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Creating An Inclusive Culture

Fostering Diversity Equity & Inclusion

During 2020, as social and racial justice protests escalated across the U.S., GM took decisive actions and aimed to lead by example and stand up against injustices prevalent in society by setting a goal to become the world’s most inclusive company.

This effort began when our CEO, Mary Barra, commissioned an Inclusion Advisory Board (IAB) of both internal and external leaders. The Board’s role is to consult with GM’s Senior Leadership Team with the long-term goal of inspiring the company to be the most inclusive in the world. Since the formation of the IAB, GM has committed $10 million, with an employee match component, to support organizations that promote inclusion and racial justice. GM also appointed Telva McGruder to the role of Chief of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to help oversee our progress in each DEI area. Telva’s vast knowledge and leadership across many areas of the company is helping to steer our efforts.

Increased transparency will help hold each of us accountable for owning and making progress toward the aspirational goals we set, while encouraging industrywide action. To that end, GM has committed to publicly release our consolidated EEO-1 report starting in 2021.

Other actions we’ve taken include introducing a new employee behavior: Be Inclusive. This behavior involves creating moments every day that value backgrounds, opinions and ideas that may be different than a person's own. It also means creating opportunities where everyone can speak up and be heard, have active dialogue, be curious and value differences. Ways we are living this behavior include opening meetings with an inclusion message, in much the same way we open with a safety message. We also are encouraging employees to recognize others who model this behavior through our GM employee recognition system. We have added self-paced learning on DEI topics for employees to access for personal growth. We have additional materials designed to help leaders better understand and discuss these complex matters with their teams.

Externally, we have joined OneTen, a coalition of companies and leaders committed to training, hiring and advancing 1 million Black Americans over the next 10 years into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement. We also have joined the Gender and Diversity KPI Alliance (GDKA) and pledged to use three key performance indicators to measure and improve diversity. The KPIs have been developed based on the work of the World Economic Forum International Business Council, the Global Reporting Initiative and other advocates and will measure the following:

  • Percentage of representation on the GM Board.
  • Percentage of representation by employee category.
  • Pay equality: the ratio of compensation by employee category.

GM has joined with many other businesses and corporate leaders calling for positive, sustainable social change. We are proud to be a signatory to many efforts, including:

  • CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge, which counts more than 1,600 CEOs across 85 industries who as signatories have committed to take action to cultivate environments where diverse experiences and perspectives are welcomed and where employees feel comfortable to have critical conversations around inclusion.
  • The Obama Administration’s White House Equal Pay Pledge Commitment through which, in 2016, GM committed to conduct annual pay analyses, review hiring and promotion processes to reduce unconscious bias, and embed equal pay efforts as part of broader companywide equity initiatives.
  • Coalition for the American Dream, through which more than 100 CEOs are calling upon political leaders to act immediately and pass a permanent bipartisan legislative solution to protect Dreamers.
  • Business Coalition for the Equality Act, through which GM was the first automotive company to support bipartisan federal legislation establishing clear and comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in employment and across all other facets of life. GM was also the only automaker to sign an amicus brief, facilitated by Out and Equal, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to find that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ employees from discrimination based on sex—a position the Court adopted in its historic 2020 decision. GM similarly supports efforts to amend Michigan’s civil rights law to protect LGBTQ individuals as part of Fair and Equal Michigan.
  • The Dialogue Project, an effort to explore what role business can play to help improve civil discourse and reduce polarization.
  • The Business Roundtable (BRT) Special Committee to Advance Racial Equality and Justice, of which our CEO is a founding member. The BRT has released a comprehensive action plan for large corporate employers to tackle racial equity issues by addressing the economic opportunity gap, including disparities in access to good jobs, financial resources, quality education and health care.
  • OneTen, a consortium of companies who have committed to create career opportunities for 1 million Black Americans over the next 10 years.

IAB Members

Mary Barra: Chairman and CEO, GM (Chair)

Tonya Allen: President, McKnight Foundation

Dennis Archer, Jr: CEO, Ignition Media Group and President, Archer Corporate Service

Kim Brycz: Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources, GM

Craig Buchholz: Senior Vice President, Global Communications, GM

Arden Hoffman: Chief People Officer, Cruise

Todd Ingersoll: President and CEO, Ingersoll Auto of Danbury, and GM Minority Dealer Advisory Council Member

Gerald Johnson: Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing, GM

Telva McGruder: Chief of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion GM

Mark Reuss: President, GM

Matt Tsien: Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, GM

Guiding Principles of the IAB

Our Words

  • We believe that everyone has the responsibility to speak up in the presence of bias and injustice in our world.
  • We will listen and engage in conversations that elevate our collective understanding and inform our actions to address inequality.
  • We will not be silent. We will leverage the voice of GM and our brands to contribute to the dialogue condemning injustice and driving inclusion.

Our Deeds

  • Our words will be supported by actions. We will build on current alliances and establish new ones to advocate for and achieve equality in social justice, education, health care and economic opportunities for Blacks and other marginalized groups.
  • We believe our partners should reflect our values. Therefore, those who represent us, do business with us or choose to align with us must take action to demonstrate the same level of commitment.

Our Culture

  • We will hold ourselves accountable to set the example for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We will create a safe environment where difference and diversity are respected, valued and reflected in how we recruit, hire, develop and promote.
  • We will ensure a more transparent workplace environment that is safe, respectful, free from fear, and promotes and delivers real and measurable outcomes.