Bridgestone Americas (BSAM)’s DE&I strategy consists of three key areas: workplace, workforce and marketplace. In each area, it aims to provide an inclusive work environment, educate leaders and employees, and create equitable opportunities. To help achieve these goals, in 2021 and 2022 BSAM conducted unconscious bias training as a foundational learning program related to DE&I for over 5,000 participants. BSAM also launched two more courses, Conscious Conflict and Empathy training, as secondary and progressive courses to the unconscious bias training. BSAM is also committed to improving transparency by reporting various initiatives and progress through its DE&I Annual Report.
Creating an equitable experience for underrepresented groups and an inclusive experience for all.
Focusing on the retention, recruitment, and advancement of underrepresented groups.
Doing meaningful business with underrepresented groups in our supplier network that will make a more equitable impact and supporting organizations that advance more equitable opportunities in the communities in which we live, work and play.
BSAM has set a 2030 milestone to ensure that its leadership makes steady progress toward mirroring the employee populations they lead. This long-term goal reflects the understanding that sustainable progress on DE&I often takes five years or longer to achieve. At BSAM, the sustainability of DE&I efforts is critical, and it is committed to making meaningful progress over the short and long-term.
Organization and resources for DE&I Center of Excellence
BSAM has created a dedicated DE&I Center of Excellence with a five-person team focused on enterprise initiatives; creating strategy, tools, and resources for the business; and facilitating training and education to further the DE&I agenda. A Board Committee oversees DE&I progress at the enterprise level and guides the DE&I Center of Excellence along with its strategic framework and accountability measures.
BSAM believes that DE&I is everyone’s responsibility. To that end, in 2021 BSAM launched its “Free to Be” movement that helps employees understand the importance of inclusion and bringing one’s whole self to work. It will continue to promote initiatives to increase racial and gender diversity, embed DE&I into the business, and create an even more equitable and inclusive work environment. These priorities will be accomplished with the direct employee input, including from its employee resource groups (ERGs):
- BBOLD — African American/Black employees
- BWIN — Women employees
- BNEXT — Employees at any level of leadership
- BBRAVO — Veteran employees
- BUNIDOS — Latin/Hispanic employees
- BPROUD — LGBTQ+ employees
The ERGs bring together employees and allies based on shared characteristics, life experiences, and interests and are critical in helping BSAM value employee differences. Each has the autonomy to define its purpose and programming, including community outreach and volunteering, mentoring and development opportunities, and networking.
BSAM has also sponsored the PRIDE Festival in Nashville for over a decade.
Initiatives and results in transparent disclosure
In 2022, BSAM released its second annual report on DE&I. To provide continued transparency on BSAM’s DE&I-related efforts and results, the report includes a DE&I scorecard showing diversity representation at all levels and functions of BSAM’s organization in 2022. BSAM recognizes that while it has made progress in recent years, including an increase in female representation and racial representation across all levels, much progress is still needed. This transparent disclosure represents a visible commitment to accountability for making the long-term, sustainable progress that is needed.
In 2023 and beyond, BSAM is focused on improving representation of racial and gender diversity, continuing to educate leaders with resources and experiential learning, embedding DE&I into ways of operating in the business and with customers, and ensuring that employees feel that their workplace is equitable and inclusive.
BSAM foresees potential challenges as resignations in the U.S. continue to increase and labor shortages persist in pivotal areas of BSAM’s business and operations, including technical fields. BSAM plans to overcome them by focusing on retention and development strategies and partnering with organizations to cultivate relationships and grow a broader talent pipeline, with a focus on traditionally underrepresented.