Heidrick & Struggles: Reversing The Formula For Diversity And Inclusion In The Chemicals Industry


Achieving diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the chemicals industry has never appeared more pressing or more challenging. Companies need the innovation and superior performance that a diverse workforce yields, yet a tight labor market and an industry where the executive ranks have traditionally been homogenous and risk averse make attracting and retaining diverse talent particularly difficult. Progress in the industry on improving diversity and inclusion is hampered by the varying definitions and focus on what the end state should be.

The good news is that the majority of companies Heidrick & Struggles talked to are seeking more innovative ways to pursue diversity. Most have moved away from an exclusively HR focus on compliance to thinking about diversity targets as part of meeting their long-term talent needs. A few have developed what we call a mature approach to maintaining a diverse workforce by moving from a focus on diversity alone to seeing inclusion as a necessary precondition for building sustainable diversity and harnessing its undeniable business value. A small number are taking a novel approach by making their most senior leaders accountable for creating more diverse and welcoming workplaces.

These leading companies are already realizing the benefits of an inclusion-first, business-driven approach to improving diversity. Their success provides a road map that other organizations can leverage. Nevertheless, some significant challenges remain. To aid in the journey, we have distilled some practical recommendations for addressing them.

Over the past year, Heidrick & Struggles spoke extensively with senior executives at 26 leading chemicals companies about diversity and inclusion. Discover 10 notable things they found at these companies.

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