By Mary Duggan
(March 7, 2019 — TOWSON, Md.) Want to position your business for success? Consider rethinking your approach on diversity. Global tool manufacturer Stanley Black & Decker is doing just that, breaking the stigma of the ‘average manufacturing employee’.
The company values bringing different experiences, ideas and opinions to the table, so it’s taking meaningful strides to make its organization more diverse—and it’s working. According to Chief Marketing Officer Allison Nicolaidis, Stanley Black & Decker’s Towson facility has hired 116 employees within the last month with a strong focus on bringing in diverse candidates.
Nicolaidis said their approach has been partially atypical, “We sought talent from companies, like Proctor & Gamble, where the talent pool was dominated by female leaders.”
Globally, the Global Tools & Storage portfolio of the company has promoted over 600 women and hired 4,500 women within the last year (inclusive of hourly and salaried female employees).
“Our whole campus and industry have evolved,” Nicolaidis said. “Our president was in a leadership meeting and for the first time he looked around the room and had to say ‘ladies.’ He smiled and said, ‘This is amazing.’”
Influenced by Stanley Black & Decker’s core values, this effort reflects the belief that diverse voices and experiences are the heartbeat of its high-performing and innovative workforce.
“Diversity and inclusion are essential for achieving our vision, fulfilling our purpose and being a sustainable company where the most talented people can thrive,” President and CEO Jim Loree said. “A culture that doesn’t embrace people who look, think and act differently will simply not get to the best solutions or results.”
But it’s not just about hiring. A conscious focus on inclusion and diversity means considering retention as well. The company hosts a variety of diversity and inclusion causes for developing professionals, including employee resource groups. Chris Cannon, a product manager at Stanley Black & Decker’s Towson campus and a member of the African Ancestry Network, says their affinity groups are forward thinking.
“Diversity in the workplace challenges thought,” Cannon said. “If people have a fearless approach based on our message of diversity and inclusion, I think the company really has an opportunity to impact change in a very, very positive manner.”
The African Ancestry Network is one of many all-inclusive employee groups at Stanley Black & Decker. Women, veterans, Latinos, Asians, developing professionals, employees with disabilities and the LGBTQ community also have outlets to connect over shared experiences.
“The hardest [limitations] to work through are the limits you place on yourself,” Sunita Pattnayak, founder of The Stanley Black & Decker Women’s Network, said. “Everybody understands the need to work. What I want women around me to understand, is our need to excel.”