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Economic Value

Inclusion & diversity

Four Pillars of Excellence for
inclusion and diversity

Our four pillars serve as the global focus areas for inclusion and diversity:

  • Talent: Inclusive behaviors help attract, retain and advance great talent needed to fuel growth.
  • Performance: Inclusive behaviors enable all employees to contribute their unique skills  to achieve their highest potential and optimize business results.
  • Globalization: Inclusive behaviors accelerate our becoming a global enterprise that can win in all markets.
  • Innovation: Inclusive behaviors cultivate and leverage different backgrounds, perspectives and thinking to create better processes, product and service solutions.

Aspirational Goal – To be a model of inclusion and diversity in our industry

At Eaton, we aspire to be a model of inclusion and diversity in our industry – known for the way we welcome all people to the table and include them by listening to what they have to offer. We want an environment where all our employees have an opportunity to be their best.

Inclusion and diversity — essential to Eaton's performance and reputational standards

Inclusion and diversity  means recognizing, valuing and leveraging the differences in our perspectives and backgrounds that make each of us unique. We need inclusion and diversity to achieve our business results and vision and to fulfill our goal to be a model of inclusion and diversity in our industry. Openness to diversity widens our access to the best talent and inclusion allows us to engage that talent fully. Our employees are free to achieve their highest potential in an environment that promotes innovation and open communication.  Learn more 

Our leadership model

Eaton's six leadership attributes — we are ethical, passionate, accountable, efficient, transparent and we learn — support our culture of inclusion and are the basis of an open and inclusive work environment. We know the single most important ingredient to our success is our people. We also recognize that individuals are unique — with perspectives, backgrounds and experiences that influence and inform their ideas and opinions. These differences and perspectives lead to innovative ideas, better decisions for our company and our customers and a broad foundation of knowledge that advances our reputation as a thought leader. Learn more 

Next-generation employees will be more diverse

The global competitive market has shifted, along with our mix of talent. We are hiring different people today than we were 20 years ago and this will only continue and accelerate in the future. In the United States, more workers are minorities. Globally, more women are entering the workforce and baby boomers are retiring and being replaced by next generation workers. To compete, the diversity of our leadership and our business approach must be reflective of our employees and our global customer base.

Resources supporting inclusion and diversity

Eaton Resource Groups (ERGs) bring together employees who share a common purpose, interest or background. Our Inclusion Resource Groups Groups (iERGS) promote a welcoming work environment that embraces differences and encourages the participation of all employees:

  • WAVE – Women Adding Value at Eaton ERG
  • Veteran – U.S. Military Veterans ERG
  • ENGAGE – Eaton Next Generation Achieving Goals and Excelling ERG
  • iConnect – Black, African-American and People of Color ERG
  • SOAR – Strengthening Our Asian Resources Asian-American ERG
  • #VAMOS! – Hispanic and Latino ERG
  • Eaton Pride – LGBT and Allies ERG
Work Life Balance

Inclusion ERGs are a place for employees to exchange ideas and provide or receive mentoring and professional development. Moreover, iERGs introduce new employees to our organizational culture and help build and maintain employee engagement, satisfaction and retention.

Currently, our seven iERGs have more than 7,000 members in 76 countries. The WAVE and ENGAGE ERGs operate on a global basis, with more than 40 local groups (called myWAVE and myENGAGE). In the United States the Veterans ERG serves members of the military and support allies. In 2016, we launched three additional iERGs: SOAR in support of our Asian-American employees; iConnect, supporting Black/African-American/People of Color employees; and #VAMOS!, supporting our Hispanic-American and Latino employees. We also launched a North American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender ERG (Eaton Pride) with plans to expand it to other regions in the future.

These iERGs help us identify priorities, break down barriers, engage in business projects and get involved in initiatives to attract, retain and develop talent. Some of their activities include webinars, speakers, networking events and roundtables with executives. We are proud of the impact that ERGs have had at Eaton. Their activities are engaging and empowering thousands around the world.

The Eaton mentor program is another resource for developing and advancing our diverse talent. The formal mentor program is designed as a mutual process between a paired mentor and mentee to focus on specific development needs aligned with the employee's short- and long-term career aspirations.

The iERGs and mentor program support our aspirational goals and nurture an inclusive work environment though mentoring, education and development opportunities. They also support the strategy and objectives set by Eaton's Global Inclusion Council and the four Regional Inclusion Councils.

