Submitted by Southwire
At Southwire, DEI is a business imperative. It’s simple: When our teams are diverse and our culture is inclusive, we are more successful today and better equipped to build a sustainable, multigenerational business for the future.
Southwire recently published our inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report. Visit https://southwire.com/dei to learn more about DEI priorities and progress across Southwire.
A YEAR OF DEI PROGRESS: 2022 AT A GLANCE
53% of new U.S. hires are from underrepresented communities.
27% of new hires are women.
7K+ U.S. team members participated in inclusion training.
$672M total investment with small- and diverse-owned suppliers.
19 U.S. team members participated in our Empowering Women in Production program.
Ranked #7 as a Top 10 EnterpriseWide Employee Resource Group (ERG) recipient by the Diversity Impact Awards™.
Named a finalist for the DEI Program of the Year by the HRO Today Inclusion Awards.
Southwire Canada named a Best Workplace™ for Hybrid Work by Great Place to Work®.
Named a Top Diversity Employer for the third consecutive year by Diversityjobs.com.
Southwire’s DEI mission is to build a culture that recognizes and celebrates the value of diverse backgrounds, equity in opportunity and inclusivity in action. Our commitment to DEI is holistic, going beyond what happens in the workplace to help improve equity and inclusion in our communities and across our value chain. Over the past several years, we have prioritized and accelerated our DEI efforts with a focus on seven strategic focus areas. We expect our focus areas to evolve as we drive our DEI mission forward in future years.
DEI Focus Areas
EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS (ERGS)
Our ERGs create a place for team members to connect and collaborate across their shared differences and celebrate the value of diversity at Southwire. We currently have six active ERGs that provide opportunities for learning, connection and development, and while they focus on bringing awareness around specific groups, all team members are welcome to join.
We embrace various cultures, perspectives, values and experiences in our workforce and invest in initiatives to recruit and support diverse talent. By establishing, strengthening and maintaining partnerships with universities and other organizations, we support educational experiences and career opportunities that are more inclusive for all.
Our focus on talent goes beyond just getting new team members in the door. Through our talent development focus, we commit to investing in educational programs and other opportunities that help our team members develop their skills and pursue their professional goals.
We embed the principles of DEI in our value chain by engaging and investing in small- and diverseowned businesses. We also support potential suppliers in growing their businesses by encouraging them to become certified as diverse. Diverse suppliers currently represent 37% of our total supplier pool and we have increased our spending in this area by 48% over the past five years.
Our neighbors depend on us, just as we depend on them, and we are committed to improving the quality of life in the communities in which we work. DEI is among Southwire’s five charitable giving strands, guiding us to support initiatives that foster inclusion, promote diverse perspectives, and recognize the talent, and inherent value of all people regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
We support policies and causes that align with our commitment to DEI, including through various partnerships and by recognizing and celebrating diverse groups and DEI-focused moments throughout the year. We strive to empower team members to make their own decisions about the issues they support while providing them with the tools to make educated choices and promote an inclusive culture for all.
Southwire’s external partnerships are vital to building relationships with like-minded organizations that reflect our company’s values and DEI goals. These partnerships strengthen our business by furthering our efforts to recruit and support diverse talent. They also provide our team members with opportunities to get involved.
MANAGEMENT & ACCOUNTABILITY
In 2022, Southwire established a new DEI governance model to ensure accountability at every level. The new model includes our CEO DEI Council, Executive DEI Council, Team Member DEI Council and Social Advisory Committee, along with required DEI performance objectives for all people leaders. To drive further accountability and progress, we established eight DEI goals which focus on our seven areas. We are proud of what we have achieved so far and know that there is still more to do. We share our achievements to date in our inaugural 2022 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report.
Our 2022 Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) — one of the ways we measure team member engagement and satisfaction at Southwire — reflects our progress toward our DEI goals. The eNPS has four metrics which relate to DEI: diversity, nondiscrimination, inclusion and DEI overall. Each improved by at least seven points in 2022, compared to our scores from the previous year.
EMBEDDING DEI ACROSS SOUTHWIRE
To make DEI part of how we operate each day, we need to provide our teams with opportunities to get involved. Our goal is to embed inclusive and equitable practices throughout the team member experience. With participation at all Southwire locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Honduras, our six active ERGs helped us advance this goal in 2022. Additionally, our 43 TEAM champions focused on providing DEI opportunities across the organization and at their local sites.
We continued to expand our annual Summer Enrichment Series, with more than 600 team members from 46 Southwire locations participating in 20 events. The activities included speed mentoring sessions, fireside leadership chats and keynotes with external DEI experts. Similarly, we saw meaningful growth in our Southwire Link Mentorship Program in 2022.
