Diversity & Equal

Inclusion and diversity are core values at Whirlpool Corporation because we know that drawing people from diverse points of view improves our products, our services and our teams’ ability to do well. We recognize that we are on an ongoing journey and are therefore committed to bold goals and meaningful action to cultivate an even stronger, more inclusive and diverse culture in the workplace as well as in the communities where we work and live. Inclusion creates a culture of belonging; diversity makes us better.

In 2020, we developed an Executive Inclusion & Diversity Council composed of senior leaders from across the company focused on identifying and eliminating barriers to inclusion. The Council is tasked with providing insight, guidance and advice to our long-term Global Inclusion & Diversity strategy and short-term priorities, ensuring alignment with the business strategy. The primary role of the Council is to drive accountability and deliver sustainable results in every region of the world.

We recognize that racial inequality is a broad societal issue with a long history. While our actions focus on our “four walls” and our local communities, we hope that our actions will have a ripple effect on society at large. In 2020, Whirlpool Corporation implemented a new governance process to operationalize these actions while instituting the levels of transparency needed in making our organization stronger in creating the shared opportunities all of our employees deserve.

Racial Equality Pledge

Racism has no place in the world or at Whirlpool Corporation. Inclusion and Diversity are at the very core of who we are as a company. With racial injustice at the forefront in 2020, we committed ourselves to listening and learning from those who have borne the brunt of these inequities for decades. And we started on that effort with our own employees and local communities. As a result, we announced a racial equality pledge, which commits Whirlpool Corporation to drive sustainable positive impact for all our current and future Black colleagues and our local communities. The pledge is intended to be a multi-year journey with key milestones along the way to ensure we are making progress. We believe this initiative will ultimately benefit all underrepresented minorities.

In the months since we announced the pledge in July 2020, we created a Steering Committee led by our Chairman and CEO that meets monthly to review actions, progress and investments. Over 200 employee volunteers are executing on 16 work streams that have defined charters and measurable outcomes to be delivered over the next five years.

While the pledge is focused on the U.S., it is rooted in our global values, and many of the actions we take will be mirrored internationally. Our commitment is clear: we will have a zero-tolerance policy for racial marginalization within Whirlpool Corporation, and this will be regularly communicated across the entire organization. This effort is championed by our Chairman and CEO, and all people leaders and individual leaders will be held accountable to help achieve the objectives we have set out.

Equality & Fairness Within Whirlpool Corporation

1. Inclusion Actions

  • Provide mandatory unconscious bias and empathy training for all people leaders—focus on Black diversity challenges
  • Conduct a regular review of pay practices for our Black employees to ensure fairness and equality; close any gaps that may exist
  • Make Juneteenth our observed “community impact day” for all U.S. employees

2. Diversity Actions and Goals (U.S.)

  • Representation: Increase by 50% the number of Black employees across all levels
  • Representation: Increase by 50% the number of Black director-level employees and above
  • Recruiting: Develop a relationship with two to three Top Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and leverage internal alumni network (referrals)
  • Coaching and Development: Conduct internal mentorship and development program for Black high-potential managers/senior managers/director-level employees

Equality & Fairness Within Our Community

1. Education

  • Whirlpool Corporation MENTORING partnership: an educator-led program of structured mentoring with our employees in the local schools for at least 100 Black youth annually
  • Whirlpool Corporation APPRENTICESHIP for at least 10 Benton Harbor/Benton Township-based high school graduates: structured apprenticeship program and vocational training with Lake Michigan College and facilitated via our Consumer Experience Center and Labs
  • Whirlpool Corporation ROAD-TO-SUCCESS internship and college intake program for college students and graduates from Benton Harbor/Benton Township
  • Work with the Boys & Girls Clubs to expand programming for more college and job readiness programs
  • Benton Harbor Area Schools: Pledge to be active supporters of an aligned and sustainable plan with the right outcomes to ensure that all children have equal opportunity for academic achievement and job readiness

2. Housing

  • Commit to building a rental housing complex in the city of Benton Harbor, consistent with the community comprehensive plan and by working with the elected officials, that will attract diverse occupants as residents of the community
  • Provide resources and community engagement support to enhance the community comprehensive plans in Benton Harbor and Benton Charter Township to connect Lifestyle and Public Amenities and to attract mixed-income neighborhood residential opportunities

3. Business and Community Support

  • Launch Benton Harbor First initiative using diverse vendors from the area, committing that all First Choice home tours start in Benton Harbor community and work with local non-profit Kinexus and local governments for Whirlpool Corporation job openings to be first posted on community-based sites for local impact
  • Provide funding for microgrants for Black-owned startups, small businesses and social enterprises in our local community

Global Inclusion Week

We celebrated our annual Global Inclusion Week with a variety of speakers and sessions around the world in 2020, designed to engage employees and teach them about the importance and benefits of Inclusion and Diversity in the workplace. The 2020 Global Inclusion Week was virtual with the theme being Inclusive Leadership and an emphasis on creating experiences and a workplace culture where everyone is welcomed, heard, respected and valued.

Employees were also asked to participate in virtual blind spots training sessions hosted by more than 100 Whirlpool Corporation leaders around the world—with thousands of employees participating in robust discussions about unconscious bias. There was also a global learning path launched in the internal Learning Management System (LMS) to help increase employee competency around inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

Employee Resource Groups

Our employee resource groups (ERGs) are essential in attracting, engaging and retaining a diverse workforce and creating an inclusive workplace. The groups continue to raise awareness for an inclusive culture, representing eight underrepresented groups in North America; two in our Europe, Middle East and Africa region; six in Latin America; and one in Asia.

In Brazil, ERGs (Women's Network, Pride and Focus) made significant advancements in 2020. There were more than 40 actions between training, webinars, among others, reaching more than 1,000 employees over the year and a 60% increase in leadership participation. In addition, we reviewed the strategy for the Internship and Trainee processes, which had positive impacts on diversity: 40% of approved trainees self-declared Black, 20% self-declared LGBTQ+ and 60% women.

Inclusion With a Focus on Disabilities and LGBTQ+

For the fourth year in a row, Whirlpool Corporation was named one of the best places to work for people with disabilities, as part of the 2020 Disability Equality Index (DEI). The DEI is a prominent benchmarking tool for the Fortune 1000 to gauge their level of disability workplace inclusion.

We also earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI), designating the company as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.” The CEI is a national survey that reports on how companies are advancing corporate policies and practices that promote equality for employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ). For the past 17 years, Whirlpool Corporation has achieved a perfect 100 on the CEI, marking nearly two decades of our commitment to inclusion in the workplace.