Paris Forest (third from right), Leanne Caret (second from left), executive vice president and senior advisor for The Boeing Company, and several mentees participated in an event sponsored by the Boeing Women Inspiring Leadership Business Resource Group, “Meeting the Mission: A Discussion on How an Inclusive Workplace is the Next Frontier.”
As a second-generation Boeing employee who started my career with the company more than two decades ago, I have never been more energized by the commitment and progress we are driving in equity, diversity and inclusion within our company and our communities than I am today. Now more than ever, I am seeing meaningful change both in my role as a leader within Boeing’s Information Technology organization and as co-chair of the company’s Racial Equity Task Force.
While we are encouraged and motivated by our progress, we know there is still work to be done. And when I think about the opportunities that lie ahead of us, I am reminded of the African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” We must continue working together – across our global team and across our industry – because we can accomplish much more collectively than we can individually.
Boeing’s second annual Global Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Report details several improvements since announcing our near-term equity, diversity and inclusion aspirations last year. As a result of our team’s collective efforts, representation of women and racial and ethnic minority populations has increased overall. Throughout 2021, exit rates for women, men and teammates of all races were within 1 point of each other. And as part of our commitment to transparency, we reported more metrics this year including data related to women of color, disability, gender identity and sexual orientation.
Boeing’s recent progress has been fueled in partnership with our Business Resource Groups, volunteer, employee driven organizations with a focus on cultural identities and personal, professional and organizational development; and Inclusion Ambassadors, a network of employees who champion equity, diversity in their daily work; and the Racial Equity Task Force.
I have been honored to help drive progress as a founding co-chair of Boeing’s Racial Equity Task Force, an internal think tank that is designed to amplify employee voices while identifying innovative approaches to advance inclusion. Our work has focused in areas such as helping employees understand how to interrupt bias, and strengthening retention and the Black experience at Boeing.
In addition, the Seek, Speak & Listen (SS&L) habits Boeing introduced in 2021 to build stronger teams and achieve better business outcomes are having a big impact. Of team members surveyed, 85% report using the habits in their daily interactions; 74% feel the SS&L habits are helping teams identify and address issues before they become major problems and 73% feel the habits are helping their team achieve better business outcomes such as improved performance, safety, and quality.
Throughout my own career, these habits have helped me overcome obstacles whenever I have experienced challenges such as bias. By seeking out areas of tension, speaking up or listening to understand and extend my hand as a resource to others, these habits have guided me to a productive path forward.
I can also see these habits enabling us to better serve the communities where we live and work through our investments in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent pipeline, and partnerships with minority-serving institutions and organizations focused on racial equity.
Building on this progress, in 2022, Boeing updated the company’s annual performance incentive design to reward open and equitable talent selections. The company added a new equity, diversity and inclusion goal for annual performance incentives and set targets to ensure at least 90% of our manager and executive interview slates are diverse, and we are reducing the percentage of direct placements for all manager and executive jobs.
We are not alone in this work; in fact, we are at a pivotal point in time when collaboration will be critical to reach our goals. The adage that we can go further together perfectly captures the growth mindset and partnership we’ll need to sustain momentum toward our shared goals and create a brighter future, together.
“Boeing’s second annual Global Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Report details several improvements since announcing our near-term equity, diversity and inclusion aspirations last year. As a result of our team’s collective efforts, representation of women and racial and ethnic minority populations has increased overall.” —Paris Forest
Learn more about Boeing’s Equity, Diversity & Inclusion strategy at Boeing.com/Diversity.