Powered by Southwire’s DEI and Talent Development teams, Southwire Link is the first company-wide, application-based mentorship program open to all team members. The program focuses on collaboration across the organization to create a platform for knowledge sharing and professional development. The 2022 program included more than 45 team member participants, representing YOY growth of more than 75%. This included over 45% female representation and all career bands — making it a truly inclusive team member experience.
Empowering Women to Lead in Manufacturing
Female team members play an integral role in our company’s evolution and success, and our commitment to supporting and advancing women in our workforce has never been stronger. As part of our commitment, we continue to grow our partnership with Women in Manufacturing (WiM), a nonprofit focused on empowering women workers and strengthening the manufacturing sector. In 2022, 19 female team members participated in WiM’s Empowering Women in Production program. The 20-week course is designed to position women in manufacturing production roles for advancement and success with impactful training, coaching and a connected community of like-minded women.
“I’m proud to complete another successful program here at Southwire. As a Latina woman, it is an honor to progress inside this company and grow as a leader. Thanks to the Empowering Women in Production program, I’ve learned that being bilingual is a strength that I can use to my advantage.”
- Jenny Rivera, North Campus Take-Up Operator at Southwire
Southwire also served as a sponsor and keynote speaker at the 2022 National Women in Manufacturing Summit. The event brought together more than 1,000 manufacturing professionals from 263 companies working to advance and promote women in the industry. Nearly 60 Southwire team members attended the summit, with several leading roundtable discussions and breakout sessions, providing presentations and hosting our exhibitor booth.
“For Southwire, delivering power is not just about electricity. Delivering power is also about empowering each Southwire team member to bring their whole selves to the workplace and to be a conduit for positive change in their communities. Providing an environment where individuals from diverse backgrounds feel empowered, included and comfortable expressing varied thoughts and perspectives is our priority, and Southwire maintains a strong commitment to ensuring our workforce continues to reflect our complex and evolving world. We foster an inclusive environment that recognizes the value and talent of diverse perspectives, regardless of gender and ethnicity.”
- Fernando Esquivel, EVP, Chief People & Culture Officer at Southwire
DIVERSIFYING OUR WORKFORCE
Ensuring diverse representation across our workforce and leadership is critical to our long-term success. We recognize that initiatives to recruit, support and promote diverse talent have tangible business benefits tied to performance, productivity and innovation.
In 2022, we carried out a variety of initiatives to nurture diversity in our workforce and position our company as an employer of choice for future and current talent. We leveraged and grew external partnerships — such as those with the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) and WiM — to build our talent pipeline through engagement, education and awareness. We also continued to invest in and promote our ERGs, which support talent attraction and retention by providing team members with an avenue for development, networking and engagement. Our achievements in the DEI space earned recognition through four external awards. Powered by this momentum, we will build on these efforts in 2023 and beyond.
“Our goal is for all Southwire team members to feel empowered and engaged. We have made progress in building a culture in which DEI is a priority—where a diversity of people come together and can do their best work because they feel that they are valued for their perspectives and their unique differences. We will continue to prioritize efforts to build an inclusive and diverse workforce, positioning Southwire to be generationally sustainable for the next 100 years and beyond.”
- Cara Herzog, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
Making Southwire an Employer of Choice for New Moms
It may just be a room, but its impact is tremendous. When a nursing mother comes back to work after maternity leave, a dedicated lactation room is essential to helping her transition back to the workplace and feel supported as both a team member and a mother.
To support new mothers in our workforce, Southwire announced a partnership with Nessel in 2022, to standardize dedicated spaces for nursing mothers across our organization. The lactation rooms provide a supportive, safe and sanitary space for breastfeeding mothers to help them thrive while pumping at work.
Our goal is to have this standard for clean, comfortable and compliant nursing mothers’ stations integrated into every company facility by the end of 2024. Whether in a manufacturing facility in Texas or an office building in Canada, we want to ensure our team members have a convenient and private space to meet their needs.
U.S. Workforce Diversity at a Glance
42% of team members are from underrepresented communities.
23% of team members are women.
5% of team members are veterans.
Visit https://www.southwire.com/sustainability to view the full 2022 Southwire Sustainability Report.
A leader in technology and innovation, Southwire Company, LLC is one of North America’s largest wire and cable producers and an emerging influence in many important electrical markets. Southwire and its subsidiaries manufacture building wire and cable, utility products, metal-clad cable, portable and electronic cord products, OEM wire products and engineered products. In addition, Southwire supplies assembled products, contractor equipment, electrical components, hand tools and jobsite power and lighting solutions, and the company provides a variety of field and support services to customers around the world. For more information about Southwire’s products, its community involvement and its vision of sustainability, visit www.southwire.com.
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