- Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun said April 30 that the company terminated 65 employees and took corrective action against another 53 for engaging in "racist, discriminatory or otherwise hateful conduct." The employees were let go between June 2020 and April 21, 2021, as part of a "zero tolerance approach to behavior that is contrary to the company's values."
- The company also published for the first time a breakdown of its workforce demographics. With about 69% of its U.S. workforce made up of White employees and 31% from other races and ethnicities, including about 6% Black employees, and about 23% of U.S. workforce composed of women, Calhoun said the airplane manufacturer's numbers are on par with the aerospace and defense industry but pledged to do more.
- The release of the data is part of an equity action plan made public last year, Calhoun said.
Calhoun said "horrific images in the news" and "heartbreaking stories from our people" motivated Boeing to pursue equity, diversity and inclusion within its ranks. Shortly after the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020 and the protests for racial justice that followed, several companies announced measures to improve diversity and inclusion. Wells Fargo said it would double its number of Black leaders by 2025 and some companies took the rare move of tying executive pay to diversity efforts. Target pledged $10 million to social justice organizations, promised to provide 10,000 hours of pro bono consulting services for minority business owners in the Twin Cities area and set up a racial equity action and change committee.
Other types of organizations also pledged to address workplace racial inequality. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a resolution following Floyd's death and vowed to "redouble" its "efforts to address institutionalized racism, advance justice and foster equality of opportunity in the workplace." The Society for Human Resource Management formed a "blue ribbon commission" to address issues of racial inequity in the workplace.
Now, one year after Floyd's killing and shortly after former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter, organizational focus for some companies has moved into ensuring that promised D&I initiatives continue. Sources recently told HR Dive that to accomplish sustainable change, employers should focus their efforts on multiple fronts, including establishing a road map that includes communicating the organization's ongoing efforts through HR, marketing and public relations channels and focusing on inclusion rather than diversity.