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. Diverse, inclusive 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 inspires 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. At Weyerhaeuser, our values are long-standing and sacred — and we change them only for very important reasons. But we understood 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 will not 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 25 diverse employees from all corners and levels of the company. This council convenes regularly to discuss diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) opportunities at Weyerhaeuser; shares insights and ideas with our senior management team about how we can accelerate our progress; and then helps us take action to achieve the goals we set each year.
OUR COMMITMENT TO ACTION
With input from our Inclusion Council, we established seven focus areas for improvement at Weyerhaeuser (see 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. Below is our progress report in these seven areas. We have a lot more work to do, and we understand our journey toward real change is just beginning.
LEADERSHIP & ACCOUNTABILITY
Diversity Data Review: Our senior management team regularly reviews our representation data to monitor our progress, along with a variety of people-movement metrics. Our board of directors reviews this information annually.
Leadership Pledge: Every year, our leaders review and sign our People Principles Pledge to reaffirm their commitment to creating and supporting an inclusive workplace where all employees feel appreciated, respected, heard, informed and valued.
Leadership Training: We recognize how critical it is for the primary decision-makers at our company to understand issues related to race, gender, privilege and equity in the workplace, and to develop strong inclusive leadership skills. All our leaders have participated in unconscious bias training at least once, and our top 200 leaders receive inclusive leadership training at least annually.
Internal Resources: To support our work, we employ a full-time director-level position to manage our DE&I strategy and programs. He reports directly to our vice president of Talent, Inclusion, Communications & Culture, who also spends a significant portion of her time on this work.
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. See the Recruiting & Hiring section below for more information on our hiring policies.
Pay Equity Reviews: We periodically conduct pay equity reviews.
Employee Relief Fund: We partner with a third-party nonprofit to offer an emergency relief fund to our employees that helps those 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 cannot afford access to these necessities in an emergency.
External Expertise: In addition to having our own internal DE&I experts, we invest in external advice to help assess our policies, practices and programs; find any gaps we missed; and develop plans to close those gaps.
RECRUITING & HIRING
Equal Opportunity Employer: We make employment decisions that are fair, strictly based on qualifications and free of discrimination of any type. We welcome and actively seek diverse qualified applicants to apply for our open roles.
Diverse Applicant Pools: We partner with the DirectEmployers Association to ensure our jobs are posted on a wide range of job boards focused on attracting diverse talent, and we regularly engage with this vendor to ensure we are capturing the full benefits of this service. We know that diverse application pools will ultimately increase the diversity of candidates selected, which is the key to improving the diversity of our teams over time.
Name Removal from Résumés: Studies show that unconscious bias can affect the diversity of candidate selection when names are visible on résumés. The online program we use to review applicant résumés removes names at the first stage of review to eliminate this bias from our initial 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, including a mix of age, tenure, gender, race/ethnicity, geographic location and department whenever possible.
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: All our salaried employees, including new hires, receive unconscious bias training in a virtual facilitated environment. We also provide online unconscious-bias-training modules for ongoing use in shorter sessions with smaller teams and in our production workforce.
Online DE&I Training: Our online training library is accessible to all employees and includes training on unconscious bias, speaking up against stereotypes in the workplace, practicing inclusion in the workplace, inclusive leadership and a range of other related topics.
Inclusive Leadership Training: In addition to inclusive leadership modules in our online training library, we also include facilitator-led inclusive leadership training in our classroom leadership development programs for front-line, midlevel and executive leaders. Approximately 300 leaders participate in these programs each year.
Leadership Program Participation: All employees who are in leadership positions at all levels of the company are eligible to participate in our front-line and midlevel leadership development programs, and we make sure the percentage of women and people of color who participate in these programs is at or above current representation among eligible employee groups.
Mentoring Programs: We have many informal mentoring programs and relationships across our company as part of our leadership programs and employee resource groups. We are working to establish a technology platform that will help make mentoring more accessible to all employees.
COMMUNICATION & CULTURE
Inclusion Blog: Our internal inclusion blog, penned by our chief administration officer, 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 periodically share their personal reflections on DE&I. 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 and pulse 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 have had ERGs in place, working to build affinity, create networking, grow awareness and provide support for underrepresented employee groups. However, in the past these groups tended to be active only in our headquarters region. As part of our Inclusion Council work, we refreshed our approach to ERGs to ensure they have strong executive sponsorship and are able to reach more people in our organization. So far, we have relaunched one for women, one for Black employees and one for LGBTQ+ employees and their allies. We will continue to relaunch more groups in the coming years.
Philanthropic Support: Our company giving activities are led by passionate employees who sit on advisory committees that decide how best to support important causes in the communities where we operate. Our DE&I advisory committee helps us determine which philanthropic organizations we should support on an annual basis to help accelerate DE&I progress in our communities.
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 about 25 percent. This is not unusual in our industry, but it is unacceptable to us. While we are proud of the progress we have 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 behaviors we engage in 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 know this kind of change will not happen overnight. We also know that change will not happen at all unless we commit to doing things differently and dedicate time and resources to drive that change. We have plenty of work ahead of us, but we are confident we’re on the right path forward.