We have a strong employee culture—and believe that continued engagement can make it even stronger. Our Engaging Employees Everyday (3Es) initiative enables us to continually increase cultural awareness, inspire employee engagement, and foster an environment where open and safe conversations can exist. An important element of this initiative, which began in 2018, has been our town hall meetings at each of our facilities, and virtual “town calls,” during which our Chairman and CEO and other Schnitzer leaders request candid feedback from employees about their experiences at the Company and ways we can improve our operations and work environment.
These virtual meetings became increasingly important during the COVID-19 crisis, when opportunities for in-person engagement were rare. During one such call, our leaders engaged in an open conversation about systemic racism and social injustice, and how Schnitzer is responding to inequity. The feedback we received from this meeting was overwhelmingly positive, and we have continued the conversation on this and other important issues. In fiscal 2020, we held three town hall video calls, and going forward, intend to hold them quarterly.
“RISE was established as a forum for employees who share common interests in racial equality. We wanted to drive organizational change and positively impact Schnitzer’s diversity goals by ensuring our recruitment policies allow us access to diverse candidate pools, by creating awareness around some of the barriers and obstacles faced by Black employees, and by fostering connections across the Company.”
Rachel Jackson, Co-leader of RISE
We know that creating lasting change requires more than just talk—it takes action. Building on the training on unconscious bias that was part of the Our Core Values training in the Fall of 2019, we launched a standalone module for leaders first, and then for all employees. On Juneteenth—the day that the last enslaved people in Texas learned that they had been emancipated—we challenged the entire Company to discuss the ways they could help end racial injustice. We shared talking points with leaders to help facilitate these ongoing conversations.
Responding to employee suggestions for more recognition programs, we added several new programs to our already existing Safety, Teamwork, Attitude, Resourcefulness (STAR) Award program, rewarding outstanding performance, and our Ethics in Action award program, recognizing employees for ethical behavior, among others. These include the STAR Finder program, which rewards employees for referring future team members, and a service award recognition program that honors employees for their years of service with the Company.
Employee Resource Groups
In fiscal 2020, we rolled out Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which are voluntary, employee-led groups designed to celebrate diversity and foster an inclusive workplace aligned with Schnitzer’s mission, values, goals, business practices, and objectives. The first group to launch was a Veterans ERG. Schnitzer was named a Military Friendly® employer for 2020, and this group will help us continue to create a rewarding place to work for veterans, who make up 6 percent of our workforce, and the many employees who have veterans in their families.
We also launched our PRIDE (LGBTQ+) ERG during Pride Month 2020. While the launch occurred amid work changes necessitated by COVID-19, the group has organized virtual meetings, social events, and a hotline where employees can obtain support and advice.
We have two other active ERGs:
- Racial Inclusiveness, Support & Education (RISE); and
“I have enjoyed the benefit of a strong military connection through my family at home, and it’s great to come to a workplace that tries to equal that support!”
Cameron Johnson, Facilities and Commercial Manager and U.S. Marine
A requirement of new ERGs is that they develop a business case that is linked to our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and corporate objectives. For example, the Veterans ERG will help Schnitzer attract, develop, and retain veterans at the Company; provide information to employees regarding resources for the military and veteran community; and support Schnitzer employees who serve in the military during their deployment. The Veterans ERG plans to organize community outreach events, host senior-level talks, and launch a mentorship program through which more senior members of the group will mentor other members.
There are a number of other ERGs currently in the planning process, including:
- Women; and
- Digital Wellness
Measuring Diversity & Inclusion Leadership
Our formal D&I program helps us better embrace employees of all backgrounds, actively recruit from diverse talent pools, and create a respectful workplace with a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination and harassment based on race, ethnicity, age, military status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.
To better understand our own employee population and identify opportunities to be even more inclusive, Schnitzer has undertaken significant efforts to collect and benchmark diversity statistics against industry averages. We are especially proud of Schnitzer’s representation of women at the executive level and on our Board of Directors. With four women out of nine directors (44.4 percent), our representation of women on the Board is almost twice the Russell 3000 average (22.6 percent). Additionally, we seek a diverse slate when undertaking searches for Company leadership positions and new Board candidates.
Schnitzer Board of Directors
vs. Russell 3000
Female Workforce Representation
22% Total Workforce
22% All Management Positions
17% Top Management Positions
26% Junior Management Positions
21% Revenue-Generating Management Positions