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Boeing’s Journey to Inclusion

Originally published on Boeing News Now by Ladan Hayes

Shortly after being recognized as one of DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity, Boeing Vice President of Global Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Sara Bowen shares how Boeing is making progress and can continue to do better.

Sara Bowen, vice president, Global Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, at the 17th annual Global Diversity and Inclusion Summit in Dallas, Texas. More than 650 Boeing employees attended last year’s Summit. (Boeing photo) 

What is Boeing’s global equity, diversity and inclusion strategy? 

Sara Bowen: First, it’s about making sure all employees throughout the company feel included.

Second, we’re striving to make our teams more diverse, in all forms, because more diverse teams produce better business results.

And, finally, we’re focused on achieving equity in our systems and processes to reduce the risk that unfair bias will creep into our system.

You’ve shared Boeing’s 2025 GEDI goals a few times, let’s talk progress towards those: 

Bowen: We are making progress, and we still have work to do. When I arrived in 2019, we shared our aspiration for Boeing:

  • To become top-quartile — among the top 25% of companies — in employee engagement and inclusion, which we measure through employee engagement surveys and team-level diversity and inclusion dashboards.
  • We aim to increase the international workforce and develop a more balanced global workforce, aspiring to be top quartile for gender representation globally.
  • We want to achieve full representation of women and people of color at availability in the U.S. “At availability” means we look like the labor market tells us we should look — hiring and retaining women and people of color within Boeing in a way that reflects their representation in the U.S. labor market, taking into account the types of jobs and the geographies where we employ them.
  • In addition, we aim to increase opportunities for small and medium diverse suppliers around the world who perform work for Boeing.

Boeing’s equity, diversity and inclusion work is rooted in accountability and measurement. What do we do in that regard? 

Bowen: In addition to the work most people see, our team also plays an important role in fulfilling our promises to the government as a federal contractor. Every year we develop programs to ensure equal opportunity, and the data analytics behind those programs are immense.

We measure our own representation for every job group in all our U.S. locations, and compare that against the availability of talent for those jobs in those locations. Lastly, we analyze hiring, promotion and retention across the company. This data-driven approach helps us understand where change is most needed and where to focus our efforts.

What are your future goals and aspirations for equity, diversity and inclusion at Boeing?

Bowen: I want Boeing to be the best, most diverse and inclusive company on earth — where everyone is valued, respected, and inspired, and where trust describes how we feel towards each other and to the systems and processes we build. We can do it, together.

For more information and resources, visit the Global Equity, Diversity & Inclusion website.         

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