We have been listening, and we will continue to listen.
In less than two weeks, thousands of us have listened to our friends and coworkers share their personal stories on the grievous subject of racism. We have been shocked into awareness that people among us every day could worry about driving at night, or fear for their children to go for a jog, or fear that they would be eyed as trespassers in their own places of worship or their own neighborhoods.
For some of us, stepping into the light of understanding these recent days has been jarring. Meanwhile, others are wondering: What took so long?
This long moment of social distress reflects both the strength and weakness of our shared human condition, whether we live in the United States or any other country. The oppression of racism has been a common and pitiful theme throughout history. And yet, in every place and time, some people always see the better way — How can we embrace these differences? How can we find the beauty in this human mosaic?
In our company, we are united by a shared vision: Michelin exists to give people everywhere a better way forward. This vision persists because it so effectively clarifies our efforts to attack the problems or opportunities that we encounter.
Michelin North America has not rushed to make public statements of solidarity, or pledges or commitments.
We could not act before we listened and fully understood the magnitude. Through the listening and sharing sessions across many of our sites these last several days, we have recognized the heavy burdens of people of color who have suffered for too long. Achieving a better way forward for these and any other group targeted by discrimination — for all of us, really — requires bold actions to achieve systemic and long-term change.
At Michelin, we believe “a better way forward” also requires a commitment to advance equality for all people who face intolerance and injustice.
We believe Michelin North America has been a great force for good in our communities for more than 50 years. But we see that we owe more to our employees, customers and communities. In humility, we recognize that we can be better. We must do more.
We’ve organized a diverse team to confront the issue, with full support of the North American Leadership Team. That strategic action team has adopted the tag (RISE)2, which means “Responding to Racism, Injustice and Inequality through Sustainable Social Empowerment and Engagement.”
Based on the team’s initial recommendations, we will take these actions:
Within our walls.
► 100% of employees will complete a training program on inclusion, respect and bias before year-end. All of us need to continue this journey of awareness and ally-ship.
► (RISE)2 will continue its work and will announce other sustainable initiatives and programs. We can promise you that the work is beginning, not wrapping up.
Within our communities.
► Michelin North America will transparently share the diversity composition of its workforce annually, with the next diversity and inclusion update published before year-end 2020. To make progress together, we need more voices and more perspectives that more closely reflect the communities we serve.
► Michelin North America will continue to recruit and hire diverse candidates into the organization, with 55% of new hires in the U.S. meeting diversity targets by year-end 2020 and 60% by year-end 2021.
Within our country.
In our discussions, it’s become clear that some of our coworkers don’t feel they have the same freedom of mobility that others enjoy. This has been a profound discovery for an organization focused on “sustainable mobility”; that is, making it possible for people, goods and services to move safely and sustainably. Movement is an essential aspect of our human condition. How can a person be free if he or she is not free to move about?
► Michelin North America will dedicate additional funding to educate and inform people about being “free to move.” We have started discussions with potential partners that can help us pursue our objective — a long-term, permanent exhibition that pays homage to those whose movements have not been free and that teaches the value of being “free to move” in all spheres of life.
Led by the empowered efforts of (RISE)2, we will present more tangible details, and actions, in the weeks and months ahead. Most importantly, we will also rely on you to help us define and achieve this mission.
Making meaningful progress requires commitment, engagement and teamwork. Together, we can do this.
Michelin North America
About Michelin North America
Michelin, the leading mobility company, is dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility, sustainably; designing and distributing the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its clients’ needs; providing digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences; and developing high-technology materials that serve a variety of industries. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelinman.com) has more than 20,000 employees and operates 19 major manufacturing plants.