Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
While diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is not new for us, we are on a journey of learning and improving. We were the first automotive company in the U.S. to offer domestic partner benefits to support same sex couples who might not be allowed to legally marry. We also have a 25-year partnership with the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) to support the increase of minority ownership among our Subaru retailers. These are just two examples of our long-standing, multifaceted DEIB commitment. The highlights below show how we continue improving through policies, internal engagement, recruiting, and our partnerships.
Real work must start within our business operations. In 2022, we continued focusing on our Culture, Careers, and Communities.
A Culture of Inclusion and Learning
An organization is only as good as its culture—and building that culture is every employee’s responsibility. An inclusive work environment is not just a nice-to-have, it can make or break a company. Targeted DEIB opportunities in 2022 included Crucial Conversations, Influencing Skills, Strategic Thinking, Emotional Intelligence, and Japanese Culture to name a few. We offered these programs to the ERG members to help them evolve their groups and drive their goals forward in our organization.
Crucial Conversations leverages a model that emphasizes crucial conversations need to happen in a psychologically safe environment to have productive conversations that lead to action.
Our influencing content was identified to help the members prepare for the opportunities they have to influence our senior leaders. Throughout the year, members have exposure to the senior leaders and by providing them with training on how to influence others, they made progress towards getting senior leader buy-in for many of their initiatives. The ERG groups had existed for a few years, and many members wanted to see the groups and programming evolve.
Our strategic thinking content was offered to help them think through the current state of ERGs, what changes they wanted to see in the group and at Subaru and the role they can play in those changes.
Our emotional intelligence and Japanese culture programs were open to the entire organization. Emotional Intelligence provides an opportunity to pause and reflect when it comes to self-awareness. The model takes self-awareness a step further by relating personal self-awareness to how people are interacting with others and the environment a person creates around them.
Japanese Culture and Language classes are very popular at Subaru, we have many Japanese colleagues working with us in our buildings. These colleagues give up a lot to come to Subaru of America headquarters and learn about our side of the business. They often leave behind family and are thrown into a new culture and language. By offering culture and language classes, we are encouraging our employees to connect with our Japanese colleagues on a deeper level and help them to create a welcoming environment.
Additional offerings in 2022 focused on inclusive leadership and a curated curriculum through LinkedIn Learning with a focus on DEIB. These efforts work towards our goal of providing readily available learning opportunities to all of our employees across the US.
We continued our Coffee Talk series in 2022. These conversations were held at an organizational level, which expanded the reach beyond our 2021 departmental-level approach. This series allowed colleagues from a variety of functional areas the opportunity to share their lived experiences with a broader audience. The goal of gaining a better understanding of our colleagues through sharing stories about their personal and professional experiences and identities will continue in 2023.
Subaru actively seeks ways to increase DEIB across our network of retailers. For more than 15 years, we have worked closely with NAMAD to provide opportunities to increase the diversity of our retailers. This includes providing qualified candidates access to low loan rates on acquired stores and assisting with the cost of professional group dues and financial consulting fees.
DEIB Council & Committee
The DEIB Council and Committee were created to provide the opportunity to foster growth and development in a safe and inclusive environment, offering equal opportunity to all employees. The membership of the Council is our executive team, ERG Executive Sponsors, ERG Leads, and the Associate Director, DEIB. The Committee is comprised of ERG leads and our Associate Director, DEIB. This structure creates engagement and communication across a multifaceted group in advancing our DEIB efforts.
Employee Resource Groups
Our five current Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are led by employees who work to create ways to connect, learn, and grow. The ERGs are critical to making Subaru’s DEIB strategy come to life because they foster inclusion, give our employees a sense of belonging, and help Subaru identify culture, career, and community opportunities. While participation is voluntary, in 2022, over half of our employees belonged to at least one ERG. Check out the Subaru of America Foundation, Inc. section to read about the ERG involvement in our first annual DEIB grant cycle.
Meet our ERGs:
The diversity of our leadership management team was again strengthened in 2022, highlighted by 12.5% of our corporate officers coming from diverse backgrounds, a 6% increase over 2021. We are thrilled to continue to share these milestones and even more excited to highlight the expanded diversity of thought this brings to our management team.
Subaru is committed to having a diverse talent pipeline with actions that enable attraction, development, and retention of qualified candidates and employees. As a means of casting a broader net to attract top talent, we have established strategic relationships with:
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Women of Color Automotive Network
Minority Corporate Counsel Association
Diverse membership groups such as
The National Association of Black Accountants
We are continuing to evaluate and improve our talent practices—hiring, promotion, performance management, development, and compensation—to ensure equal opportunity for all employees. In 2023, we are excited to seek out additional channels that broaden our recruitment outreach.
