Fostering mutual trust and respect for one another is a cornerstone of being an inclusive and welcoming workplace — one that is well-positioned to serve our customers and communities. It’s also important that our workforce reflect the diverse customers and neighbors that make up these communities.
As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to maintaining a workplace environment free from discrimination. Employment decisions are made by placing the most qualified person in each job without regard to race, color, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, marital status, age, national origin, disability, genetic information, veteran status, citizen status or other protected group status as defined by federal, state or local laws. In Canada, we comply with the Employment Equity Program laid out by the Canadian Federal Contractors Compliance Criteria. Diversity and inclusion are fundamental values in our Code of Conduct.
Expanding the Presence of Women in our Ranks
The waste industry traditionally has been male-dominated, and even today, a job in environmental services may not be on a woman’s radar. Another industry challenge is a serious shortage of drivers and technicians. We’re taking steps to address both of these challenges by actively seeking women as a group to recruit, hire and develop. For example, in 2015, we joined the Women in Trucking Association (WIT), which works to support women in the industry. Waste Management is serving on WIT’s advisory committee and working closely with the organization and other trucking industry participants to address recruitment.
As we’ve sharpened our focus on hiring both more women and millennials across our workforce, we were encouraged to receive recognition in 2017 as a “Best Companies for Millennials” by Women’s Choice Award. This is the only recognition that reflects the needs and preferences of women based on publicly available data, which aligns with employee and consumer appreciation for corporate transparency. Criteria to earn a place on the list include female representation in the workforce, management and board, and are based on work-life balance benefits; paid time off and vacation days; professional development and support activities; and wellness benefits.
The recruitment of veterans is another ongoing focus for Waste Management, and one that we place special emphasis on each year. Military is the single largest pool of transportation, logistics and maintenance professionals. In 2017, 8.6 percent (over 1,000) of all our U.S. hires were veterans. Our best year on record was 2015, with 14 percent of all our U.S. hires being military veterans. Through August 2018, 8.7 percent of U.S. hires were military veterans. The retention of military veterans is comparable to the rest of Waste Management’s workforce. Waste Management receives between $250,000 and $500,000 annually in veteran hiring tax credits.
Waste Management veteran hiring has consistently grown in the past five years due largely to strategic partnerships and marketing efforts with the Department of Labor Career One-Stop centers, Hire Purpose, Corporate Gray, U.S. Veterans Magazine, and active participation in 100+ military-focused job fairs. We are frequently lauded for our veteran outreach, including being named for nine consecutive years as a Top Military Friendly® employer by G.I. Jobs and “Best for Vets” employer by Military Times.
Working to Meet the Needs of Individuals With Disabilities
We continue efforts to better understand how to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities within our workforce. One way to do so is through surveying our employees every five years using a Department of Labor self-identification form CC-305. Because responses are voluntary, we have been challenged to obtain a meaningful response rate beyond 10 percent, a common problem among companies. Based on data collected from this small sampling, employees with disabilities would be projected at less than 2 percent of our workforce, a number that we consider unrepresentative. We continuously benchmark against companies with higher response rates to implement best practices around communication and education on the function of the survey and to enhance our own efforts around our recruitment of and accommodations for people with disabilities.
Waste Management has been proactive in assisting people with disabilities through our Transition to Recovery Program and by working with the Department of Labor on regulatory proposals to support employment of people with disabilities by participating in various professional and industry groups, including National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) and local chapters such as the Greater Houston Industry Liaison Group (GHILG). NILG is the largest consortium of private-industry federal contractors working directly with the Department of Labor in shaping equal employment regulations and understanding their impact on the workforce.