Global technology corporation Cummins Inc. prides itself on continually working to empower diverse suppliers, advancing gender and racial equalities and addressing global challenges such as education and sustainability.
The company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) was recently recognised at the 2023 National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) awards. More than 40% of the company’s vice presidents and 60% of business unit leaders are women, including its trailblazing female CEO, Jennifer Rumsey, who is one of 53 women among the S&P 500 companies.
Cummins Inc. have credited the rise in female representation from 30 to 41% since 2017, within, including top leadership, as fuelling its phenomenal growth.
Diversity initiatives guide greater global innovation
The company states that DE&I is “integral to the way we conduct ourselves as a corporate citizen, and we embrace our legacy and responsibility to be a values-driven, positive force in society.”
Historically, the company has a long history of supporting diversity dating back to Cummins' long-time leader J. Irwin Miller, who supported the Civil Rights Act of 1963. Today, the company sees DE&I as critical to creating a dynamic work environment, as it views greater diversity as integral to providing creative solutions to improve the challenges of its customers.
It has a range of systems in place to support equality within the workplace. Its Cummins Powers Women initiative is a multi-million-dollar investment designed to create large-scale change in the lives of women and girls globally. The company’s partnerships with respected, global nonprofit organisations that focus on gender equality help them to create impact.
The Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity initiative aims to drive a sustainable impact in dismantling institutional racism and creating systemic equity. Through this commitment to racial equity, Cummins is taking action to effect change for the Black community and is committed to ending institutional racism.
In addition, LGBTQ+ Safe Leader Training is a global skill-building programme created and delivered by the Cummins Pride Employee Resource Group and is available to employees and shared with external organisations through professional networks and business partnerships. The training includes a nuanced overview of how to effectively address topics that can manifest conscious or unconscious bias in the workplace towards LGBTQ+ people.
The company also has initiatives put in place to invest in veterans and people with disabilities by aiming to create accessible and inclusive workplaces and communities.
More businesses must confront the wider global diversity gap
Plenty within the data centre industry have called for those in power to consider if existing practices are doing enough in the way of diversity and inclusion. This means assessing parts of the business like hiring procedures, opportunities afforded to different demographics, career progression and if the company is doing enough to help staff feel empowered at work.
Data Centre Dynamics reported in September 2023 that technology sectors have registered a dip in the number of female workers, which the publication highlights as “concerning”. This disparity between overall sector growth and lacking female representation calls into question the underlying factors that are causing this imbalance.
In order to create real change, the industry needs to go beyond ‘lip service’ and actually advocate for DE&I practices and drive real transformation as a result.
Aashna Puri, Director of Strategy and Sustainability at CyrusOne, says: “it’s clear that the untapped potential of the female workforce is staggering and we must do more to inspire all students to pursue related subjects, encourage women entering the workforce to consider a career in data centres, and connect with those already in the workforce to understand what’s on offer for them should they want to change careers.
“The industry has acknowledged this diversity gap and understood how a lack of woman representation and senior female leaders to aspire to can impact the future of the industry, which is an important step. Now, we must come together to address it.”
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