In order to enact meaningful, impactful change in any organization, it must start at the top. This is especially true when increasing diversity and inclusion.
With guidance and support from the Avient Board of Directors, we have been directing actions and programs to change how our organization views, values and creates diversity in the workforce.
“The importance of building diverse and inclusive organizations has never been more important—in business and in our world,” said Bob Patterson, Chairman, President and CEO, Avient. Diverse and inclusive organizations attract and retain better talent, are more innovative, and are also among the best performing. “As the CEO, change of this importance must begin with me—my direction, decisions and actions,” he explained. “D&I at Avient is a shared value and position, but it’s crucial for me to lead by example.”
“Sixty-four percent of my executive leadership team and 42 percent of our Board of Directors are female or racially diverse. I draw upon this diversity to make the most informed and best decisions for our company,” he said. “Yet we have more work to do throughout the company, and our investments in D&I initiatives and Employee Resource Groups will play an increasingly influential role going forward.”
At Avient, we recognize that a diverse and inclusive culture results in better solutions and innovation, which leads to better products and services for our customers. Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) at Avient refers to gender of our global talent pool and U.S. race/ethnicity.
In addition to bi-annual reviews with the leadership team, Avient has implemented recruiting slate diversity guidelines to expand our talent pipeline, with at least one-third of candidates being diverse. Our experience has shown that having a better diversity representation in our candidate pool, increases the possibility for the position to be filled by a diverse candidate. Being able to attract and retain diverse talent allows us to expand our reach to a broader market space.
Our commitment to gender diversity begins at the highest levels of our organization, as evidenced by our “Winning” distinction through the 2020 Women on Boards organization for having 25% female board members, exceeding their goal of 20%.
Initiatives including Avient Mentoring, campus partnerships, and our employee resource groups are vital for progress in our D&I journey. In support of this, we stress equality of opportunity for all qualified individuals in accordance with applicable laws, as outlined in our Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and Code of Conduct. Decisions on hiring, promotion, development, compensation or advancement are based solely on a person’s qualifications, abilities, experience and performance, except where local law requires us to take actions to increase employment opportunities for a specific group. The Avient Ethics Hotline serves as a mechanism for associates to anonymously report any concerns regarding such decisions.
Continuing to build a diverse and inclusive culture is a key element of our People strategy and is crucial to the performance of our organization.
In 2017, we adopted The Hand as our global symbol for Diversity & Inclusion at Avient. The symbolism is extensive and meaningful, which is why we chose it. As you read the supporting narrative we created, it provides both a call to action for the present, as well as a commitment to ongoing improvements.
The Hand represents Avient’s symbol for Diversity & Inclusion as a means to build an accepting and open culture where everyone is welcomed, safe, included and respected as part of our global organization.