From Mexico to Netherlands to Asia Pacific, Eastman unites employees in IWD celebrations
July 11, 2019
Eastman drew upon International Women's Day (IWD) to reinforce that gender parity isn't solely a woman’s issue. Women comprise 50% of the population and the talent pool and the company believes that if it doesn't engage women in the workplace and in society, it won't be successful.
Eastman's Catalysts Employee Resource Group (ERG) focuses on the inclusion of women in achieving company goals that drive business results. Eastman leveraged IWD to further educate their employees about gender parity and what the company is doing to drive positive change for inclusion and diversity.
Eastman believes that a commitment to inclusion and diversity is critical to the future success of the company, and that it is simply the right thing to do.
Understanding that women won't advance gender parity alone
Eastman created a video that featured employees, executive team champions and Board of Director members discussing the topic of inclusion and diversity, with a specific focus on the need to advance gender parity with their people forging a #BalanceforBetter.
Eastman believes that its video stands out because it includes all level of employees engaged in discussing gender parity - from Board Members through to the Executive team, to VPs, Directors, Managers and individual contributors.
The video was conceptualized from an idea that came from one of their employee resource groups. The team brought the idea to their executive sponsor (who is featured in the video). The executive sponsor was fully supportive and provided guidance to engage the company's corporate communications team for assistance.
The ERG members handled much of the video's interviews and images, and they certainly leveraged assistance from their corporate communications collaegues to film the Board Members and edit the final piece.
The final video was successfully distributed to all employees via the company's intranet.
It was a true collaboration with great support from the highest level of the company.
Eastman is also proud that the video featured diverse people across gender, color, locations and backgrounds. It was truly inclusive and did not only address women discussing equality issues, but included a wider agenda. The company believes that women can not advance gender parity alone - and Eastman is committed to ensuring that all of its leadership and employees fully understand this.
Employee Resources Group engaged employees around the world
For IWD, Eastman’s Catalysts Employee Resource Group engaged employees around the world in a variety of ways that called on them to educate and inspire colleagues in recognizing and celebrating the talented women in their lives and in helping to forge a #BalanceforBetter.
An engaging IWD breakfast event was also livestreamed globally for employees that saw Gail Evans, Chief Digital Officer at Mercer, deliver a special keynote at the company's headquarters.
They also ran a range of exciting activities such as a photo campaign reinforcing the IWD #BalanceforBetter campaign theme.
Sharing personal stories of womanhood in Asia Pacific
Eastman's IWD activity was truly global. For example, in the Asia Pacific region, employees from nine offices participated in IWD activity. Employees watched the livestream video that included a number of inspirational female leaders from politics and the business world. This was followed up locally by employees from across Asia Pacific who shared their personal stories, professional perspectives and insights on how to achieve work-life balance.
Broadcasting an equality talk from Rotterdam
The EMEA Catalysts Employee Resource Group organized an event at the EMEA Headquarters in Rotterdam and various locations from across the EMEA region were invited to participate in the session via Skype broadcasting.
The event featured professor Michael Page discussing the benefits a gender-balanced world would create for society and at the companies with which Eastman works. Well known as an advocate of diversity and inclusion, Michael is a business school academic with a broad background in optimizing organizational performance based on social and human capital development.
Hosting an empowerment talk in Mexico
Multiple sites and offices across Latin America hosted events to celebrate the women of the region.
The Mexico office, for example, held an hour session of laughter yoga followed by an empowerment talk given by a local psychologist and yoga practitioner.
The event provided attendees with an opportunity to get to know each other better, discuss challenges they face as women, and to explore the kinds of practical support needed to break through barriers.
The Uruapan plant in Mexico also hosted an empowerment talk for its female employees. They also welcomed female spouses to the event.
Employees globally also submitted photos using the #BalanceforBetter theme and the photos were used internally and on the company's social media channels.