Corning’s Diverse Board Committed to Sound Corporate Governance

by Savoy Staff

Corning Incorporated, one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science, has three Black directors and four women on its 15-person Board

The Board of Directors at Corning Incorporated is dedicated to practicing sound corporate governance while actively promoting Diversity and Inclusion. Look no further than 2020 to see their commitment in action.

Last year as the pandemic commenced, Corning’s directors mobilized the company’s risk management process, dividing tasks and focusing on protecting Corning’s financial health, keeping employees safe, and preserving stakeholders’ trust.  Each Board committee acted swiftly – from the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Committee that oversaw the execution of COVID-19 response communications to the Information Technology Committee that oversaw the fast, efficient transition to a remote work environment.

Aligning their practices with the principles of the Investor Stewardship Group, Corning’s Directors are responsible for oversight of critical matters such as the company’s strategy and risk; as well as environmental, social, and governance practices.

Commitment to Improving Diversity

One of the greatest strengths of Corning’s Board of Directors is its diversity of experience, gender, age, and ethnicity.

“Our Board is composed of accomplished executives with deep expertise in areas including finance, science and technology, marketing, manufacturing, operations, international business, and public company governance. Their diversity contributes to a wide range of views and results in a strategic, high-functioning, and engaged Board,” said Lewis Steverson, Corning’s Executive Vice President and Chief Legal & Administrative Officer.

Today, Corning has three Black directors and four women on its 15-person board, and it remains committed to improving diversity. Last year, Corning signed the 2020 Board Challenge Pledge to increase diversity among boards of directors for U.S. companies. Companies that joined as Founding Pledge Partners agreed to add at least one Black director within a year. Since Corning had already met this goal, the company joined as a Charter Pledge Partner, agreeing to encourage other companies to join the pledge and extend their goals beyond the walls of Corning Incorporated.

Corning’s Office of Racial Equality and Social Unity

Corning’s Directors also provide hands-on guidance for the company’s Office of Racial Equality and Social Unity (ORESU), which was formed last year in the wake of 2020’s national social unrest. While Corning has been promoting Diversity & Inclusion and championing social unity causes for decades, ORESU enacts and influences changes on racial equality and social unity within the company, the communities in which Corning operates, and nationally.

Coordinated by Steverson, ORESU aims to develop and execute actions that break down racial and social barriers, improve access to resources for under‐represented groups, foster cross‐communication and understanding, and champion marginalized voices.

Dana Moss, Corning’s Chief Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer, is leading ORESU’s initiatives within Corning. She provides strategic direction and execution for the company’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion programs to help assess, align, and improve internal equity and to position the company to better attract, hire, and retain minority employees.

Dr. Millicent Ruffin, as ORESU’s director of community affairs, oversees state and local initiatives, leading programs that improve school diversity and support economic growth in local communities.

Larry McRae, Corning’s Vice Chairman and Corporate Development Officer, leads the national ORESU effort by partnering with the company’s Government Affairs office to influence the broader national discourse on racial equality and social unity.

Corning’s Directors have stepped up to assist each of ORESU’s leaders with guidance, support, and resources. For each initiative, two or three directors have assigned themselves as mentors and advocates to help the leaders accomplish the objectives of their workstreams.

“Because of their broad range of professional experiences as well as the richness of their networks, they can introduce us to new resources,” said McRae.  “Plus, through their expertise, they provide strategic insights as thought partners,” he added.

“In countless ways, our Directors are invaluable.”

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