Employee Resource Networks

A Conversation with Dr. Bernice King and PPG's Black Employee Network

Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is a global thought leader, strategist, orator, peace advocate and CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), which was founded by her mother, Coretta Scott King. Dr. King continues to advance her parents’ legacy of Kingian Nonviolence, which she re-branded Nonviolence365™️.

Recently, leaders from PPG’s Black Employee Network hosted Dr. King on a global employee webcast. Dr. King spoke about her life’s work and her father’s legacy with Michael McGarry, PPG chairman and chief executive officer, Tim Knavish, PPG chief operating officer, and Edith Hayes, PPG plant manager, Mojave, Aerospace.

"The work of diversity equity, and inclusion is important, because equity is the one place where we’re falling short,” King said. “Equity doesn’t mean sameness. It means that the resources that are needed so people are on an ‘equal playing field’ is what’s critical. The best way to create an equitable workforce is through the listening and through the input. It’s a lot of work to do, and the change is really going to happen, first and foremost, from the top."

Added McGarry, "Dr. King, I'm going to use your words here. 'Be the change.' The change starts with me, and the change starts with 50,000 employees. We have an opportunity to improve in this area of diversity, equity and inclusion, and it starts with all of us as individuals."

Our eight global ERNs are a cornerstone of our DE&I strategy. They provide employees of diverse backgrounds with a greater voice and more pathways for connection and understanding. Just as importantly, they provide an opportunity for all of our employees to step up as allies, gain cultural dexterity, and build and strengthen relationships. Our ERNs also aim to harness our employees’ creativity and innovation to drive business value. This makes DE&I a more integral part of how we do business at PPG.

Membership and participation in the ERNs are open to all employees in all countries and at all levels. Members are offered opportunities to participate in ERN events or lead efforts to drive career advancement, foster empathy through personal story telling, organize volunteer events in their local communities or offer solutions on PPG's business challenges.

More than 50 ERN members who went above and beyond to lead and organize ERN events and efforts received an inaugural You + Me = One PPG Award at the end of 2021. ERN sponsors and co-chairs nominated the recipients, with the awards presented by Michael McGarry, PPG chairman and chief executive officer, and Kevin Walling, PPG chief human resources officer.

Employee Resource Networks

More than 7000 members

80+ ERN leaders serving as sponsors, co-chairs or pillar leads

115+ ERN events in 2021 globally, regionally and locally

18% of members belonging to more than one ERN

15000+ participants in ERN events (represented by 8,500+ employees)

Get to Know Our ERNs


Abilities First Network (AFN)

Purpose

Provide individuals with special abilities opportunities to fully utilize their self-determination by providing an inclusive environment, experience and educational platform, enabling all to meet their unique and full potential.

Project and Impact Spotlight

AFN volunteers transformed blank walls into colorful murals at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children as part of a COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® project. The team used bright, vibrant colors to ensure students with functional vision could engage with the artwork.

An AFN-sponsored webcast for Mental Health Awareness Month featured a psychiatrist and employee panel discussing stress, anxiety and other mental health conditions.

In collaboration with Visit.org, AFN held two virtual sessions with the non-profit JEL Alapítvány for PPG employees to actively learn and practice sign language. The class covered how sign language is structured and how Deaf people think, with the goal of sensitizing the PPG team to deaf experiences. The sessions led to an AFN donation to support the non-profit, furthering our social impact support.

Partnership

Disability:IN: As the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide, Disability:IN is collaborating with PPG to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities, inspire accessible innovation for all and foster cultures of inclusion.

Latinx Employee Network (LEN)

The term "Latinx" is a fairly new, gender-neutral option used when describing a person of Latin American ancestry. This term was created by American-born individuals who wanted a word that describes their heritage and is inclusive of people who identify as non-binary. Other commonly used terms include Hispanic, Latino/a and Chicano/a. We believe that choosing a title that aligns with an individual's identity is for everyone to decide on their own.

Purpose

Create an environment that celebrates and embraces the diversity of the Latinx community, generate additional career development opportunities for members and empower members to leverage and demonstrate their insights and passions.

