Corning Incorporated released its Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report for 2017 on Monday, March 5. We spoke with Christy Pambianchi, senior vice president, Human Resources, to get more information on why Corning tracks and shares this information and what Diversity and Inclusion mean for the company.
Christy, where does the Diversity & Inclusion program fit into Corning's priorities?
A commitment to Diversity and Inclusion is core to the priorities driving this company. We believe that how we do things is as important as what we do. That is why we strictly adhere to seven Values that guide our operations at all times. Those Values are the key to our business success, a source of pride and excitement for our employees, and the factor that ultimately sets us apart from our competitors.
Diversity and Inclusion are inherent in those Values, especially Corning's belief in the fundamental dignity of The Individual. We also know that diverse talent is a strategic advantage that drives innovation. So in order for the company to recruit and retain the best and brightest talent, we must unwaveringly provide an inclusive environment, where all employees can thrive.
What does this commitment to Diversity & Inclusion look like in practice?
First, we use precise, vigorous metrics to ensure that our employees are integrated into the company's culture, providing work experiences in which they can thrive, regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation or disability. And the data tracking our progress is very encouraging. Corning maintains an exceptional global salaried employee retention rate of 96%. We also maintain gender and minority percentages in roles across all salary grades that statistically meet or exceed availability percentages as determined by the U.S. government.
Beyond our own metrics, we engage many outside organizations on best practices, and feedback is consistently positive. We are regularly recognized by organizations that validate our position as a D&I leader. In many cases, such as the Human Rights Campaign and the Top Supporters of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), we have a multi-year track record of being acknowledged, and we are extremely proud of the recognition. In 2017 we also received a number of supplier awards, and I was proud to be elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.
Does the D&I Annual Report offer more details on these metrics and Corning’s D&I track record?
Yes! I'll share a few highlights and encourage everyone to read the report. The overarching theme is that Corning's commitment to diversity and inclusion has never been stronger. In fact, over the last decade or so, our D&I efforts have significantly improved the representation of diverse individuals at the highest levels of the organization. Since 2006, diversity in leadership has increased from 23% to 42% in the Corporate Management Group; from 8% to 28% diversity in corporate officers; and from 14% to 33% diversity on our Management Committee. That is great progress.
Equally important to diversity and inclusion and Corning's Values is the company's commitment to pay equity. I am very proud to say that Corning has achieved 100% pay parity in the U.S. and we are in the process of extending that to its entire global workforce.
Can you share a little more about how Corning is making these strides?
Corning maintains rigorous HR practices that help to ensure consistency in upholding the company's commitment to diversity, inclusion and pay equity across its global workforce. In addition to its own internal reporting and auditing on multiple diversity measures, as a government contractor Corning undergoes multiple annual audits by the U.S. government. Over the last two decades, Corning's hiring, promotion, and pay practices have been determined in these audits to be compliant 100% of the time.
We also take extra steps both at the individual and global level. On a personal basis, we deliberately find "stretch opportunities" for diverse emerging talent to ensure Corning's leadership ranks reflect our workforce. Globally, we engage our entire workforce in a variety of ways – from multiple series on our intranet, to our growing Employee Resource Group (ERG) program – so that together we can accomplish our mission of changing the world through innovation for another 166 years.