Jacobs (NYSE:J) has launched a global Action Plan for Advancing Justice and Equality, which builds on Jacobs’ existing global inclusion and diversity strategy, TogetherBeyondsm, and sets actionable initiatives and measurable objectives in the company’s continuing efforts to address embedded and systemic racial inequities.
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“This action plan is about achieving true equality for all of our employees current and future – with a focus on ensuring Black employees have the tools needed to advance and achieve their ultimate goals at Jacobs,” said Jacobs Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou. “Using the power of Jacobs’ strong underlying culture of inclusion and diversity to drive innovation in solutions means higher value for our employees, our customers and communities, and inevitably, higher returns for our shareholders.”
Employees initiated the development of the action plan with a team who collaborated alongside Jacobs’ Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team to outline three key sets of commitments and specific, measurable actions with performance outcomes:
No. 1 – Amplify culture of belonging
- Expand beyond our Conscious Inclusion program, training the full 55,000-person global workforce in Bystander Intervention by the end of FY21
- Engage 3,000 Jacobs leaders over the next 12 months to increase their focus on justice and equality through meaningful discussion and dialogue with leading speakers and scholars on anti-racism, justice and equality
- Require I&D as a priority in senior leaders’ annual performance plan tied to compensation for accountability
- Add Martin Luther King, Jr., Day as a U.S. holiday; actively encourage employees to engage in volunteer opportunities around racial equality and justice; and drive adoption of MLK Jr. Day in the industry
- Appoint TogetherBeyond leader to drive global I&D strategy and programs
No. 2 – Recruit, retain and advance Black employees based on merit
- Increase representation of Black employees at all levels over the next three years to proportionally reflect the overall external population, and provide continuous professional development and advancement
- Partner with external organizations to provide leadership development programs to accelerate advancement for Black employees to mid- and senior-level leadership
- Require senior leaders to sponsor and mentor two diverse employees (one of whom must be Black), ensuring global reach of mentoring opportunities and accountability for success
- Further strengthen diversity of the Board of Directors, including Black representation
No. 3 – Contribute to structural change in the broader society
- Donate $10M over the next five years in support of Black educational and professional development and scholarship opportunities
- Promote programs and volunteer opportunities for organizations committed to justice and equality through Jacobs’ Collectivelysm giving and volunteering program. An example includes applying our expertise in water in at-risk urban and rural communities
- Materially increase women- and minority-owned supplier and vendor spending over the next five years; expand Jacobs’ Mentor-Protégé program with local subcontractors, suppliers, and professional services firms to encourage more women and minority firm engagement and growth
To drive this action plan as well as the global I&D strategy, Jacobs has appointed Jeff Dingle as Vice President and Global Director of TogetherBeyond.
“Advancing justice and equality requires strong leadership and a relentless drive to deliver on the vision,” Demetriou said. “Jeff is the right person to lead this important work and grow a culture where employees want to join, stay and thrive.
“Ultimately, contributing to structural change at Jacobs and the broader society is about doing our part as a global leader, leveraging our scale within the industry to set the tone and influence peers. We must create a culture in which every person can access a future of opportunities. The time is now for us to get this right – once and for all.”