Chemical Industry Leaders Look at Their Role in Inclusion

Prominent leaders in the chemical industry gathered to look at how decisions at the top of a corporation positively influence inclusion. The discussion, How C-Suite Leaders Influence Inclusion, was presented by AIChE in collaboration with the American Chemistry Council (ACC) at its Chairman’s Dinner and Board of Directors Meeting, in Naples, Florida.

June Wispelwey, executive director and CEO of AIChE, and Cal Dooley, president and CEO of ACC, opened the event, stressing the importance and relevance of inclusion to both their organizations. They then turned the floor over to Jim Fitterling, CEO of Dow, who shared statistics illustrating the many benefits of collectively addressing ways to advance women and minorities in executive leadership positions. Fitterling then introduced a panel of leaders to discuss strategies and successful programs.

The executive panelists included Mark Vergnano, president and CEO, Chemours; Daryl Roberts, chief operations and engineering officer, DuPont; and Lori Ryerkerk, CEO, Celanese. With all agreeing that that successful inclusion efforts begin with deep commitment from a company’s chairman and its CEO, panelists shared their efforts and experiences of fostering inclusion in their own organizations.

Among the questions addressed were how statistics on the benefits of inclusion are being used to highlight its importance among the general workforce. Panelists also shared success stories and insights, discussing programs and tactics that have been most successful in their own organizations. Another important point of discussion was how organizations can build accountability for progress into inclusion efforts.

This leadership panel discussion was just a part of a much larger effort of the AIChE Foundation’s All For Good: Engineering for Inclusion initiatives, a core priority of its Doing a World of Good campaign. All for Good addresses inclusion in chemical engineering, from the classroom to the boardroom.