Arconic Shares Key Learnings that are Benefiting their Workforce, Workplace, and Communities
A recent blog post on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's website says: "While women and girls have made significant gains in the past decade in terms of...economic participation, gender equality has yet to be attained in many critical areas, and at the cost of substantial and unrealized social and market benefits. The World Economic Forum's 2016 Global Gender Gap Report tells a similar story:
- "The gap between women and men on economic participation remains wide: only 59% of the gap has been closed—a continued reversal on several years of progress and the lowest value measured by the Index since 2008.
- "At the current rate of change, it will not be closed for another 170 years."
Why is gender equality important? In addition to the important values-based case for equity, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's blog post explains that "narrowing the global gender gap could add US $12 trillion in annual gross domestic product."
Arconic strongly agrees that closing the gender gap is not only the right thing to do; it's good for business and for the communities in which we live and operate. With our mission and values as our guide, Arconic has made solid progress toward our goals.
Here are a few lessons learned and key accomplishments that are benefitting our workforce, workplace and communities:
1. Accountability begins at the top: Any major change effort requires the vision and commitment of the CEO, Board and other senior executives. To help make our intentions stick, all Arconic leaders are held accountable for inclusion, which is integrated into our overall business strategy. We tie the results to our annual variable compensation through two strategic sustainability targets to increase global female employment and U.S. minority employment in the professional and executive ranks. We exceeded our 2016 targets and closed the year as a more diverse organization. Our global women employees stood proud at:
- 24.2% female executives
- 29.6% female supervisors
- 23.3% female employees overall
2. Put your money where your mouth is: We invest in ongoing equality through Arconic Foundation, which supports STEM education and advanced manufacturing workforce training as a path to sustained economic vitality around the world. Our Foundation places an emphasis on providing opportunities for girls, diverse students and the underrepresented. From international internship programs with small- and medium-sized manufacturers, to mentorship programs for students, the Foundation supports programs that help prepare the 21st century engineering and advanced manufacturing workforce. In 2016 alone, it invested more than $12 million in education, and studies confirm that this was the right approach. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, for example, recently reported that girls outscored boys on an inaugural exam to test technology and engineering skills.
3. It takes a village: In addition to all of our top-down efforts, Arconic actively supports grassroots efforts aimed at gender equality. Our women's employee resource group has more than 1,200 members across 50 chapters and five continents. It is creating new networking opportunities through the latest social media tools, and enhancing global outreach by engaging with our customers’ and partners' women’s networks. Significantly, it is actively soliciting men as allies, role models and resource group leaders, in an effort to drive meaningful buy-in and lasting culture change.
Our efforts will continue. We are proud to work with a wide range of public and private partners, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, to advance gender equality and address one of the most important economic issues facing society and the business community today.