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Diversity & Inclusion: Leading Change from the Top

In order to enact meaningful, impactful change in any organization, it must start at the top. This is especially true when increasing diversity and inclusion.

With guidance and support from the Avient Board of Directors, we have been directing actions and programs to change how our organization views, values and creates diversity in the workforce.

“The importance of building diverse and inclusive organizations has never been more important—in business and in our world,” said Bob Patterson, Chairman, President and CEO, Avient.

Diverse and inclusive organizations attract and retain better talent, are more
innovative, and are also among the best performing.

“As the CEO, change of this importance must begin with me—my direction, decisions and actions,” he explained. “D&I at Avient is a shared value and position, but it’s crucial for me to lead by example.”

“Sixty-four percent of my executive leadership team and 42 percent of our Board of Directors are female or racially diverse. I draw upon this diversity to make the most informed and best decisions for our company,” he said. “Yet we have more work to do throughout the company, and our investments in D&I initiatives and Employee Resource Groups will play an increasingly influential role going forward.

64 %

Female or Minority CEO Direct Reports

42 %

Female or Minority Board of Directors

Management Approach: Diversity & Inclusion

At Avient, we recognize the immense benefits that a diverse team brings to our organization, including delivering better business outcomes. Diversity & Inclusion at Avient refers to gender of our global talent pool and U.S. minority status.

With oversight from the Avient Board of Directors, the executive leadership team manages our Diversity & Inclusion program. This ensures that we have leadership accountability to advancing our D&I strategy. In addition to bi-annual reviews with the leadership team, Avient has implemented recruiting slate diversity guidelines to expand our diverse talent pipeline, with at least one-third of candidates being of a diverse background. 
Our commitment to gender diversity begins at the highest levels of our organization, as evidenced by our “Winning” distinction through the 2020 Women on Boards organization for having 25% female board members, exceeding their goal of 20%. And 42% of our Board and 64% of our CEO's direct reports are female or racially diverse. Additionally, PRIDE at Avient continues to identify best practices to improve experiences of LGBTQ employees in our workplace, which supported our journey that earned Avient the distinction of a Best Place to Work on the Corporate Equality Index.

Initiatives including Avient Mentoring, campus partnerships, and our LEAD by Women employee resource group are vital for progress in our D&I journey. In support of this, we stress equality of opportunity for all qualified individuals in accordance with applicable laws, as outlined in our Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and Code of Conduct. Decisions on hiring, promotion, development, compensation or advancement are based solely on a person’s qualifications, abilities, experience and performance, except where local law requires us to take actions to increase employment opportunities for a specific group. The Avient Ethics Hotline serves as a mechanism for associates to anonymously report any concerns regarding such decisions.

 

The Hand

In 2017, we adopted The Hand as our global symbol for Diversity & Inclusion at Avient. The symbolism is extensive and meaningful, which is why we chose it. As you read the supporting narrative we created, it provides both a call to action for the present, as well as a commitment to ongoing improvements. 

Coloured Hand

 

The Hand: A Symbol of Diversity & Inclusion at Avient

The Hand represents Avient’s symbol for Diversity & Inclusion as a means to build an accepting and open culture where everyone is welcomed, safe, included and respected as part of our global organization.

The Hand represents peace, commitment and friendship as handshakes are widely used to celebrate an agreement or an invitation for others to join in.

The Hand represents communication and support, through offering it to those in need and as a language for those who may not speak verbally. 

The Hand represents individuality. No two fingerprints are the same, and no two people are the same. At Avient, we commit to respecting—and embracing—the wonderful aspects and benefits of uniqueness.

The Hand represents an indication to stop, because we are all accountable to speak up and eliminate bias or discrimination of any type in the workplace.

The Hand represents work, for we acknowledge that at Avient, there is no finished state of diversity and inclusion. Rather, it requires our continual attention, effort and refinement along our ongoing cultural journey.