by Janet Foster, Vice President of Business Process Improvement on Dec 17, 2021
This entry first appeared on Rogers Corporation’s internal “Leadership Blog.” Our CEO, Bruce Hoechner, and his senior leadership team write biweekly posts for Rogers’ intranet, generating many likes and comments from colleagues around the globe.
This blog was written by Janet Foster, Rogers’ Vice President of Business Process Improvement, and has been edited for external publication.
At Rogers, we continue to focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) throughout the organization. To name some highlights from 2020 and 2021, we established a DE&I Council with a specific charter, launched an internal website, initiated two Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) – Women@Rogers and Early Career Development – and made DE&I a frequent agenda item at many of our global internal meetings. We’ve also started tracking our diversity hires at the director level and above, and since we started measuring in Q3 of 2020, 50% of our hires have been a diversity candidate and 33% have been female. In all instances, we interviewed using a diverse candidate slate and a diverse interview panel..
We are proud of our significant progress, as it gives credence to a fundamental principle of inclusion, namely that things start to change when we make an active effort to change them. We are currently working on our first DE&I strategic plan, which will build on the baseline we set in 2021. This plan has four elements:
A company’s culture can be defined as the collection of values, expectations and practices that guide and inform the actions of all team members. At Rogers, we have seven established Cultural Behaviors that serve as a touchstone as we go throughout our day. These behaviors — Live Safely, Trust, Just Decide, Speak Openly, Simply Improve, Innovation and Deliver Results — guide our operations and connect our day-to-day work with our organizational objectives.
Given this, the question remains: How do we align our DE&I focus with these behaviors? Rogers has determined that our focus is to make a conscious effort to execute these behaviors through a DE&I lens.
For example, when we think about our cultural behavior of Innovation and we embark on the innovation process, we will be sure to include multiple perspectives from all over the company and not limit ourselves to the same group of folks we tend to ideate with. When we think about our cultural behavior to Speak Openly, we will recognize that a coworker with a different set of cultural norms may not be comfortable doing so, even if warranted, and we should make the extra effort to help them find their voice. The end goal should be for more and more employees to look at their Rogers experiences and their behaviors through this DE&I lens.
DE&I has a direct correlation to higher employee engagement. To that end, we are placing special emphasis on supporting our leaders as they “Walk the Talk” of inclusion. A few months ago, we held an instructor-led training class for these leaders. The class was titled “Deepening the Culture of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Rogers Corporation” and focused on highlighting how a leader practices “Active Inclusion.”
If the hallmark of employee engagement is the ability for people to be their true, authentic selves at work, then the hallmark of an inclusive leader is creating, through active inclusion, a safe space for them to do so. Over the course of the next year, we are asking our leaders to record details on efforts to improve their practice of Active Inclusion with their employees, peers and managers. We think this will further advance our ability to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into our Rogers’ culture.
Rogers has a long history of enabling and supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce. Rogers is always seeking new ways to build upon this foundation and encourage the growth and support of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives companywide. For more DE&I perspectives at Rogers, view President and CEO Bruce Hoechner’s recent blog on the power of inclusion, viewable on LinkedIn.