At Westinghouse, we believe having a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I) is the right thing to do—for our company, our customers and our communities. In September, Westinghouse professional employee organizations held the first Westinghouse D&I Lunch and Learn.
The event brought together Dina Clark, Head of D&I, Covestro, LLC, Yvonne Cook, President, Highmark Foundation and Ron Lewis, Director, Global Real Estate & Facilities and founder of Westinghouse’s Quarterman Group, to share their insights and experiences in a panel discussion moderated by Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer Rob Massy.
“This is really important to us,” Massy shared as he welcomed the live and virtual audience, which included employees, managers and members of senior leadership. During the hour-long conversation, several key themes emerged.
Diversity and inclusion make good business sense.
“The same people with the same experience will result in the same outcomes,” said Clark, emphasizing the role of diversity in innovation. When organizations bring different perspectives and experiences to the table, they have the opportunity to discover creative ideas and solutions.
A culture of D&I also motivates employees. Both Clark and Cook stressed that the millennial workforce, who often experience the value of D&I firsthand in their college careers, looks for companies who share their values.
Diversity and inclusion must come from a place of authenticity.
While it’s possible to create a D&I program that looks great from the outside, without substance behind it, it’s rarely sustainable, said Clark. In order for a D&I program to be successful, it needs to be an integral part of the business and ingrained in the company culture.
She challenged the audience to think about how they could walk-the-talk and ask each other what more they could be doing. Lewis emphasized this point by sharing a story of a time he was challenged by a young mentee to consider what he was doing to help others in the workplace succeed. The mentee’s question prompted him to reflect and take action, eventually leading him to found the Westinghouse Quarterman Group, which engages and empowers African-American professionals.
Diversity and inclusion continue to evolve.
The panelists agreed that the idea of D&I as a list of boxes to check, or something that is isolated within the walls of human resources is one of the past. It has since evolved to become a fundamental part of how a company operates for many successful companies.
Startups and tech companies often serve as the model for D&I having these ideals present from inception, but there are many opportunities for established organizations to make visible commitments to and investments in D&I.
Diversity and inclusion share similarities with servant leadership.
An integral part of Westinghouse’s values is our dedication to each other through servant leadership. First coined in 1970 by Robert K. Greenleaf, servant leadership is “a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world.”
“D&I is very similar to servant leadership; it is about empowering and engaging people,” said Lewis. “We must empower and engage our people moment by moment. “