The launch of 3M’s first-ever, Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report is not only a milestone in our commitment to increasing transparency as a company and creating greater equity in the world, but a deeper look at what we need to do in order to enact the change we want to see in the world. Hear from the leaders of 3M’s newly formed Equity & Community team as they reflect on the past year, what it means to be a part of this team at its genesis and provide insight into what’s energizing them to keep going.
“Our team was formed to allow the company to fully leverage the scale and unique capabilities within our Diversity & Inclusion, Social Justice and 3Mgives organizations to have a greater impact on our employees and communities,” said 3M’s newly appointed Chief Equity Officer, James Momon. “Each of us understands that to create lasting change internally and externally we will need to innovate, lead with courage and empathy, and build on the great foundation 3M has in all three areas.”
Once teams that collaborated closely, but operated separately in the past, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion team, 3Mgives team and Social Justice team have come together under the leadership of James as 3M’s Equity and Community team and are working toward one goal – creating and implementing the many levers we’re able to use to create a more equitable environment for our employees, communities and consumers.
“During the past six months, the Social Justice team has defined and launched 10 enterprise workstreams that will drive equity in our workplaces, communities and business practices,” shared 3M’s Director of Social Justice, Garfield Bowen. “I’m incredibly excited to unleash the power of our newly formed team as we integrate the work of those workstreams into the fabric of 3M.”
For the Diversity & Inclusion team, they focused on empowering our culture with inclusion amidst a year of intense division and inequality. “The truth is that we’ve never had a certain level of honest and transparent conversations about race and inequality at work, but the tragic death of George Floyd and the civil rights movement that followed created a need for us to share our unique lived experiences with our colleagues and develop a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives,” said 3M’s Chief Diversity Office, Ann Anaya. “We launched Candid Conversations and Racial Inclusion Advocacy sessions in the U.S., and I’m looking forward to evolving those sessions to have more relevance around the world. These are tough and uncomfortable conversations, but we must hold ourselves accountable and commit to advocating for a more equitable tomorrow.”
In recent years, the 3Mgives team has been building an increased focus on equity, diversity and inclusion in their community engagement strategy. However, the need to speed up 3M’s efforts toward creating greater racial equity was magnified by the killing of George Floyd and impacts of the pandemic. “It was important for our company to step up unlike ever before,” shared Director of 3Mgives at 3M, Michael Stroik. “We formed a Community Coalition comprised of our region’s most dynamic cross-sector leaders to inform and build our equity lens within 3M’s $50 million investment, and I’m looking forward to the new partnerships we’re developing but can’t talk about just yet.”
Look for more updates from 3M throughout the year as we continue our journey toward creating greater equity in our businesses, communities and workplaces. If you’re looking for actions you want to take now, James, Garfield, Ann and Michael shared four pieces of advice.
- “Reach out to those who have been passed over, talked over, marginalized or diminished,” said Ann. “Commit to including them in a project, inviting them into a conversation, asking for their opinion in a meeting or supporting their next idea.”
- “One of the things I love most about 3Mers is their curiosity,” said Michael. “There are great books, podcasts, movies and documentaries that can open your mind.” One suggestion from Michael, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. “I aim to read books that will challenge and grow my equity mindset. Alexander’s book is a constant in my library app as an ongoing reminder of how systemic racial marginalization may continue in America even with the civil rights reforms in our generation.”
- “Find time to do some personal reflection on the experiences that have shaped your views on issues of equity,” shared James. “To really become an effective ally in support of equity and marginalized communities we have to begin by really understanding our own personal blind spots – this will really enable us all to show up more empathetic, humble, and willing to learn.”
- “If we want to go far, we must do it together,” said Garfield. “It will take each of us to play a role in driving equity in all the spaces we occupy and can influence.”
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