Diversity and Inclusion

How does ADM define diversity?

We believe diversity encompasses a variety of different dimensions beyond those most people typically consider, such as race, ethnicity and gender.  To us, diversity is also a product of the experiences, backgrounds, relationships people bring to the table. 

What we’re ultimately trying to do through our efforts in the area of work force and supplier diversity is foster an inclusive culture in which our employees, business partners and suppliers can access great opportunities while enabling ADM to advance its business strategies.

How is ADM working to promote diversity within its global work force?
We’re looking not just at hiring many different types of people, but also at ensuring that the experiences we offer new recruits help them adapt to our global enterprise and contribute to our business to the greatest degree possible.  When we hire new colleagues from India or elsewhere in Asia, for instance, we often assign them to various ADM operations in Europe, the U.S. and Canada to give them altogether different personal and professional experiences than they’ve had previously.

For instance, we recently brought one new hire from India to Lincoln, Nebraska, for a kind of cultural immersion. But before doing so, we sat with him and asked, “What types of tools or services will you need to assist in getting acclimated to this new environment?” We also worked with our colleagues in Lincoln to ensure they would be able to help with his transition to make it as seamless as possible. And we’ve gone through similar processes as we’ve added a growing number of colleagues from around the world to our corporate headquarters in Decatur, Illinois. 

We want people to get diverse experiences, to help them grow and develop both personally and professionally, and to help them be more collaborative and consultative in their decision-making.

What other kinds of efforts has ADM been making to develop a more diverse work force?

We’re doing more focused recruiting by partnering with organizations such as Jobs for America’s Graduates, or JAG. This year, we collaborated with the organization to create a program designed to help 50,000 high-risk young people obtain professional credentials or vocational certification in high-demand occupations. The program seeks to expand the number and quality of employment opportunities available to young job-seekers by addressing the needs of local employers in communities nationwide.

We regularly set up informational interviews with students who have completed the JAG program — many of whom are members of traditionally disadvantaged groups — to determine whether they may be a fit for ADM. We also have six ADM leaders serving on JAG boards in six different states, and Mike D’Ambrose, ADM’s senior vice president, human resources, is highly active on the organization’s national board.

Another important aspect of our work involves mentoring.  For the past two years, we’ve participated in the Young Leaders program created by Fortune magazine by making some of our women plant managers and engineers available to mentor young women students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Our colleagues mentor students by phone and via the Web, and they’re able to offer practical career advice and, in the process, make connections with highly promising young talent. It’s a win-win for all involved.

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