Take on Race—A Commitment to Systemic Change

Take on Race

At P&G, we aspire to create a company and a world where equality and inclusion is the reality for everyone. While this has long been our goal, we’re stepping up our efforts to do even more to make this a reality.

The events of the past year, and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, have brought into sharper focus how inequality has been woven into the fabric of our society for generations. This underscores the importance of the actions we’re taking for racial equality – for our employees, through our brands, with our partners and in our communities – and the urgency to accelerate it. We are committed to leveraging our resources, our voice and our influence to drive systemic change and sustainable progress within and beyond P&G’s walls.

Last year, our CEO David Taylor reiterated P&G’s commitment to be a Force for Good and a Force for Growth in five areas where we believe we can have a positive impact.

  1. We have and will continue to build a diverse employee and leadership base to reflect the consumers we serve, and foster an inclusive, respectful, welcoming and affirming culture.
  2. We have and will continue to create safe spaces for dialogue within P&G, live our values, and demonstrate our humanity.
  3. We have and will continue to leverage our voice, shining a light on inequality, inspiring dialogue that leads to understanding, and fueling action that leads to meaningful change.
  4. We have and will continue to ensure that all people are reflected, accurately and positively, in the images we put into the world.
  5. We have and will continue to use our convening power to bring together partners to use our collective influence on critical, systemic issues.

Last June we launched the Take on Race Fund to accelerate and expand our efforts to drive systemic change alongside key business partners and non-profit organizations that are dedicated to making our communities more equitable. Here are some examples of the progress we’ve made directly and with our partners– recognizing there is much more to do.

Building and Nurturing a Diverse Talent Base at P&G

P&G is committed to a diverse organization at all levels, including more African Americans in senior leadership positions. We made a declaration to achieve 40% representation of multicultural employees at every management level of the company in the US – we’re at 28% today. Within this, we aspire to 13% representation of African American employees, which is in line with the U.S. population. We’re at 10% today.

For many years we have tracked and shared our diversity progress internally in various ways. Recognizing the increased external focus on demographic data disclosure, in 2020 we broadened our communication on representation externally as well, including the company’s most recent EEO-1 filing, initially released in September 2020, as well as on our company website here and in our 2020 Citizenship Report, where we detail additional steps we are taking to strive for inclusion at all levels of the company.

Last summer we established a Bold Actions for Racial Equality Plan to drive key actions and systemic changes for all our multicultural employees and for the communities where we live and work. More than 160 P&G employees have volunteered as change agents to lend their time and talent to this effort – which includes many of the actions below.

As part of our Bold Actions plan, we’ve facilitated deeper conversations and more immersive trainings related to bias, microaggressions and privilege, working with external experts from the Racial Equity Institute, PEG Courageous Conversations (a Take on Race Fund partner), Catalyst, Network of Executive Women and others. We’ve expanded these efforts in recent months to help address the rise in hate crimes against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community.

Ensuring Accurate Portrayals of Black Life in Advertising, Film and Television

We continued our ongoing commitment to ensure that all people are reflected, accurately and positively, in the images we put into the world. To deliver representative and accurate portrayals in front of the camera, we need equality behind the camera. The biggest gap requiring significant systemic intervention is on racial and ethnic diversity in directors, content creators and production crews.

This year, we introduced Widen the Screen, an expansive content creation, talent development and partnership platform across the advertising, film and television industries, which aims to improve the portrayal of Black life on screen to challenge expectations and stereotypes. As a part of Widen the Screen, we are expanding the pipeline of Black creators and supporting Black talent already in the industry. This includes the expansion of The Queen Collective, a mentoring and development program for multicultural women filmmakers that P&G created in 2019 in partnership with Queen Latifah and Tribeca Studios. This initiative aims to open doors for the next generation of multicultural women directors whose voices are crucial in diversifying the film and advertising industry.

While the systemic gaps are most acute for African Americans, hence our initial focus, we know that addressing them will benefit all multicultural groups as our efforts expand.

As part of Widen the Screen, we are launching a new film called These Hands which takes viewers on a journey of a father and his son using the power of imagination to expand the possibilities for Black boys. The film is a collaboration between P&G and UNINTERRUPTED, an athlete empowerment brand built by LeBron James and Maverick Carter with the mission of empowering greatness in every individual. The film and associated community impact programs, including multi-year grants from the Take on Race Fund to non-profit organizations delivering services and support in mentoring, education and career exploration to young Black boys from K-12, are intended to show young Black men that they can follow and achieve their dreams beyond athletics.

Learn more at www.pg.com/widenthescreen.