In addition, in 2014 we launched a full-day leadership I&D education class called Valuing Inclusion & Diversity at Eaton—The Power of Perspectives (VID) globally to all leaders of people in a phased approach. To date, more than 2,100 leaders have attended, with the objective of increasing awareness of their personal bias and learning change agent skills to lead in a more inclusive manner.

Building a diverse and inclusive workforce

Building a diverse and inclusive workforce begins with identifying the best talent. Talent management means hiring people with the right skills and aligning their career development and goals with our corporate strategy. Learn more 

Balancing work-life effectiveness

Balancing work-life effectiveness is a common concern voiced by our employees. The global number of dual income and single-parent households is rising. Our culture must be supportive of our employees in weighing work, family and personal demands. Flexible work solutions and inclusive programs will help us remain competitive in attracting the best talent and make it possible for employees in various situations to be able to remain at Eaton.

Work Life Balance

As of the end of 2016 a total of 25 U.S. and 5 global sites have deployed the Flexible Work Solutions program and almost 700 employees have participated in the program. Flexible solutions include compressed work weeks, remote working, job sharing, part-time work, flextime and telework. These inclusive programs will help realize our objective to hire and retain the very best talent and remain competitive.

Eaton Business System — an integrated approach

The Eaton Business System (EBS) is how we run our enterprise as an integrated operating company and it is our source of competitive advantage. Through EBS we are able to operate in a common way, speaking the same "language" across globally diverse regions, markets and businesses. And, EBS ensures that we have a single vision, a values-based culture and a shared philosophy that fosters inclusion and diversity. With EBS as how we work, we unite the power of many into the Power of One. Learn more 

Diversity on our Board of Directors

Our pledge to be inclusive in our business practices and within our work environments begins with our Board members, who jointly oversee all corporate activities and targets. Our Board of Directors and CEO collaboratively establish diversity goals and monitor progress company-wide. Learn more 

Diversity among our suppliers

We believe that our company and the many communities in which we operate benefit when we provide equal opportunities for all enterprises to compete for our business. An ongoing effort by the office of Supplier Diversity identifies potential partners among the small businesses and minority-, U.S. veteran- and women-owned companies across the United States.

A diverse supplier base is important to the continued growth and success of our company and communities. In 2016, we purchased more than $1.5 billion of goods and services from small and diverse suppliers. While our total U.S. spend with all suppliers was down nearly 20 percent, our combined spending with minority, women and veteran-owned diverse businesses increased slightly compared to the previous year (10.6 percent in 2015 versus 10.9 percent in 2016). Our spending with women-owned, veteran-owned and small business suppliers each increased by more than 20 percent. Despite the acquisition of one of our large, minority-owned suppliers last year, which resulted in a drop of 18.2 percent in minority-owned business spend from the previous year, we maintain our commitment to partner with innovative diverse companies that generate value, improve efficiencies and provide high-quality products and services. Learn more 

Inclusion and diversity governance

Corporate Human Resources is organized into twelve Centers of Expertise (CoE) serving all of our global operations. Inclusion & Diversity is the CoE responsible for setting global guidance on inclusion and diversity.

Eaton’s Global Inclusion Council (GIC) and four Regional Inclusion Councils (RICs) determine I&D strategy and initiatives. The GIC, led by our CEO, meets quarterly with the following mission:

  • Determine the overall global strategy and imperatives based on benchmarking, review of relevant data, feedback from ERG groups, etc.
  • Support the implementation of our global I&D strategy.

The Regional Inclusion Councils (RICs) tailor our I&D approach regionally. They do so by ensuring relevance and impact in the locations where we do business. Regional senior leaders head our RICs, which are guided by the following mission:

  • Ensure we address regional opportunities for I&D that align with regional challenges as well as our global I&D strategy.
  • Support regional implementation of our global I&D strategy.

In order to develop our regional priorities, our I&D team conducted regional focus groups to better understand and gather feedback on opportunities for improvement in creating a more inclusive culture. RICs work with the GIC to create and execute these I&D initiatives using both a top-down and a bottom-up approach. While RICs will carry out initiatives identified by the GIC, programs initiated by RICs may also be implemented globally. For example, the RIC for North America launched our Flex Work program specifically for that region, but when it was clear that Flex Work could meet needs in our other regions, we began a global pilot of the program.

Governance map Eaton is proud to have strong internal processes and controls for managing our inclusion and diversity performance. Many of these controls connect individuals and teams across our company and include management at each level of the organization.

Explore this interactive visual map, which shows how we manage inclusion and diversity at Eaton.

Relevant information