NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Looking to build on its core practices of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Bridgestone Americas Inc. is redoubling efforts to "assess and refine our balanced approach to community support that reflects Bridgestone's Our Way to Serve commitment through a diverse, inclusive and transparent lens."
To ensure these efforts become part of the fabric of the company's DNA, Bridgestone Americas CEO Paulo Ferrari is stepping into the role of executive sponsor—alongside Chief Technology Officer Nizar Trigui—of the company's Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee, which comprises a cross-functional group of teammates from across the enterprise.
Ferrari—head of Bridgestone Americas since Jan. 15—notified employees of his intentions in late June, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis during an arrest.
In that message, he pledged to lead the team personally "in their education, advocacy, collaboration, process and governance efforts with the mission of accelerating our journey."
Among those involved in the process are members of the company's board of directors and "BBOLD," Bridgestone's employee resource group that supports Black employees. Ferrari said he's also met with the firm's human resources team and the Bridgestone Americas executive committee.
The company has committed to spending $1 million to support its diversity and inclusion practices, instituting mandatory diversity and inclusion training for all levels, including senior leadership and all new hires.
Bridgestone pledges to benchmark its annual community financial support—through the Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund and our businesses—to diverse organizations, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and United Way.
It plans to then assess and refine its balanced approach to community support to reflects the company's "Our Way to Serve" commitment "through a diverse, inclusive and transparent lens."
This pledge calls for reporting on comprehensive diversity and inclusion key performance indicators, which are in the process of being refined, at every Bridgestone Americas board of directors meeting.
"While we have been committed to diversity and inclusion, we know we still have work ahead of us," Bridgestone said.
"We will continue to build our strength and capabilities in this important area of our business, with critical feedback and support of our Bridgestone Americas employees, to ensure our values with respect to diversity and inclusion are carried out each and every day in the communities where we live and work."
The company also pledged to continue to facilitate "senior-leader-led listening sessions" with employees at all levels "to make sure their perspectives, feedback and suggestions are heard and incorporated into our long-term plans."
Bridgestone's declaration follows on the heels of Michelin North America Inc. adopting a diversity-awareness plan of action under the tag (RISE)2—"Responding to Racism, Injustice and Inequality through Sustainable Social Empowerment and Engagement."
Michelin said in a blog post that its policy was developed by a "diverse team" organized by and with the full support of the North American leadership team.