Project and Impact Spotlight

Throughout Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, four LEN members explored the viewpoints and strengths of the diverse Latinx community through a series of internal articles. LEN also celebrated the month with its Around the World webcast, where members from various countries demonstrated how they pay tribute to this unique month through cooking, dancing and other activities.

Several LEN members volunteered at the Latino Community Center's annual Back-to-School Bash, helping empower and uplift Latinx families throughout the Pittsburgh region. The PPG Foundation also provided a grant to expand and enhance the organization's youth educational programming.

LEN hosted two virtual Coffee Talks for its members around the world to get to know each other, share personal and professional experiences as Latinx people or allies, exchange career learnings and advice, and have fun. The talks were offered in Spanish, English and Portuguese so the participants could talk freely in their native language.

Partnership

Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement: HACE is dedicated to the employment, development and advancement of current and aspiring Latino professionals.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) Employee Network

Purpose

Assist in creating a corporate environment that recognizes and supports LGBTQ+ employees, assists in PPG's efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, and helps identify best practices in a variety of areas affecting LGBTQ+ team members.

Project and Impact Spotlight

The ERN helped create a common language and understanding around the LGBTQ+ community through three global events during Pride Month and Transgender Awareness Week – the ABCs of LGBTQ+, Allyship and Advocacy, and Transgender Awareness. Events like these have been instrumental in opening dialogue and conversations around key challenges and issues our LGBTQ+ employees and their families face

LGBTQ+ ERN partnered with and donated to the Tegan and Sara Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ women and girls.

To help embed pronouns in emails and other forms of communications, LGBTQ+ ERN drove PPG’s Project Pronoun initiative in the U.S. to raise awareness on the power of pronouns and the importance of gender identity through an e-mail signature template.

Partnership

ART FOR CHANGE: One of the largest art auctions in Pittsburgh, ART FOR CHANGE features works of art donated by local and national artists. Every dollar raised at ART FOR CHANGE supports Persad Center's services for the LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS-affected communities.

Out Leadership: With more than 70 of the world’s leading companies across 13 industries as members, Out Leadership has been instrumental in making LGBTQ+ equality a priority in global C-suites.

Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Corporate Equality Index: The index is the U.S. benchmarking tool on corporate policies, practices and benefits pertinent to LGBTQ employees.

Women's Leadership Network (WLN)

Launched in 2001 as the Women's Leadership Council, the WLN is our longest-standing ERN.

Purpose

Be a strategic partner in the transformation of PPG into a stronger, more competitive global company by fostering a climate that recognizes the business value of women in the workplace and creating an inclusive work environment that attracts, retains and advances women.

Project and Impact Spotlight

WLN spearheaded an initiative to provide female-fit uniform options to employees globally, starting with the U.S. and Canada in late 2021.

Nearly 1,900 employees attended a WLN global webcast with renowned communication and culture expert Hannah Ubl, who shared insights on the importance of staying resilient at work during challenging times.

WLN and our employees helped raise nearly $3,000 for Dress for Success through the organization's Your Hour, Her Power fundraiser, which encourages employees to donate one hour of pay to give a woman in need access to the organization's programs.

Partnership

Dress for Success: WLN has been a strong supporter of Dress for Success for several years. In 2021, PPG and the Northeast U.S. WLN chapter sponsored the not-for-profit’s flagship event, which raised $60,000 to support Pittsburgh-area women who are entering and returning to the workforce.

Members in the News

Women of Influence: Anne Foulkes and Rebecca Liebert were named Women of Influence for their significant impact on PPG and nonprofits in Western Pennsylvania and through their community service efforts.

Asian Employee Network (AEN)

Purpose

Connect Asian employees across the globe, inspire Asian and Asian-descent employees to share their unique heritages, educate non-Asian employees, help employees grow and give back to those in need.

Project and Impact Spotlight

Employees of Asian descent courageously shared their experiences with racism before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in an AEN webcast that was attended by more than 800 employees across the globe. Participant feedback indicated that this conversation was the most impactful and transparent toward Asian American and Pacific Islander topics in PPG's history.

