Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun shared the following message with employees today:
Holding on to hopes and dreams can be challenging in the face of persistent injustice and turmoil. Yet, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through his actions and his words showed us it is possible. Today’s observance of his life and legacy in the U.S. serves as an important reminder during challenging times of the transformative power of civil discourse and treating one another with trust and respect.
Last year the world witnessed with horror the scope and scale of racism in our society with the loss of yet more Black lives – tragedies that are still happening more than 50 years after Dr. King’s fight for justice, equality and civil rights. It’s clear that we as a society – and as a company – have more progress to make in confronting racism and achieving racial equity.
Boeing’s values have been a constant presence at our company throughout the years, and our commitment to them unites us in pursuit of a more equitable, diverse and inclusive workplace for all. However, the challenging and important team conversations we began last year about race and racism illuminated the difficult experiences some of our teammates have endured in the workplace. We recognized that we have more work to do on our long-standing journey to ensure everyone feels seen, valued and included.
With feedback from our people, we resolved to stand stronger than ever before in confronting racial inequity, outlining clear steps forward last August on the 57th anniversary of Dr. King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.
We strengthened our zero-tolerance approach to discrimination and harassment, holding people accountable for their actions and announcing investments to further equity and opportunity in our communities. We’ve also partnered with Allen University, an HBCU (historically Black college and university) in South Carolina, to establish the Boeing Institute on Civility.
As a national hub for advancing civil discourse and equipping learners to debate public issues with civility and respect, the Institute will help drive meaningful societal change, which is greatly needed at this difficult moment in U.S. history. And there’s more to come, including publishing our diversity metrics this quarter for the first time in our company’s history. You’ll be hearing from me and other leaders on our progress in the weeks ahead.
Dr. King’s legacy encourages us to envision a better future and take urgent action to achieve it. In his words, “We must constantly realize that the time is always right to do right.”
It is our shared responsibility to continue the work of those who came before us. At the start of a new year, we can help catalyze meaningful change at our company and in our communities by sharing transparently and interacting with civility and respect.
The time is now. Guided by our values, let’s step forward together.