Inclusion & diversity

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 recognising, 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 fulfil 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 about inclusion and diversity.

Four pillars of excellence for
inclusion and diversity

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

  • Talent: Inclusive behaviour helps to attract, retain and advance the talent needed to fuel growth.
  • Performance: Inclusive behaviour enables all employees to contribute their unique skills  to achieve their highest potential and optimise business results.
  • Globalisation: Inclusive behaviour accelerates the process of becoming a global enterprise that can win in all markets.
  • Innovation: Inclusive behaviour cultivates and leverages different backgrounds, perspectives and thinking to create better processes, products and service solutions.

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 recognise 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. And we’re making it real. We’re asking our leaders to develop goals—articulated and measured just like any other business goal—toward creating an inclusive work environment. Learn more about our vision and goals.

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 accelerate in the future. In the United States, more workers come from minority backgrounds. Around the world, more women are entering the workforce while an increasing number of retirement-age workers are leaving and being replaced by next-generation workers. To compete, the diversity of our leadership and business approach must reflect our employees, communities and global customer base.

Resources supporting inclusion and diversity

Inclusion Eaton Resource Groups (iERGs) bring together employees who share a common purpose, interest or background. These seven iERGs promote a welcoming, inclusive work environment that embraces difference and encourages the participation of all employees:

  • WAVE —Women Adding Value at Eaton iERG
  • Veteran —US Military Veterans iERG
  • ENGAGE —Eaton Next Generation Achieving Goals and Excelling iERG
  • iConnect —Black, African-American and People of Colour iERG
  • SOAR —Strengthening Our Asian Resources Asian-American iERG
  • #VAMOS! —Hispanic and Latino iERG
  • Eaton Pride —LGBT and Allies iERG

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

Currently, our seven iERGs have more than 8,700 members in 59 countries, an increase of 19 per cent in membership over 2016. The WAVE and ENGAGE iERGs operate on a global basis, with more than 75 local groups (called myWAVE and myENGAGE). In the United States, the Veterans iERG 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 Colour employees; and #VAMOS!, supporting our Hispanic-American and Latino employees. We also launched a North American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender iERG (Eaton Pride) with plans to expand into Europe in 2018 and to other regions in the future. In 2018, we will launch a new global iERG for people with disabilities.

These iERGs help us identify priorities, break down barriers to change the culture, engage in business projects and get involved in initiatives to attract, retain and develop talent. Some of their activities include webinars, speakers, stretch assignment projects, networking events and round-tables with executives.

And the iERGs can be change agents:

  • It was our iERGs that provided feedback and the business case to expand our paid parental leave policy in the US
  •  Our iERGs benchmarked and developed our new Stretch Assignment Marketplace, a creative way for employees to get involved in projects across our businesses, functions and regions and develop skills while building connections across the company.
  • For International Women’s Day 2018, our WAVE iERG led a global effort that involved more than 16,000 people at 130 locations across our regions. Events included speaker panels and an opportunity for employees to make personal declarations about the actions they will take in support of a more inclusive environment at Eaton.
  • In India, our WAVE iERG helped to develop and promote a programme to identify women with experience in engineering, supply chain, HR and finance who wanted to re-enter the workforce after taking a career break. So far, the ReLaunch programme has matched more than 45 women with opportunities at Eaton. 

We are proud of the impact the iERGs have had at Eaton. Their activities are engaging and empowering thousands around the world.

The Eaton mentoring programme is another resource for developing and advancing our diverse talent. The formal mentoring programme 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 the mentoring programme support our aspirational goals and nurture an inclusive work environment through 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 2014, we launched our full-day leadership I&D education class, Valuing Inclusion & Diversity at Eaton—The Power of Perspectives (VID), globally to all leaders of people. Since then, more than 4,000 of our leaders have attended, with the objective of increasing awareness of their personal biases and learning how to be a more inclusive leader. Because research shows that training for bias is generally not effective, we have also created tools that our leaders can use in their daily interactions (such as meetings, interviews, talent reviews and more) to help them move from unconscious bias to modelling behaviours of conscious inclusion.

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 about talent management at Eaton.

Balancing work-life effectiveness

Balancing work-life effectiveness is a common concern voiced by our employees. And, with the number of dual income and single-parent households rising around the world, our culture must be supportive of our employees in weighing work, family and personal demands. Flexible work solutions and inclusive programmes 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.

As of the end of 2017, almost 800 employees have participated in our Flexible Work Solutions programme at 27 US and 12 global sites. Flexible solutions include compressed work weeks, remote working, job sharing, part-time work, flextime and telework. These inclusive programmes will help realise 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 the foundation of 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 about our Board of Directors.

Diversity among our suppliers

Small and diverse businesses fuel the economy by creating jobs and delivering innovative solutions. We believe that encouraging these organisations to compete for our business benefits us and our communities. An ongoing effort by the office of Supplier Diversity identifies potential partners among small businesses and minority-, US veteran- and women-owned companies across the United States.

In 2017, we purchased more than $1.6 billion in goods and services from small and diverse suppliers, about 12 per cent of our total supplier spending. Compared to 2016 our spend with minority-owned firms increased by over 20 per cent; our spend with women-owned business grew just over 3 per cent; and our spend with veteran-owned businesses declined less than one per cent. Overall, we increased our combined spending with minority-, women- and veteran-owned diverse businesses by almost 10 per cent over the previous year. Learn more about supplier diversity at Eaton.

Inclusion and diversity governance

Our Corporate Human Resources is organised into twelve Centres 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 iERG 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, programmes initiated by RICs may also be implemented globally. For example, the RIC for North America launched our Flexible Work Solutions programme specifically for that region, but when it was clear that the programme could meet needs in our other regions, we began a global pilot and have since rolled it out to 12 global sites.

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 organisation.

Explore our interactive visual map (Flash), which shows how we manage inclusion and diversity at Eaton.