Submitted by Owens Corning
Owens Corning’s inclusion and diversity journey has evolved considerably over the years, and Gina Thompson has been there nearly every step of the way. She has seen it grow from a handful of affinity groups to a central element of our sustainability efforts. Having spent nearly 14 years at our world headquarters and almost four leading human resources at our plant in Fairburn, Georgia, U.S., Gina has had a wide range of experiences integrating inclusion and diversity into everything we do, and she shares what makes Owens Corning unique in our approach.
What drives me is to create a work environment where people feel valued and respected. I’m glad to be aligned with a company that has those same values — it’s a perfect fit.
On the importance of placing inclusion before diversity
People sometimes think those terms are interchangeable, but if you really understand the definition of those terms, they’re not. When you think about diversity, you think about the vast dimensions of what makes us — whether it be cultural, whether it be race, whether it be the church I go to. The things we’re trying to drive at the company aren’t just about representation. It really is creating a culture where people feel valued and welcomed — and they can bring all of themselves to work. When you think about inclusion, it’s when you mix it all up and create an environment where everybody just fits. We mesh together to create an environment of mutual respect and trust, where we’re building connections to support one another.
On engaging employees in our plants on inclusion and diversity
At the plant, you have to use a lot of different techniques and a lot of different venues to really try to build those connections with the employees. One of the things that has really made a difference are Courageous Conversations, which really allow people to come and be transparent about things that are on their minds. And people don’t hold back. It sometimes gets a little awkward, but that’s OK. If that’s the way you’re feeling, I’d like to know so we can work on a way to create an environment where we connect a little bit better.
On Owens Corning’s commitment to inclusion and diversity
People who might be considering Owens Corning as a place that they might want to land for employment should understand that this company has done a lot of great work in this area. The focus around inclusion and diversity is real — it’s not the flavor of the month. I’ve been around this for 18 years. I am so proud to be at a company that is putting inclusion and diversity first, and it just solidifies why I wanted to join Owens Corning. I’m proud of the work that we’re doing, the commitment from our executive leaders, the board, and everyone. They understand that in order for us to be successful, we are definitely going to have an inclusive work environment.
Owens Corning is a global building and construction materials leader committed to building a sustainable future through material innovation. Our three integrated businesses – Composites, Insulation, and Roofing – provide durable, sustainable, energy-efficient solutions that leverage our unique material science, manufacturing, and market knowledge to help our customers win and grow. We are global in scope, human in scale with approximately 19,000 employees in 31 countries dedicated to generating value for our customers and shareholders and making a difference in the communities where we work and live. Founded in 1938 and based in Toledo, Ohio, USA, Owens Corning posted 2022 sales of $9.8 billion. For more information, visit www.owenscorning.com.
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