Our four pillars serve as the global focus areas for 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:
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 more than 9,500 members in 60 countries, an increase of 32 percent over the last two years. 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 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. Also in 2018, we launched enABLE, 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 roundtables with executives.
And the iERGs can be change agents:
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 I&D education class, Valuing Inclusion & Diversity at Eaton—The Power of Perspectives (VID), globally to all leaders of people. Since then, more than 5,000 of our leaders have attended, with the objective of increasing awareness of their personal biases and learning how to be a more inclusive leader. 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 modeling behaviors of conscious inclusion.
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 2018, over 800 employees have participated in our Flexible Work Solutions program at 28 U.S. and 12 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.
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.
In 2018, we purchased $2 billion in goods and services from small and diverse suppliers, with $780 million coming from minority, women and veteran-owned businesses. Thirty-five percent of our total supplier spend went to diverse and small businesses, with minority, women and veteran-owned businesses representing 13.3 percent of that. We increased our spend in every category over the prior year: purchases from minority-owned businesses increased by 40 percent; from women-owned businesses just over 23 percent; from veteran-owned businesses by 18 percent; and from small businesses by 20 percent. Learn more about supplier diversity at Eaton.
Our 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:
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:
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 Flexible Work Solutions program specifically for that region, but when it was clear that the program 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 organization.