Our diversity and inclusion journey began in 2010 with a broad, cross-functional group of global leaders representative of each part of our business. Their input and involvement from the start meant that we began with a network of champions who were dedicated to building diversity and inclusion into the core of our business practices. This, coupled with a highly supportive board of directors, positioned our company as a diversity and inclusion leader in our industry.
We’ve accelerated our progress by joining business coalitions which share our passion for closing the gender and racial equality gap, including Paradigm4Parity and CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion. We’re also a founding member of OneTen, a corporate coalition that aims to upskill, hire, and advance careers for Black Americans.
In the past decade, we’ve grown our diversity and inclusion offerings from one Employee Resource Group – the Women’s Employee Network – to eight groups with multiple chapters around the world. Additionally, Inclusion Networks are in place at smaller locations or regions to ensure these employees have opportunities to connect. We also reinforce a sense of belonging and community with ongoing opportunities for learning and conversation throughout the year, such as our Bridging Connections dialogues and CEO Day of Understanding.
The journey ahead
While there has been progress, we also know there’s more work to be done. Women, especially Black women, continue to face disadvantage, limited opportunity, microaggressions and discrimination at work. According to McKinsey’s Women in the Workplace report, for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 86 women are promoted.
McKinsey also noted that despite recent, significant gains, women remain underrepresented at the leadership levels in corporate America and there is even greater underrepresentation of women who are ethnic and racial minorities. Many studies have also shown that the nearly two-year long pandemic has taken a greater toll on women and working women in particular.
At the same time, the McKinsey report notes that women continue to show up as capable, compassionate leaders, often going above and beyond to support diversity and inclusion efforts, mentor rising talent and advocate for colleagues. Companies that understand the importance of leaders like this are taking proactive steps to reduce turnover and support their people, particularly when it comes to women and other caregivers.
Learning from the pandemic
Trane Technologies certainly hasn’t been immune to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as it relates to the effect on our people. But what does set us apart is how we choose to tackle these challenges. We believe one of the “silver linings” of the pandemic has been the ability to demonstrate, at scale, the power of flexibility, trust and empathy.
I believe this acceleration of flexibility benefits women, families and companies. We have leaned into technology to aide in the collaboration, learning and support of one another. Our leaders have been able to evaluate performance versus presence and empower workers, even without seeing when they come and go to the office. While the power of in-person connection remains an important part of our culture and building belonging, I’m proud of how much we’ve expanded our own perspective about the traditional assumptions of work location and productivity.
We’ve reinforced our commitment to this flexibility by relaxing many relocation requirements for hiring, promotions or career moves, and enabled more remote and virtual work arrangements than ever before. We listened to our people and the insights about varied needs and preferences while remaining productive and sustaining a culture that pushes what’s possible. Last, our wellness and support resources, including mental health, stress management, and family support, are also expanding to help people thrive at work and at home.
Trane Technologies aligned our compensation to our commitment to advance diversity and inclusion this year by tying the incentive plans of the top 2,500 leaders in the company to our Sustainability Commitments – which include our commitments to diversity and inclusion. We monitor and measure our progress in every business review and consider it as critical as achieving our financial targets.