AEN hosted "The Contested Heritage: Chinese Culture in a Global Context" seminar, which is the first in a series to promote awareness of Asian culture. More than 5,700 employees participated to learn the differences in Chinese culture in areas related to cognition, communication and cultural representation.

More than 100 employees from 24 countries entered 165 photographs in AEN's inaugural One PPG Global Moon Photo Contest, which celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival tradition in many Asian countries.

Partnership

National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP): Through a $10,000 sponsorship by the Asian Employee Network, NAAAP is helping PPG connect with, recruit and develop Asian and Asian-descent employees.

Black Employee Network (BEN)

Purpose

Enhance the personal and professional development of Black employees, represent PPG through community outreach and serve as a key resource in driving business growth for the company.

Project and Impact Spotlight

Dr. Bernice A. King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), shared her experiences and participated in a question-and-answer session with participants of a BEN-sponsored global fireside webcast.

Steve Davis, PPG board member and former chairman and chief executive officer of Bob Evans Farms, Inc., provided more than 700 employees with a roadmap on ways to achieve a high-performing, diverse, equitable and inclusive corporate culture during BEN's "Leadership and Diversity in the Workplace" event.

Throughout Black History Month, BEN celebrated PPG’s "Hidden Figures" – Black science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) employees who work tirelessly to innovate and advance our business around the world.

Partnerships

National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE): This partnership supports and promotes the aspirations of collegiate and pre-collegiate students and technical professionals in engineering and technology.

Members in the News

Companies Try a New Approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Honest Conversations: Following the killing of George Floyd, Jamie Irick, PPG vice president, architectural coatings, U.S. and Canada, and Traffic Solutions, wrote a powerful letter about racism to the 6,000 employees on his team. It ignited honest conversations throughout PPG

PPG commits $20 million to diversity and inclusion efforts over next 5 years: In this article, Malesia Dunn, executive director, PPG Foundation and corporate global social responsibility, highlights PPG's $20 million commitment over five years to address systemic racism and boost STEM and other educational opportunities for underrepresented people.

Veterans Employee Resource Network (VERN)

Purpose

Provide PPG veterans with support and networking opportunities, such as mentoring, community outreach, career development and cultural awareness activities, and empower members to demonstrate their insights and passions.

Project and Impact Spotlight

To educate employees about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on PTSD Awareness Day, VERN and the Abilities First Network sponsored a video featuring employees who shared their personal experiences with PTSD.

In recognition of National Hire a Veteran Day, the VERN co-chair and executive sponsor headlined a discussion on our various initiatives that support hiring and retaining veterans and military spouses within the company.

VERN-organized events marking Veterans Day included a demonstration of a colors ceremony by a high school Reserve Officers Training Corps in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania; a Colorful Communities project at the Veterans Place in Pittsburgh; and a webcast featuring Colonel Gregory D. Gadson, who discussed how the lessons he learned while serving in all major conflicts of the past two decades have helped him remain positive and focused on the future. PPG products on Colonel Gadson’s military vehicle helped save his life from an IED explosion.

Partnership

SkillBridge: Through this partnership, we provide real-world job experiences to members of the military to help them gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships or internships during their last 180 days of military service.

Young Professional Network (YPN)

Purpose

Drive improved engagement and retention of young professionals by organizing events that align with four strategic pillars: careers for career advancement, commerce to accelerate business growth, community to strengthen community presence and culture to increase engagement

Project and Impact Spotlight

More than 3,000 employees representing four generations tuned in to a dynamic YPN-sponsored webcast that explored ways to work, communicate and lead across age groups.

During a virtual hackathon, 31 YPN members from the U.S. and Canada explored how PPG could leverage digital media platforms and solutions to optimize current day practices or create new business opportunities in a post-COVID world.

YPN's virtual Global Speaker Series gave YPN members the opportunity to hear about the career paths and current positions of colleagues and leaders to give them more insight into the company's culture and opportunities.

Watch the video below to learn more about the impact our ERN members are making throughout PPG and in their communities.

PPG Employee Resource Networks Give Back at Colorful Communities Projects