Updated Interview Guide
As reported in 2021, the Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, and DEIB teams collaborated to update our Interview Guides, with a renewed focus on behavioral-based interview questions connected to functional skills and our Subaru Leadership Competencies, ensuring a consistent candidate experience. The Interview Guides were completed and hiring manager training began. Additionally, a learning module was developed to help introduce hiring managers to these guides. The module covers the following topics: preparing for an interview, the value of using guides to remove bias, consistency of questions, and sharing best practices for candidate review sessions.
Subaru supported the National Park Foundation’s Outdoor Exploration initiative and ParkVentures through a grant that helps expand access to the outdoors for communities historically excluded from parks. This grant contributed to the organization Black People Who Hike and their mission to empower, reengage, and educate Black people in the outdoors during a tour of six national parks throughout the U.S. As the largest corporate donor to the National Park Foundation, Subaru is committed to ensuring every individual feels welcomed in our national parks.
Black People Who Hike
We are proud to celebrate a partnership of 20+ years with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. As a continuation of our work together, Subaru launched the Subaru-U Scholarship for Automotive Excellence, in partnership with Rainbow PUSH. In 2022, the scholarship supported six Camden, New Jersey, residents to be trained as automotive technicians at Camden County College, as part of our ongoing commitment to our hometown. In addition to academics, we support scholarship recipients by pairing them with Subaru retailers to provide mentorship, enhance their training, and help them gain full-time employment opportunities.
with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Supported by Subaru scholarship to be trained as automotive technicians annually
We have supported the important work of PFLAG and its network of chapters across the country for eight years. Our work with PFLAG aims to ensure that all youth—regardless of their family background or personal identity—are welcomed and accepted. Our most recent support helps the PFLAG national organization deliver on their mission. In 2022, we also supported our local PFLAG Collingswood chapter through a DEIB grant from the Subaru of America Foundation, Inc., toward their efforts to deliver important resources to the community.
Subaru empowers girls to be smart, strong, and bold through the Subaru of America Foundation, Inc.’s, support of Girls Inc., in Camden. Girls Inc. provides academic, social, and emotional support for girls through mentorship; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education; and healthy decision-making education. In 2022, our support sponsored the participation of more than 400 girls.
For more on our community partnerships, see the Love Promise Community Commitment and Subaru of America Foundation, Inc., sections.
National Diversity Council
In 2022 we welcomed a new partnership by becoming a member of the National Diversity Council (NDC). The vision of the NDC is to cultivate a nationwide network of affiliated councils to advance diversity and inclusion by transforming our workplaces and communities into inclusive environments where individuals are valued for their talents and empowered to reach their fullest potential. The mission of the NDC is to be both a resource and an advocate for the value of diversity and inclusion. The NDC serves as the umbrella organization to support statewide and regional affiliates, which foster an understanding of diversity and inclusion as a dynamic strategy for business success and community well-being through various initiatives.
Accessibility for All
We launched a new Subaru.com website in 2022 that ensures ADA digital accessibility. We set high standards for web accessibility and constantly strive to ensure compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 Level A and Level AA. Subaru created a working group to examine how we could make our digital platforms more accessible to all employees of all abilities. We began with a focus on how to increase accessibility in our IT functions and are now examining additional functions, including those involving customers and retailers. In the coming years, we will report more about additional accessibility developments and training.
For more on accessibility in our vehicles, visit the Love Promise Customer Commitment section to learn about Subaru Mobility Assist.
We are making it easier for members in our community who have sensory challenges and disabilities to attend events and access experiences. For example, we worked with Jefferson Health in Philadelphia and The Center for Autism and Neurodiversity at Thomas Jefferson University to talk to community members with neurodiversity and intellectual and developmental disabilities and identify barriers to attending events such as the Philadelphia Flower Show. Then we helped create resources, including a video to help people prepare by familiarizing them with the sights, sounds, and expectations of the show, and provided sample bags with materials such as sunscreen and noise reduction headphones.
We work with community partners to create opportunities for inclusion across our supply chain. Extending our long-held approach to vendor diversity includes engaging teams across departments to consider diversity when selecting vendors. One example is regular engagement of our legal partners to foster diversity in their firms. A key milestone in vendor diversity was our Camden headquarters’ food service contractor expansion of its program. Our overall local vendor spend totaled nearly $318,000 in 2022.