2020 Sustainability Report

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

One of PPG’s greatest strengths is the diversity of our people

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Our wide-ranging view of diversity includes gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability/ability, religion, nationality, educational experiences and other dimensions. Our employees’ unique perspectives enable us to meet challenges quickly, creatively and effectively, providing a significant competitive advantage in today’s global economy.

Inclusive and equitable cultures allow diverse teams to succeed and perform better. More than being a smart thing to do for our business, diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) are the right things to do on many levels. We are committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment every day.

To underscore this commitment, Michael McGarry, PPG chairman and chief executive officer, was one of the first 150 signatories of the CEO ACTION FOR DIVERSITY & INCLUSION® pledge in 2017. This is now the largest CEO-driven business coalition, with 1,600-plus companies advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

In 2020, we strengthened our focus on DE&I across the company. Through these efforts, we have looked more closely at ourselves, our workforce and our workplace and made a series of commitments to grow and strengthen DE&I.

We appointed Marvin Mendoza as global head of DE&I in November 2020. In this newly developed role, Mendoza is responsible for designing, leading and executing our global DE&I vision and strategy and leveraging data-driven insights to accelerate our DE&I agenda.  

We also enhanced and expanded our employee resource networks (ERNs). We gathered employee feedback through listening sessions and sought external guidance about best-in-class ERN programs. The new structure provides employees with more opportunities to participate in conversations, learn from one another, and leverage the unique skills, experiences and perspectives of our team as we continue to build a more inclusive work environment.

To support and promote the success of our ERNs, we have designated executive sponsors from the PPG Operating Committee. Our ERNs will provide an opportunity for more in-depth discussion, focus and recommendations on how we can deliver higher growth and performance by creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization. They also will provide employees with a greater voice and more pathways, making DE&I a more integral part of how we do business. 

PPG Employee Resource Networks

  • Abilities First Network
  • Asian Employee Network
  • Black Employee Network
  • Latinx Employee Network
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) Network
  • Veteran’s Employee Network
  • Women’s Leadership Network
  • Young Professional Network

Each year, our business and functional leaders set goals related to diversity and monitor progress on a regular basis. This is supported by specific actions around the world to enhance diverse representation on candidate slates.

To help achieve that, we introduced changes to our recruiting process in 2020. The pilot includes using artificial intelligence to eliminate unconscious bias from position specifications, analyzing labor market data to determine diversity slate goals and engaging our ERNs during the recruiting process.

Across the globe, we have trained more than 1,800 managers over the past few years on unconscious biases. We are also actively driving diversity recruitment in the regions with a focus on representative candidate pools.

To broaden the diversity of our talent pools, PPG and the PPG Foundation continue to invest in educational opportunities for the next generation of innovators. We aim to reach diverse students and communities to champion change and empower historically underrepresented populations.

In the U.S, for example, we take an active role in the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE®), participating in its Board of Corporate Affiliates, Annual Career Fair and Convention, and regional conferences. PPG Foundation also provides grants to NSBE’s SUMMER ENGINEERING EXPERIENCE FOR KIDS® (SEEK) camp, and our interns volunteer at the camps for at least one day. Our intern class for 2020 was 41% female and 37% racially and ethnically diverse.

In 2020, approximately 33% of our professional hires globally were female. While we have primarily focused on increasing female representation in years past, our new initiatives also will strengthen our efforts to attract, hire and promote employees from underrepresented groups.


Female Representation



Total Workforce

Management Positions

Junior Management

Top Management

Management Positions in Revenue-generating Functions































Data adjustments from 2019 reflect an update to the reporting process.

We received a score of 90% on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 CORPORATE EQUALITY INDEX® (CEI), which is a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality. Our Workplace Gender Identity and Transition Guidelines, for example, address the needs of transgender employees to ensure their safety and fair treatment, maximize their workplace integration and minimize stigmatization.

Moving forward, we are committed to leveraging data-driven strategies, initiatives and decision-making to better understand demographic and cultural opportunities across our workforce. Together, we will continue to listen, learn and accelerate our impact and evolve our aspirational DE&I vision and strategy that put leaders, employees and the marketplace at the center of our efforts.

Racial Justice

As protests erupted worldwide in 2020 after George Floyd’s death in the custody of police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the U.S., companies and individuals realized that to make real change, we all had to listen, learn and seek to understand justice and equality in a more purposeful way. PPG was no different.

Our leaders and employees were saddened and frustrated by the senseless death of Mr. Floyd and the discriminatory events that have impacted Black Americans for too long. At our core, we are a company that believes in the basic values of human dignity, diversity, equity and inclusion. These are some of our most important values. Racism and discrimination have no place at PPG, because we know that our differences make us stronger.

Following Mr. Floyd’s death, our leaders quickly set up open communication channels and sharing sessions, some of which included industry experts, to discuss race and DE&I.

The PPG Foundation donated to multiple organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Center for Policing Equity and the Equal Justice Initiative. In addition, the PPG Foundation matched employee donations to nonprofit organizations that are working to address equality and racial injustice and continued the matching program into 2021. We continue to provide support in areas where we can have the greatest impact.

