CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – In a letter sent to employees following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a former Minnesota police officer, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun pledged to take the company’s dedication to diversity and inclusion to the next level.
He denounced the killing of Floyd and reminded everyone that Boeing has a “zero tolerance” policy for bigotry of any kind. He also responded to the requests of many of his employees that he and the company do more: he accepted the challenge.
Calhoun laid out five concrete areas of improvement that will be addressed within the company, saying:
We’re going to turn up the volume on dialogue within the company. I am encouraging all Boeing leaders to engage on this subject in a way that is authentic to them and meaningful to the people they lead. These won’t be — in fact should not be — comfortable discussions. Earlier today, we rolled out a conversation guide for leaders and other resources to help you through them.
We’re going to redouble our determination to drive out behaviors that violate our values and injure our colleagues. For anyone wondering what that means, here’s an example: About 10 days ago a Boeing employee made an abusive and harassing racial remark to a colleague in one of our facilities. He was quickly suspended, never returned to the workplace, and is no longer a Boeing employee. When these things happen, you will know about them. I am always transparent and will be so especially on the subject of prejudice.
We are going to strengthen our expectations for living our values at Boeing by raising the bar for progress on key measures of equity and opportunity for our people — and making ourselves accountable for clearing that bar.
Over the next four years we’re going to double the $25 million we have already invested in partnerships that create a range of opportunities for marginalized communities.
We’re going to reach out to other companies on ways to drive broad and consistent change across our industry.David Calhoun
Calhoun concluded by saying that the issue of confronting racism “is not an issue of the week or the month or even the year. These commitments will be an even more permanent and visible aspect of how Boeing conducts itself as a company.”