetics, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristics protected under law.
Pay Equity Reviews: We periodically review our pay practices to help ensure racial and gender equity.
Employee Relief Fund: In 2019, we established an emergency relief fund to help employees who suffer from financial hardship caused by events such as hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, floods, military deployments and domestic violence. The fund covers the cost of basic human needs for employees who can’t afford access to these necessities in an emergency.
External Expertise: In addition to our own internal experts on diversity, equity and inclusion, we invest in external advice to help assess our policies, practices and programs; find any gaps we’ve missed; and develop plans to close those gaps.
RECRUITING & HIRING
Diverse Applicant Pools: We partner with the Direct Employers Association to ensure our jobs are posted on a wide range of job boards focused on attracting diverse talent. We monitor the diversity of our applicant pools to help drive improvement for each posting, and as a company over time.
Name Removal from Résumés: Studies show that unconscious bias can affect the diversity of candidate selection when names are visible on résumés. Beginning in July 2020, we deployed a technical solution that hides names from applicant résumés at the first stage of review to eliminate this bias from our selection process.
Diverse Hiring Teams: To ensure broad perspectives are considered during the candidate selection process, we expect all our hiring managers to make every effort to establish diverse hiring teams.
Job-Posting Visibility: To ensure all qualified internal candidates have an opportunity to compete for open roles, we post nonexecutive roles for a minimum of five days on our internal job board.
Unconscious Bias Training: Beginning in 2020, we are deploying mandatory unconscious bias training for all employees. Most of our leaders have already completed this training as part of our normal leadership development programs.
Racial Justice/Equity Training: Our top 50 leaders will complete training focused on racial and social justice, privilege and equity by the end of 2020.
Inclusive Leadership Training: We will begin incorporating inclusive leadership training into our leadership development programs in 2021.
Leadership Program Participation: We ensure all employees have an equal opportunity to participate in our leadership development programs and that the percentage of women and people of color who participate is at or above current representation among eligible employee groups.
Mentoring Programs: We have many informal mentoring programs and relationships across our company, and we are working to establish a more formal program and approach.
COMMUNICATION & CULTURE
Inclusion Blog: In 2020, we launched an internal inclusion blog that focuses on informing, educating, inspiring and connecting the dots for employees on how inclusion matters in everything we do.
Leadership Messages: Most of our senior leaders have internal blogs where they have shared their personal reflections on diversity, equity and inclusion. We also hold companywide town halls where our inclusion value is highlighted and discussed.
Amplifying Awareness: On our internal news channel and employee app, we share educational information throughout the year on a variety of holidays and celebration months important to diverse groups, along with employee perspectives on what those observances mean to them.
Culture Assessment: Every year we conduct companywide engagement surveys to assess the health of our workplace culture. We include distinct questions about inclusion and review our results across demographics to identify and close any gaps.
AFFINITY & CONNECTION
Employee Resource Groups: For many years, we supported eight Weyerhaeuser ERGs to help build affinity, networking and awareness for diverse employee groups. However, these groups tended to be active only in our headquarters region. As part of our Inclusion Council work, we are reevaluating our approach to employee resources groups and benchmarking best practices. In 2021, we will launch a new approach that is aligned more closely with our business goals, regionally focused, and led by employees from across our operations in North America.
THE PATH FORWARD
For more than a decade, the overall representation of women at Weyerhaeuser has hovered at just under 20 percent, and the overall representation of people of color has hovered at just over 20 percent. This is not unusual in our industry, but it is unacceptable to us. While we are proud of the progress we’ve made over the years, particularly with women in leadership roles and on our board of directors, we simply must do better, and we are committed to making progress.
For us, that begins with the basic understanding that diversity is a fact; it describes the richness of difference among the people who work in our operations and live in our communities. Inclusion is a choice; it describes the decisions we make every day to make sure every person is recognized, heard and valued. Equity is a process; it asks us to examine our policies and practices to eliminate unfair barriers and ensure truly equal opportunity. Belonging is a result; it describes the feeling people have when they feel safe and welcomed to bring their whole selves to work without fear of judgment and exclusion.
We have a lot of work to do to achieve this vision, and we know change won’t happen overnight. We also know that change won’t happen at all unless we commit to doing things differently and dedicate time and resources to drive that change. With continued help from our Inclusion Council, we are confident we are on the right path forward.