Embrace a people-centric culture at Dow and beyond

In 2021, we updated Dow’s ID&E strategy which continues to focus on inclusion and a focus on diversity, but which also includes, and most importantly, embedding equity into our practices, policies and process. We outlined bold new actions to deliver breakthrough results by 2025, while amplifying transparency and accountability.

I can’t talk about progress at Dow without talking about our ERGs. They are the catalysts for sustained engagement and driving change inside and outside of Dow. Today we have 10 ERGs with over 600 local chapters. Approximately 52% of Dow employees participate worldwide. And Dow contractors can also join an ERG and participate in most activities. We have ERGs that cover the dimensions of diversity that most people think of, such as ethnic minorities, veterans, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ populations, but we also have ERGs for new hires and those in the flower of age. These groups are havens where employees can see themselves, be themselves and be heard. ERGs are places where allies commit to learning and advocating for people who are unlike them. And increasingly, ERGs are driving business success.

And our CEO has made it clear that he expects all people leaders to participate in at least one ERG of their choice – as an opportunity for personal development and to demonstrate to their teams the importance of engagement. Why do we encourage so much participation in the ERG? Because research and our own data tell us that employees who participate are more engaged. Data from our annual employee survey shows that Dow ERG participants are 9 percentage points more satisfied with the company than non-ERG participants. And greater satisfaction leads to greater engagement.

It’s also important to recognize that a lot has changed over the past few years and expectations have changed for many of our stakeholders, including our colleagues, community leaders, investors, and more. They expect us to be accountable and transparent. So, at Dow, we are a two-way street and have stakes in place that define where we want to be by 2025, and we proactively share our progress on an annual basis in our ESG report. At the same time, ID&E has been pushed beyond our fence line and into our communities, with greater consideration for issues like social justice. That’s why we’ve established a Social Justice Council to guide our actions and advocacy efforts.

Helen D. Jessen