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. At Weyerhaeuser, our values are long-standing and sacred — and we don’t change them lightly. 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 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 to our senior management team.
OUR COMMITMENT TO ACTION
Based on input from our Inclusion Council, we established six 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. In 2020, in response to the widespread social unrest and protests following the murder of George Floyd, our chief executive officer and chief administration officer both reached out directly to our employees with their thoughts; you can read those messages here. We also immediately 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 and added a seventh target, community outreach. Below is our progress report on these seven areas. 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: In early 2021 we modified 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 review and sign this pledge annually.
Training for Top 50 Leaders: 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. All our top 50 leaders have participated in unconscious bias training at least once, and we will deliver more in-depth and regular training on inclusive leadership for a broader group of our top 200 leaders in 2021 and beyond.
Internal Resources: In 2021 we established a full-time director-level position to manage our strategy and programs for diversity, equity and inclusion, reporting directly to our vice president of Talent, Inclusion, Communications & Culture.
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 review our pay practices to help ensure racial and gender equity.
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 can’t afford access to these necessities in an emergency.
External Expertise: In addition to having 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 missed; and develop plans to close those gaps.
RECRUITING & HIRING
Equal Opportunity Employer: We are committed to making 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. In 2020, excluding temporary hires and part-time employees, 40 percent of our new hires in the U.S. met our diversity criteria for race, ethnicity, gender and disability status.
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 in 2021 we launched a review project 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. In 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: In 2020 we deployed mandatory facilitator-led unconscious bias training for all salaried employees, and this training will be deployed to all new hires beginning in 2021. We will also develop an unconscious-bias-training toolkit for ongoing use in shorter sessions with smaller teams and in our production workforce.
Online Training: In 2021 we launched a new online training library accessible to all employees, which includes training on unconscious bias, speaking up against stereotypes in the workplace, practicing inclusion in the workplace and inclusive leadership.
Inclusive Leadership Training: We will deploy inclusive leadership training for our top 200 leaders beginning in 2021 and incorporate it into our ongoing in-person, facilitator-led leadership development programs.
Leadership Program Participation: We ensure all employees have an equal opportunity to participate in our front-line and mid-level 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 as part of our leadership programs, and we are working to establish a more formal program and approach that is accessible to all employees.
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 periodically share 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 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. In 2020, 82 percent of our employees agreed that their work environment is inclusive and that the company is committed to making progress on diversity and inclusion.
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 ERGs and benchmarking best practices. In 2021 we will launch a new approach that is regionally focused, aligned more closely with our business goals, and led by employees from across our operations in North America.
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. In 2021 we will form a diversity, equity and inclusion employee advisory committee that will be responsible for reviewing opportunities for philanthropic giving specifically in this area and making recommendations on where we should direct our dollars.
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’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.