We are committed to do more in the cities and neighborhoods that we call home. We will engage with our communities, our customers, and our employees to listen, learn and act. We will speak out against racism and discrimination in all forms, and we will always stand alongside our Black, Indigenous and People of Color employees, neighbors and friends.

Supplier Diversity

We believe that our company and communities benefit when we provide equal opportunities for diverse suppliers to compete for our business. As such, we actively seek small businesses and businesses owned by veterans, minorities and women that provide quality products and services at competitive prices. (See the Supplier Sustainability section.)

Learn more about our Supplier Diversity Program.

Racism in America: Embracing OUR reality

Jaime Irick is the VP of PPG Architectural Coatings.Jaime Irick, PPG vice president, architectural coatings, United States and Canada, sent the following email to all employees in his business following the death of George Floyd and too many other Black Americans before him. This was followed by a 75-minute virtual discussion on racism across all of our business units in the U.S. and Canada, with 3,200 employees participating.


When I was a child, I remember my father recounting stories of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. My father, who grew up in South Carolina, was a highly engaged activist against institutionalized racism and Jim Crow (state and local laws in the United States that enforced racial segregation).

I would sit wide-eyed in disbelief as he described injustices and many protests. One I recall most vividly is a story he shared about “sitting in” with many others at a diner in his hometown in Orangeburg, South Carolina, that was a “whites only” establishment. He and his fellow activists would stay seated and insist on being served in the face of disrespect and racist remarks in an attempt to influence policy and directly enact desired changes themselves.

As many of you know, I believe strongly in first embracing reality, and then defining what winning looks like. Reality in terms of the good, the bad and the ugly. And winning in terms of the path forward. 

And the reality is that today in the United States, we have deep, pervasive and systemic problems with racism and violence against Black Americans, as evidenced by the recent video-captured murders of both George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, and the aggression toward Christian Cooper.

Regrettably, these aggressive actions are not new – racism has been an enduring and defining characteristic of who and what we are as a nation, as evidenced by our history and many firsthand accounts such as those shared by my father. But what is most shocking – and, frankly, unacceptable – is the reality that after multiple decades, so many parts of our country are still deeply mired in racism. To my fellow Black colleagues in Architectural Coatings US and Canada (AC USCA), I want you to know that your teammates and I will always stand with you.

We are now experiencing a pivotal national moment as anger has exploded across America – and in many locations, the justified anger has been overtaken by violence that threatens public order and safety. While we certainly do not condone this violence, as a global company and as individuals, we can make a difference and amplify this moment into a movement.

In the spirit of embracing reality and defining a path forward, we have outlined a number of actions that we will take in AC USCA, and I’d also encourage you personally to:

  • Commit to lifelong learning. Educate yourself and read up on facts and perspectives.
  • Identify privilege and speak out. As legendary civil rights activist Angela Davis reminds us, “In a racist society, it’s not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” Inaction is a tacit endorsement of the status quo.
  • Take action by voting and supporting the initiatives you are most passionate about.
  • Share your thoughts, feedback and opinions with the PPG Operating Committee!

In AC USCA, our team will start immediate dialogue over the next week within teams to analyze these most recent injustices and to talk about WHAT happened, WHY they happened and WHAT we can do about them. Following these team discussions, our HR partners will roll out unconscious bias training for our people managers to help us acknowledge biases we form outside of our own conscious awareness that can often escalate into discrimination.

As our CEO Michael McGarry shared, racism and discrimination have no place at PPG. We know that diverse teams are smarter, and inclusion and diversity have data-supported positive impact on companies’ bottom lines. With the support of great HR partners, we’re very proud of the fact that our AC USCA leadership team is one of the most diverse leadership teams in PPG. And it’s not a coincidence that we are also currently driving the best business performance we have had in many years. 

While we can’t solve this issue alone, we’ll have a much better chance of making progress if we lean into it – discomfort and all – together as One PPG.

Opening a door to candid, transparent dialogue

Hendekea-Azene of PPG Industries.From her perspective as a Black woman and chair of the PPG Black Employee Network, Hendekea Azene believes a door previously shut to candid and transparent dialogue about race and inclusion has opened. The challenge is continuing the discussions, however uncomfortable they may be.

“The killing of George Floyd and the social unrest that followed were a big eye-opener not just for PPG but for organizations and companies around the world,” said Azene, PPG global business director, kitchenware and industrial bakeware, industrial coatings. “Our response at PPG was swift, with sessions conducted across sites, businesses and employee levels to listen to the perspectives of our underrepresented employees and understand how the company could improve based on their experiences.”

Azene believes many people support DE&I in PPG but don’t necessarily feel comfortable having a conversation or don’t have enough awareness about an issue to empower them to engage in dialogue.

“One of the benefits of those conversations is that we can give each other space to make some missteps but then learn from those mistakes, bringing cultural awareness to the forefront,” she said. “For our underrepresented employees, these conversations give them a sense of voice and belonging. Our unique differences are what make us valuable and, ultimately, will help us grow the organization.”

While Azene believes PPG has made great strides in a short period of time, there is more work to do.

“Like most large companies, we need to focus on our recruiting, development and retention of underrepresented employees,” she said. “There is a strong pipeline of diverse talent out there, and we need to increase our efforts at tapping into it.”

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