We Stand in Solidarity #BlackLivesMatter
Over the past two weeks, IRI has stood in solidarity and remained absent from social media as a sign of respect. We can no longer remain silent. We are outraged by the murder of George Floyd and countless other Black Americans. The violent reaction by police and the use of military forces and chemical weapons against Americans protesting peacefully is appalling.
We know that systems achieve the results for which they are designed. No person of empathy should tolerate the outcomes of racism and brutality we now witness. But in order to change these outcomes, we must all strive to listen, read, educate ourselves, and be open to new ways of thinking – we must approach this as the innovators we are.
We believe that calling out injustice is a requisite of good citizenship. We also believe that diversity of thought is a determinate of successful innovative systems. Research has shown time and again that inclusive workplaces are more successful and diverse systems more robust. But in order to have workforces that meet those needs, workers must be raised, educated and supported in a country that shares those values. It is imperative that IRI support anti-racist efforts. We must stand with IRI employees, members, and communities who are voicing their grief and fury with systems that oppress and devalue Black lives.
For America to thrive, all Americans must thrive. The fight for humanity and dignity for all is the struggle of all Americans. IRI will continue to support efforts toward finding innovative solutions that eliminate the racial inequities in health care, education, and justice. Going forward, IRI will host roundtable discussions, create and deliver content about inclusivity and innovation, compile resources on our website, and seek out more BIPOC speakers. We all want to live in a nation where all lives matter – but we can never get there unless black lives matter.
|Martha M. Gardner, Ph.D.||Ed Bernstein|
|IRI Chair||IRI President|
How can you help?
If you would like to make a donation on behalf of Black Lives Matter, you can donate to the following organizations:
- Black Lives Matter Global Network
- The National Police Accountability Project
- American Civil Liberties Union
- National Urban League
More resources and information about inclusivity and diversity in the workforce:
- Inequality.org's facts about racial inequality
- Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, The Heart of the Matter: The Humanities and Social Sciences for a vibrant, competitive, and secure nation, Cambridge, MA, 2013, page 9.
- Hassan, Said, The Social Labs Revolution, Berrett-Kohler Publishers, Inc., San Francisco, 2014.
- The Importance of Diversity in Engineering by WM A. Wulf, President of the National Academy of Engineering
- Page, S. E. (2007). The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies. Princeton University Press.
- Harvard Business Review: How Diversity Can Drive Innovation
- The Wall Street Journal: The Business Case for More Diversity
- McKinsey & Company: Diversity Wins: How inclusion matters
- Scientific American: How Diversity Makes Us Smarter
- National Science Foundation's Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering Biennial Report to Congress 2017-2018
- National Science Foundation's National Science Board Science and Engineering Indicators 2018
- National Academy of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine: Minority Serving Institutions: America's Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce
- National Academy of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine: Diversity in Engineering: Managing the Workforce of the Future
- US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Diversity in High Tech
- National Science Foundation's National Science Board: Vision 2030 -- Vision for the Future report
- ADVANCE Resource and Coordination Network
Statements from IRI Member Companies
The Spring of 2020 has tested us as individuals, communities and nations in many indelible and troubling ways. But I am optimistic that the recent pain and suffering will not be in vain and that science, knowledge and inclusion will ultimately defeat diseases, ignorance and hatred.
As technology companies, we have a major role to play not only to shape the new digital era or invent novel therapies but as importantly to redefine and strengthen the social fabric within our local and global communities.
But to fully deliver on this promise, we cannot limit our focus to developing new technologies. We need to fully embrace our responsibilities to provide equal opportunities, ensure a diverse and inclusive workplace and to engage with and support in meaningful ways the people and communities where we operate.
Bertrand Loy, CEO, Entegris
Since my initial note to you last month following the murder of George Floyd, the topic of GE’s own practices and actions on inclusion and diversity has been on my mind constantly. I’ve spoken to many Black leaders inside and outside of GE during this time. A week ago, I joined our African American Forum (AAF) town hall with nearly 1,800 GE employees for a spirited hour of conversation. The questions raised by our colleagues were tough and fair, and the personal stories were deeply impactful. I am listening and continue to develop insight into how we as GE can rise to the challenge to build a world that works…for everyone. That job begins with me and my leadership team. But, ultimately, we all have a role. [Read more about GE's commitment]
-Larry Culp, Chairman & CEO, General Electric (GE)
We have been listening, and we will continue to listen.
In less than two weeks, thousands of us have listened to our friends and coworkers share their personal stories on the grievous subject of racism. We have been shocked into awareness that people among us every day could worry about driving at night, or fear for their children to go for a jog, or fear that they would be eyed as trespassers in their own places of worship or their own neighborhoods.
For some of us, stepping into the light of understanding these recent days has been jarring. Meanwhile, others are wondering: What took so long?
As a company, we will continue to look for ways to ensure we remain a place where all employees and customers feel they belong. We are committed to diversity and inclusion. Our strength is built upon our different backgrounds, geographies, and experiences that help shape our perspectives and inform all aspects of how we can best serve our customers. In this moment, we are reminded of our different perspectives and the need to listen and learn from one another.
- Srinivas Veeramasuneni , Chief Technology Officer , USG Corporation