Providing COVID-19 Relief to Communities of Color

We could not ignore the impact COVID-19 is having on communities of color – particularly among Black and Hispanic communities. For the Black community specifically, we were a leading sponsor of Saving Our Selves, a fundraising relief effort led by BET and United Way to accelerate support for communities impacted by COVID-19. P&G provided $1 million in short-term relief funding to benefit some of the hardest hit Black communities in America. We provided more than $1 million worth of P&G products and nearly 2 million masks and other supplies (including Safeguard hand sanitizer) to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

We know entrepreneurship is a viable pathway to economic stability for women and people of color, especially as low-wage and service sector employment has been decimated because of COVID-19. With support from our brands, we launched a $1.2 million initiative with Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC) to ensure that economic recovery is inclusive in the COVID-19 era. The initiative addressed an unmet need in historically disinvested communities, bringing short-and long-term resources to areas disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This initiative funded small business grants to over 4,000 businesses, of which more than 88% were owned by people of color and 57% were owned by women of color. We will continue to support women’s economic empowerment via entrepreneurship with a partnership with the YWCA, a Take on Race Fund partner organization whose mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. This new program with the YWCA aligns with the growing needs currently faced by women and communities of color during the economic aftermath of COVID-19.

Shining a light on inequality

For years, we have used our voice as a leading advertiser to shine a light on inequality, highlight bias, and spark dialogue that leads to understanding and action, through award-winning films like The Talk and The Look.

In 2020, we launched the short film called The Choice, an invitation to the often-silent majority to become allies, advocates and activists to end racial inequality. The film was accompanied by an extensive web-based resource at www.pg.com/takeonrace that gives people a place to start. We also supported a broad range of programming across national television and radio networks that elevated understanding of racial disparities and shared solutions to help address them.

We also created #TalkAboutBias, which paired strangers together to have difficult but productive conversations about race and bias. After each conversation, an expert and reacted and dissected the discourse, adding additional context and commentary for the viewer.

In partnership with BET, we presented Disrupt and Dismantle, an innovative investigative series with acclaimed journalist Soledad O’Brien.

And this month we are partnering with OWN and BET to support special programs that pay homage to George Floyd, reflect on the past year, and feature a collection of inspirational films to encourage the nation and deepen understanding through stories of powerful community changemakers.

Leveraging our Brands to Make a Difference

Earlier this year, Olay announced its mission to close the gender gap in STEM by doubling the number of women in STEM careers and tripling the number of women of color in STEM by 2030. To jump start closing this gap, Olay provided more than $500,000 in scholarship funding through the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), a Take on Race Fund partner organization.

As part of a $1 million pledge to help foster gender equality, Secret made additional investments in childcare, workforce development and barrier reduction programs and services for more than 100,000 women and their families across the YWCA network. Spanning across 12 communities that continue to be impacted by the pandemic, the donation enabled the YWCA to deliver safe and affordable care for children and continue workforce development programs.

Old Spice announced a 10-year initiative to help increase high school graduation rates by 10% through confidence and empowerment programs reaching 100,000 guys in underserved communities.

Haircare brands Royal Oils by Head & Shoulders and Gold Series from Pantene recently announced the recipients the first annual Rooted in Science Scholarship awarded to Black women pursuing a degree in STEM fields at historically Black colleges and universities and UNCF (United Negro College Fund)-member schools.

P&G’s My Black is Beautiful (MBIB) community leveraged Black creative talent to direct films and tell stories for #HowWe, a series of films to help women thrive despite the tough conditions exacerbated by systemic racism and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Using our Convening Power

We recognize that P&G alone cannot solve the vast racial inequities that exist in our society, so we have continued to work together with partners to use our collective influence on critical, systemic issues. In 2017, P&G was a founding member of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Last year we stepped up to take a leadership role in the CEO Action for Racial Equity, which is focused on improving the lives of the over 47 million Black Americans through advocacy and advancement of public policies that will root out and end systemic racism.

The COVID-19 pandemic has broadened the digital divide, especially in communities of color. In response to this issue, we’ve leveraged our leadership of the Take on Race Coalition to partner with companies and community organizations nationwide to launch the One Million Connected Devices Now initiative. P&G joined other leading corporation to raise $25 million for One Million Connected Devices Now to help students acquire the tools they need to thrive in their education.

We know inequality exists in our criminal justice system, so we joined with one of our long-term law firm partners to create a new fellowship that provides an essential resource to the Ohio Innocence Project, one of the most successful Innocence Projects in the country. We hope this fellowship serves as a model for similar ventures at other Fortune 500 companies and law firms that want to engage in this work.

We are founding members of the Second Chance Business Coalition where we committed to building equal and equitable access into and through our hiring systems, policies and practices for a truly inclusive workplace.

We continue to support a wide range of community events and organizations in our global headquarter city of Cincinnati, Ohio, including the Cincinnati Music Festival, the African American Chamber of Commerce, Minority Business Accelerator, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Legal Aid Society of Cincinnati, YWCA, NAACP, Urban League, the United Way and many others.

These are some examples of our work over the last year – building on our ongoing commitment. But our work is not done. We continue to identify and actively work for greater equality and inclusion in every area of our business. We will continue our efforts to drive change and meaningful progress that is sustainable for the long term. To learn more about our commitment to equality and inclusion, visit https://us.pg.com/equality-and-inclusion/.