Boeing Lets Go Of 65 Workers Following Unacceptable Conduct

Citing conduct deemed to be racist, discriminatory, or hateful, Boeing has fired 65 of its employees and disciplined another 53 within the span of 11 months. The company has been focused on addressing racism, with the planemaker’s chief executive vowing a zero-tolerance policy in June 2020, in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder in Minnesota.

Boeing Lets Go Of 65 Workers Following Unacceptable Conduct
The information regarding fired and disciplined employees comes via a Boeing statement announcing the release of its diversity metrics. Photo: Getty Images

“As we have witnessed horrific images in the news and heard heartbreaking stories from our people, our determination to advance equity, diversity and inclusion has only become stronger. It is clear we have an opportunity to be a force for change within our walls and in our communities — and we are taking an important step forward today.” – David Calhoun, CEO, Boeing via official statement (April 30, 2021)

A zero-tolerance approach

Announcing the release of its Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Report, Boeing’s CEO announced that it would be holding its employees accountable with a zero-tolerance approach to behavior.

Between June 2020 and April 21, 2021, 65 employees were terminated while the company took “other corrective action” against 53 employees for “engaging in or being a part of racist, discriminatory or otherwise hateful conduct.” Calhoun underscores that there is no place for hate within the company.

Boeing 777X Test Flight Getty Images
Boeing is hoping to be more transparent about its workforce composition and hiring practices. Photo: Getty Images

Boeing’s new report

For the first time, Boeing is publishing its diversity metrics. This report includes representation numbers for several of the company’s employee communities.

“As you will see in the data, we are on par with the aerospace industry, and we have made advancements in some areas, but we are not where we want to be,” CEO David Calhoun states in his message. The report includes a number of goals set by Boeing as it works towards increased equity, diversity, and inclusion, three factors Calhoun calls “critical drivers of quality, of safety and innovation.” He adds that every important thing done at Boeing “would be better with an inclusive culture.”

Boeing Lets Go Of 65 Workers Following Unacceptable Conduct
A look at the ethnic composition of Boeing’s workforce as published in the company’s report. Photo: Boeing

The data is based on the voluntary self-identification of Boeing workers. However, Boeing acknowledges that the report doesn’t reflect the full diversity of its workforce. The company hopes to gather “sufficient credible data to share additional metrics, such as LGBTQ+, in future reports.”

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Company aspirations

To achieve its goal of increased diversity, inclusion, and equity, Boeing has established a set of six (more) quantifiable aspirations to be achieved by 2025:

  • Increase the Black representation rate in the U.S. by 20%.
  • Achieve parity in retention rates of all groups.
  • Close representation gaps for historically underrepresented groups.
  • Eliminate any statistically significant differences between the workplace experiences of underrepresented and at-representation groups.
  • Advance common understanding, shared experiences, and mutual respect.
  • Report diversity metrics and progress annually.

To date, the company has already taken a number of firm steps in affirming cultural inclusivity, including, among others, the public denouncement of anti-Asian hate associated with COVID-19 and providing $1.3 million in grants to support Indigenous communities across the country.

So what do you think of Boeing’s efforts in workforce equity, diversion, and inclusivity? Let us know in the comments.