Inclusion, Equity & Diversity (IE&D) are fundamental values, as described in our Code of Conduct. WM continues to assess our goals to make improvements in future years.
Embedding IE&D Across WM
In 2020 we launched our IE&D leadership council, sponsored by members of WM’s senior leadership team. The council works to evaluate policies, practices and procedures, and offers recommendations in the areas of education, training, talent development, recruitment and partnerships to ensure that our IE&D efforts are sustainable and are tied to the business strategy.
Since its creation, the group has developed a framework and structure for rolling out business impact groups and company-wide IE&D training. Enterprise results are reported to the senior leadership team quarterly, and our Board of Directors receives an annual report on IE&D strategy and progress.
Raising Our Ambitions
To further embed IE&D as a central pillar and continued cultural focus, we added two aspirational goals to achieve by 2025:
- Achieve ethnic and racial diversity in each segment of our workforce, with an emphasis on leadership, that is greater than or equal to the estimated availability of minority talent in the marketplace.
- Lead the industry in female representation at all levels, with a special emphasis on frontline and women in leadership.
In 2020 we identified policies, practices and procedures that could enhance our ability to meet these goals; incorporated IE&D metrics into each market’s monthly and quarterly business reviews; and launched internal and external campaigns to highlight employees from underrepresented groups in an effort to inspire existing and future employees. In addition to these goals, we are growing our focus on recruiting employees who identify as LGBTQ, as veterans or as having a disability.
WM is committed to a diverse Board of Directors. This is evidenced by the fact that one-third of our Board members are women, and 22% self-identify as ethnic minorities.
Growing Awareness of IE&D
WM’s efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce represent a long-term commitment. As the U.S. grapples with long-standing issues related to racial injustice, inequality and fairness, we have also been confronting these hard realities.
For example, we launched the Power of One, a movement focused on the impact one person can have, designed to enable all employees to commit to doing one thing to be part of the solution and improve IE&D at WM. Employees have pledged to educate themselves on IE&D issues, share what they learn with family members, and mentor and guide diverse emerging leaders. With nearly 50,000 employees, we believe that many small actions can add up to powerful change.
Another way we are continuing the dialogue is through a Courageous Conversation series. During these webinar-style events, employees across the enterprise come together to discuss topics such as Latino identity and tips for women seeking careers in trucking and transportation. We also shared a candid conversation between WM leaders about how we must move forward as a company to address racial injustice and held a town hall session where employees could pose questions to leadership about WM’s IE&D efforts.
Supporting Diverse Suppliers
WM promotes supplier diversity, with a goal of achieving 10% growth in annual spend with diverse suppliers through 2038. Our Board of Directors receives an annual report on our spend with diverse suppliers, directly overseeing our progress toward this goal. In 2020, we hosted Share the Mic and the Money Now, an event designed to amplify the voices of Black women executives and to connect Black women entrepreneurs from the Houston area with major corporations in hopes of creating diverse supplier relationships.
Progress toward this goal was impacted by the pandemic, which led to closures of some of our supplier businesses. In addition, one of our larger diverse suppliers was acquired by a non-diverse-owned company.
In 2020, our addressable spend went down, which actually increased our percent of diverse supplier spend. Diverse supplier spend was 5.3% of addressable spend in 2020, up from 5.2% in 2019. Visit our ESG Resource Hub for more information about WM’s supply chain.