Inclusion and 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.

We were again recognised by the Human Rights Campaign on their 2021 list of Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality, achieving a 100% score on HRC's Corporate Equality Index. Eaton has received this recognition for six consecutive years, earning a perfect score each year. Companies are rated on criteria in five categories: non-discrimination policies, employment benefits, demonstrated organisational competency and accountability around LGBTQ diversity and inclusion, public commitment to LGBTQ equality, and responsible citizenship. 

To be successful, we must create an inclusive, safe and engaging workplace where every employee has an opportunity to learn, grow and be healthy. To deliver on this, we sponsor and promote Inclusion Employee Resource Groups (iERGs). In 2020, these employee-led resource groups grew to more than 10,500 employees.

$1.9 bn
Goods and services purchased from small and diverse suppliers in 2020
22.7
%
Global representation of women in executive and management roles
18.2
%
Representation of US minorities in executive and management roles
Eaton 2020 global employment diversity
Eaton 2020 global employment by age

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

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. Find out 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 eight iERGs promote a welcoming, inclusive work environment that embraces difference and encourages the participation of all employees:

  • WAVE – Women Adding Value at Eaton iERG
  • Veterans  – 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 – LGBTQ+ and Allies iERG
  • enABLE – People with disabilities and/or managing special needs 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 eight iERGs have more than 10,500 members in 60 countries.

The WAVE and ENGAGE iERGs operate on a global basis, with more than 150 local groups. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer iERG (Eaton Pride) has its presence in North America, Mexico and parts of Europe. In the United States, the veterans’ iERG serves members of the military and supports allies. Three additional iERGs in the US include SOAR in support of our Asian-American employees; iConnect, supporting employees who are Black/African-American/People of Colour; and #VAMOS!, supporting our Hispanic-American and Latino employees. 

And the iERGs can be agents of change:

  • It was our iERGs that provided feedback and the business case to expand our paid parental leave policy in the US. Since implementation in 2017, over 1,600 employees a year have taken the opportunity to bond with their new child, enhancing the work-life balance.
  • Our iERGs benchmarked and developed our new Stretch Assignment Marketplace (SAM), 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. More than 3,000 employees benefited from this experiential learning programme to develop their capabilities, delivering over 370 projects since 2017. 
  • The iERGs introduced listening circles in 2020 to give employees a chance to say what they are thinking and feeling and can help engender mutual understanding and support among them in stressful and challenging times.

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

The Eaton global 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 experience, Valuing Inclusion & Diversity at Eaton – The Power of Perspectives (VID), globally to all managers of people. Since then, more than 5,900 leaders have attended, with the objective of increasing awareness of personal biases, developing inclusive leadership skills and advancing a culture of inclusion. Participants have said the experience is eye-opening and has positively impacted their perceptions, including focusing on inclusive leadership. To reinforce their VID learning, leaders have access to "Moment of Choice" tools created to aid and encourage their journey from unconscious bias to conscious inclusion. In 2020, we took steps to convert this learning experience to an engaging, high impact virtual platform, allowing broader access to this critical learning opportunity. In addition, we committed to a multi-week virtual learning experience on bias that is rooted in neuroscience research.

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. 54% of our global leadership team are US minorities. Find out 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 balancing work, family and personal needs. 

By the end of 2020, more than 2,300 employees (3% of global employees) participated in our flexible work solutions programme. Flexible solutions, which have been in place well before the global pandemic, include compressed work weeks, remote work, job sharing, part-time work, flextime and telework. Flexible work solutions and inclusive programmes help us remain competitive in attracting the best talent and improve the lives of our employees, at work and at home.

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. Find out 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. As of the second quarter of this year, our Board of Directors reached a milestone, with two-thirds of its members now women or US minorities. 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. 

Eaton’s combined spending with minority, women, veteran-owned diverse and small businesses was greater than 32% of supplier spending in the US in 2020, with a total of $702 million going to minority, women, veteran, LGBT+ and disabled-owned businesses. In 2020 we advanced our supplier diversity programme, purchasing $1.9 billion in goods and services from small and diverse suppliers and growing our business with women-owned businesses by approximately 7% and with veteran-owned businesses by nearly 5% over 2019. Find out more about supplier diversity at Eaton.

Inclusion and diversity governance

Eaton is proud to have strong internal processes and controls for managing our sustainability performance. Many of these controls connect individuals and teams across our company and include management at each level of the organisation. Find out more about our governance policy for inclusion and diversity.

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