A Statement From Our Chairman And CEO On Our Opposition To Racism And Our Promotion Of Equality And Opportunity
DARIUS ADAMCZYK | CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Like you, I have been personally outraged by the terrible killings of George Floyd and many other Black people within our U.S. communities. It is upsetting to think that racism continues to persist in our society, denying individuals the basic principles of equality and opportunity because of the color of their skin or their racial or ethnic origin.
Let me state up-front and very clearly that we will never tolerate racism at Honeywell. Fully embracing the principles of Inclusion and Diversity and treating all employees with the utmost respect every day are requirements for working here. If you can’t do this, you don’t belong at Honeywell. I must also emphasize that along with Black employees, we are committed to supporting the inclusion of all diverse groups across our global workforce.
During the past couple of weeks, my leadership team and I have talked with Black employees from a cross-section of our company to better understand their perspectives. We have learned much from them, including the fact that we as leaders don’t have all the answers – but there is much that we can do to make progress at Honeywell. We are committed to listening more and acting more as we move forward.
What We Are Already Doing
We also heard consistently that employees don’t know a lot about what we are already doing to promote diversity and specifically to support Black- and minority-oriented institutions. While we have much to do, we also have to do a better job of communicating our current initiatives and programs and the future activities we will pursue.
For starters, we have a Board of Directors that is widely recognized for its diversity, with 2 African Americans, 4 women, 2 Hispanics, and 1 non-U.S. citizen representing a wide range of professional experiences and perspectives. This independent Board sets the tone for all of Honeywell and takes an active interest in ensuring we have a truly diverse workforce that represents all races, religions, geographies, and perspectives. They share my view that our diversity makes us stronger, and they challenge us to push ourselves in this area.
Prior to the tragic death of George Floyd, Honeywell committed to a five-year corporate sponsorship of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. As part of the Smithsonian, this museum hosts millions of visitors a year and focuses on the richness, diversity, and resiliency of the African American experience. It may be a relatively new museum, but it is already an American icon.
We also committed to a two-year partnership this spring with the Carolina Youth Coalition (CYC), which provides opportunity to high-achieving, under-resourced minority students – the vast majority who are Black – by helping them enter, excel in, and graduate from college. We will support CYC not only with funding but also with the time and attention of our leadership volunteers.
During the past school year, we supported Druid Hills Academy, a Title 1 school in North Charlotte that serves an underprivileged area. We did a clean-up day on the campus with 80 volunteers and sponsored a 20-week coding program aimed at elementary and middle school students.
Honeywell Connected Enterprise (HCE) partnered with Black Girls Code in Atlanta to host girls of ages 7-17 from underrepresented communities to introduce them to technology and computer science. HCE also hosted more than 100 Posse Foundation scholarship recipients to help them build interviewing and job application skills.
We have sponsored learning programs for Jobs for America’s Graduates chapters in Arizona, North Carolina, and South Carolina for at-risk high school youth. Last year, JAG recognized Honeywell with its Highly Engaged Employer Partner Award.
In 2019, we entered into a three-year Integrated Pipeline Program with the National Society of Black Engineers to strengthen our recruitment of new employees as well as professional development opportunities focused on retaining mid-career professionals. To date, we’ve sponsored 36 scholarships through NSBE and are working to support summer camps and high school NSBE programs in 2020 and 2021. The camps promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and will be held in Charlotte, Chicago, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. We have also expanded our partnership with several Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
From 2017 to 2019, we improved hiring of Black students from campuses by 54% and improved our overall hiring rate of Black employees by 36% during the same period. As of May, 7 of 10 roles posted across Honeywell had diverse slates – a nearly double-digit increase from the previous year. It’s good progress, but we have a long way to go.
What We Are Committed to Doing
When the killing of George Floyd led to street protests throughout the U.S., we immediately initiated a series of listening sessions so our leaders could hear directly from Black employees in different roles and at different levels of the company. We have found these sessions to be valuable and will extend them to other groups.
In addition to continuing leadership listening sessions, we are committing today to the following actions:
- We will continue to evolve our community relations programs and partnerships with key external organizations to emphasize diversity and opportunity across a broad range of society. A good example of this is our announcement today that we are Founding Sponsor of the Charlotte Center City Small Business Innovation Fund. We have committed $2 million this year to provide grants of up to $40,000 to small businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The grants will help these small enterprises survive the changing environment brought on by COVID through investments in technologies or upgraded marketing or business practices. When selecting grant recipients, we will prioritize minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses. We have great partners on board to help us get moving quickly, and we are excited about what this program can do to help small business owners.
- We will intensify our focus on the recruiting, retention, and development of Black employees along with women and other minority groups. Two years ago, we introduced the Women’s Advancement Program to pair rising female executives with career champions while providing them access to career development and networking opportunities. Thanks to the success of this program, we are now planning to extend it to Black employees and other minority groups. In addition, we will deploy training for all employees in areas such as unconscious bias, with input from our employees on the content, and we will expand and strengthen Honeywell Black Employees Network chapters.
- We will enforce a revised zero tolerance policy under our Code of Business Conduct, which makes it explicit that there is zero tolerance specifically for racial discrimination. Zero tolerance means that anyone who engages in harassing or discriminatory behavior is subject to appropriate disciplinary measures, up to and including termination of employment. If anyone experiences, or witnesses, any behavior that is not in line with our racial discrimination policy, it is our expectation and requirement that you report it immediately to your supervisor, Human Resources, Legal, or the Access Helpline. Remember, we will never tolerate retaliation against those who step forward in good faith to report problems or concerns related to our Harassment Policy or Code of Business Conduct.
These steps are a starting point, not an end – and I’m counting on all of you to be the champions we need to ensure that racially discriminatory practices WILL NOT reside at Honeywell. Our leaders will be held especially accountable for fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace in which employees of all races feel valued, respected, and accepted.
As we approach this Friday’s 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, the oldest national celebration of the ending of slavery in the U.S., we can take pride in all that we do to foster diversity. At the same time, we are humbled by what remains to be done and committed to continuing to make progress.
Thank you in advance for your support.