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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.

Measuring and reporting on progress

In 2019, we were again recognized by the Human Rights Campaign on their 2019 list of Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality, the 100% Corporate Equality Index. Eaton has received this recognition for four consecutive years, earning a perfect score each year. Companies are rated on criteria in five categories: non-discrimination policies, employment benefits, demonstrated organizational 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 2019, these employee-led resource groups grew to more than 10,000 employees, including expansion into Mexico and China.

In 2019, we purchased $1.9 billion of goods and services from small and diverse suppliers
Percent increase in 2019 of women in executive and management roles
Percent increase in 2019 of U.S. minorities in executive and management roles
Eaton 2019 employment diversity metrics chart
Eaton 2019 global employment by age group

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 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 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 the process of 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.

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. 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 are minorities. 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
  • Veteran – U.S. Military Veterans iERG
  • ENGAGE – Eaton Next Generation Achieving Goals and Excelling iERG
  • iConnect – Black, African-American and People of Color iERG
  • SOAR – Strengthening Our Asian Resources Asian-American iERG
  • #VAMOS! – Hispanic and Latino iERG
  • Eaton Pride – LGBT 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 organizational culture and help to build and maintain employee engagement, satisfaction and retention.

Currently, our eight iERGs have grown over ten percent over the past year and now have more than 10,300 members in 60 countries, including expansion into Mexico and China.

The WAVE and ENGAGE iERGs operate on a global basis, with more than 120 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 in the U.S.: 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 iERG (Eaton Pride), which expanded to Mexico and parts of Europe in 2018. Our enABLE iERG is focused on raising awareness of physical, mental and emotional abilities and creating a supportive environment for employees with disabilities. Launched in 2018, the enABLE iERG expanded in 2019 across the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.

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 roundtables 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 U.S.
  •  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.
  • In India, our WAVE iERG helped to develop and promote a program 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 program has matched more than 45 women with opportunities at Eaton. 

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

The Eaton mentoring program is another resource for developing and advancing our diverse talent. The formal mentoring 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 mentoring program 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 leaders of people. Since then, more than 5,800 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. To reinforce their VID learning, leaders have access to Moment of Choice tools that were created to aid and encourage their journey from unconscious bias to 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. Fifty percent of our U.S. elected officers represent diverse groups. 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 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.

As of the end of 2019, over 900 employees have participated in our Flexible Work Solutions program at 34 U.S. and over 20 global sites. 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. Almost fifty percent of our Board of Directors are from under-represented groups. 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 organizations to compete for our business benefits us and our communities. 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.

Eaton’s combined spending with minority, women and veteran-owned diverse businesses was greater than 33 percent of supplier spending in the U.S. in 2019 with a total of $829 million going to minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses. Collectively, we purchased $1.9 billion of goods and services from small and diverse suppliers in 2019. Eaton purchases with minority-owned firms increased by more than 1.5 percent while purchases with women-owned business grew over 14 percent and purchases with veteran-owned businesses increased more than 9 percent. Learn 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 organization. Learn more about our governance policy for inclusion and diversity.