How Inclusion and Diversity Lead to Innovation and Progress at CooperCompanies

How Inclusion and Diversity Lead to Innovation and Progress at CooperCompanies

Friday, April 1, 2022 - 12:30pm

CONTENT: Article

We know that an inclusive work environment that truly appreciates the diversity of employees’ talents, experiences, and ideas leads to more innovation and progress. Our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) starts at the top. Our VP of Global Human Resources and VP of Corporate Marketing, Communications & ESG share leadership accountability for our D&I strategy and programs. They report directly to our CEO and have frequent contact with our business units. Per its charter, the Organization and Compensation Committee of our Board of Directors provides oversight and is actively engaged in our human capital management strategy, including our D&I strategy.

Our D&I strategy includes five key initiatives and in 2019 and 2020 our efforts included:

ELEVATE: Cooper’s President and CEO signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge, the world’s largest CEO driven initiative to advance D&I within the workplace. We have pledged to promote D&I conversations, expand unconscious bias education, and share best practices and challenges.

EDUCATE: We promote ongoing D&I communication and training to inform and educate our workforce. We recently developed an D&I toolkit and continue to develop unconscious bias training materials and webinars for employees across levels and geographies. As an example, we launched a ‘leading with inclusion’ training program for Director-level and above leaders, designed to develop capabilities in building inclusive workplaces, managing diverse teams, and serving diverse customers and business partners without unconscious bias. 100% of our Vice Presidents and above have completed this leadership training.

ADVOCATE: Forming communities of advocates and allies helps advance our culture of inclusion, and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are an integral component. In 2021, we launched our North American African Descent, Women’s Impact Network, and Cooper PRIDE (LGBTQ+ community) ERGs. These groups help us drive change, reinforce and foster a sense of belonging, and present an opportunity for employees to gain critical skills and contribute unique insights on business objectives. Our ERGs have a variety of Executive sponsors from across Cooper’s business units and functions, which furthers integration into our business operations

INTEGRATE: We launched a Global Inclusion Council (GIC) comprised of seven leaders from across our business units, regions, and functions. These leaders serve as advocates and help us integrate D&I into the fabric of Cooper. Our President of CooperSurgical is the GIC executive sponsor. Our ERGs have a variety of Executive sponsors from across Cooper’s business units and functions that further integrates these groups into our business operations. We also have incorporated inclusion items into our performance reviews and engagement surveys.

EVALUATE: Ensuring we pay employees fairly and equitably is core to who we are and we released our Commitment to Fair and Equitable Pay in the U.S. in 2020. We annually complete various reviews of our programs to help ensure unconscious bias does not impact our reward decisions. For example, our 2020 base salary analysis for each of our divisions in the U.S. indicated, on average women receive base salaries on par with men in equivalent roles and ethnicity did not impact salary decisions. We had similar findings from our 2020 global stock award program gender bias analysis.

Read the full report here.