In addition to setting the strategy and framework for I&D, the corporate Talent Management and Inclusion & Diversity team launched additional initiatives aimed at understanding and advancing Ashland’s culture and commitment to I&D.
In February and April of 2022, Ashland’s head of I&D facilitated two sessions to global employees launching the Ashland I&D strategy, framework, and ecosystem, along with establishing common language and definitions for inclusion, diversity, equity, equality, and allyship across the organization. The content was built on the head, heart, and hands model of ensuring a holistic and proactive approach to inclusion.
Ashland also piloted a global mentorship program in 2022, with plans to expand participation and diversity reach in 2023. The voluntary program brought together mentors and mentees from all around the world to focus on personal and professional development. The program included 50 mentor-mentee pairs connecting, learning, and growing together over approximately 12 months.
The participants rated the program a 3.75/5, indicating an overall positive response with room for improvement to take into the 2023 program. Here are what a few participants shared about their experience in the program:
A third key initiative for Ashland was the launch of the inaugural global culture survey in March 2022. The culture survey synthesized several other smaller surveys happening locally into one global survey that included measures across 13 categories: engagement, change management, empowerment, future vision, growth & development, inclusion & diversity, manager relationship, performance management, resources & support, teamwork, well-being, and safety.
Ashland achieved an 83% response rate and 70% or higher favorability scores across the 13 categories. Once survey responses were gathered, managers were empowered with their results to debrief and form an action plan with their team. Ashland had close to 500 action plans drafted by approximately 200 leaders in response to the results. In addition, a corporate action plan, that focused on solutions to improve the lowest rated categories, was created in response to both the culture survey and focus group feedback.
Ashland plans to conduct the culture survey annually to track progress on action plans and to ensure that the organization is continuously listening to what is most important to the employees.