Following the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, the anguish and pain felt around the world revealed the urgent need for us to take action in upholding the values that are core to our culture at ADM. We remain committed to promoting diversity and inclusion, respect and integrity within our own company, and in the communities where we live and work, and we understand the urgency to act now to fight systemic racism and ensure equality for all.
Ana Apolaro, ADM vice president of human resources and head of diversity and inclusion, explains the actions ADM is taking now, and in the future.
What is ADM doing to promote racial diversity, including upper management?
ADM's core values express what we expect of ourselves and each other. Among them is showing respect and treating everyone with care and consideration. Our C-Suite consists of 38% ethnically diverse leaders, and we continue to focus on enabling diversity at all levels of leadership - from the Board of Directors, to our Executive Council and our senior leadership ranks.
We know that diversity can't be enabled at the leadership levels without structural focus at every level of the organization. We have instituted procedures across the employee life cycle to ensure equal opportunities for all: we are committed to diverse talent slates during the hiring process, we ensure our candidate review and selection efforts address and reduce unconscious bias, we provide specialized mentorship programs for diverse colleagues to support their career journey and acceleration, and we have a dedicated talent review program to ensure we fully support advancement of colleagues from underrepresented backgrounds.
How can ADM ensure people of color are successful?
At ADM we want to remove every potential barrier to successful career journeys for people of color, while ensuring they have the full support of our organization to succeed while bringing their "whole selves" to the workplace. Every year we take our global workforce through required trainings, including an unconscious bias course to ensure that every colleague has a common understanding of what diversity and inclusion looks like in action and why it matters.
ADM is committed to developing all colleagues and helping them maximize their career aspirations through continuous learning and by providing unique experiences over and above their formal role. Every single colleague at ADM is required to have a development plan that is discussed at least on a quarterly basis. We also have talent talks to discuss the careers of all colleagues to ensure we have the right people in the right jobs to maximize their potential and performance.
Our Global Tuition Program is available for all colleagues that pursue professional development by reimbursing 75 percent of all eligible tuition, books and mandatory fees for certificates, undergraduate and some graduate level courses. We also provide an independent and confidential compliance hotline, allowing all our employees to freely and confidentially bring up concerns enabling ADM to take appropriate measures to ensure equal opportunities for all.
What action is ADM taking as a result of the protests?
It is an important moment to reinforce communicating our core values surrounding diversity and inclusion, condemning social injustice. We have the personal commitment of our board, CEO and executive committee to engage quickly and transparently on this matter - and all these groups have taken action over the past several days to host forums for listening, discussion and learning.
We are enhancing the amount of pulse surveying we do across the organization to ensure we are listening to and hearing the voices of all colleagues. What we learn from these engagements will set a course for what we must do next.
How does ADM support social justice through partnerships and contributions?
To promote substantive change, ADM recently contributed $200,000 to the National Urban League, an organization dedicated to advancing economic empowerment, equality and social justice. Their mission is to help African-Americans and others in underserved communities achieve true social parity, economic self-reliance, power, and civil rights.
Our longstanding partnership with the organization helps support economic empowerment through education and job training, housing and community development, workforce development, entrepreneurship, health, and quality of life. Further, to strengthen our commitment, ADM is matching colleague contributions to approved 501(c)(3) organizations that are supporting causes associated with racial equality.
Throughout our history, we've fostered an environment of respect and integrity, and we realize this must exist beyond the walls of our facilities and weave into the communities we serve. In 2020, we've supported C200- Paradigm4Parity, Access Living, Kiva Foundation, Singapore Council of Women's Organizations, and The Hunger Project India, all of which strive for global inclusion and empowerment.