2021 ESG Report

ESG Report

ESG Report

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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

Recent events—from watershed moments in racial and social justice, to challenges from an ongoing pandemic that continue to disrupt employees and communities, including women and historically underrepresented groups—have furthered our commitment to find new ways to amplify the voices of our underrepresented employees and renewed the focus behind our DE&I efforts.

2021 Highlights


global participants in employee resource network (ERN) events in 2021


people managers and employees trained on unconscious bias across the organization since 2020


committed by 2025 to advance racial equity

We have a duty to improve the future of work and support historically excluded perspectives. Not only is this the right thing to do for our people and society, it is also the smart thing to do for our business, because diverse teams perform better. At PPG, we are bona fide believers that in order to say the right things, we first need to do the right things.

Our DE&I efforts include just a few of the ways that we are contributing to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that support more inclusive and sustainable opportunities and economic growth, including SDG5 (Gender Equality), SDG8 (Decent Work), SDG10 (Reduced Inequalities) and SDG11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).

Our Most Recent Progress

We have made significant progress in further cultivating a sense of belonging for all of our employees and harnessing the power of diversity to ignite innovation and action. We have developed a DE&I vision statement, structure, commitments, strategy and scorecard to drive change and measure our performance. Each is inclusive across our colleagues, customers, suppliers and communities. While we recognize that there's much work to be done, we continued to make progress in 2021. The following are highlights from the past year:


  • We now have more than 20 DE&I ambassadors composed of senior leaders across all businesses and functions. These ambassadors will help us cascade our strategy throughout the company.
  • Expanded and enhanced benefits in the U.S. to better meet the diverse needs of our employees.
  • Achieved meaningful improvement in inclusion in our 2021 Employee Voice Survey. Specifically, employees indicated substantial improvement in our commitment to building the strengths of each employee.
  • Launched a pilot program in the U.S. that allows us to use labor market data to build data-driven diverse candidate slates.
  • Extended our unconscious bias training efforts across the organization, with a primary focus on people managers. In recent years, we have trained more than 4,600 people managers and employees.
  • Partnered with diversity-focused organizations, including DiversityInc, National Association of Asian American Professionals, National Society of Black Engineers and National Black MBA Association® to increase the diversity of our talent pool, provide opportunities for career development and leverage leading practices to enhance the sense of belonging across the enterprise.

Customers and Suppliers

  • Delivered multiple DE&I-related projects for customers, such as rainbow crosswalks in cities to celebrate Pride Month and large murals of leaders in the social justice movement on exterior building facades.
  • Evaluated our paint color names to make them more inclusive and reflective of our values. Our Architectural Coatings global color team renamed 41 PPG PAINTS and 36 DULUX paint and stain colors.
  • Hosted a virtual discussion on why diverse teams perform better through our Black Employee Network. The event connected our employees with customers, as representatives from Toyota and Marriott joined the impactful conversation.
  • Over the last two years, we have completed acquisitions of Tikkurila, Ennis-Flint, VersaFlex, Wörwag and Cetelon. While these companies not only strengthened our global coatings portfolio, they also brought us many new employees with fresh ideas, different backgrounds and new perspectives.


  • Invested $13.3 million in our communities globally in 2021.
  • Saw the PPG Foundation and Neighborhood Academy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, team up for Female Focus, which is a 14-week program designed to inspire high school girls to engage in hands-on STEM activities and career exploration.

A full discussion of our DE&I strategy and process is available in our inaugural PPG DE&I Report, which we published in March 2022.

DE&I Vision Statement

At PPG, we aim to champion all employees, empowering them to show up as their authentic selves, and allowing everyone to reach their full potential. We know that diverse teams perform better – period. Providing equitable experiences for all our people results in higher engagement, increased business performance and more opportunities for all. We will continue to elevate and celebrate underrepresented communities while combating intolerance in all forms, both inside and outside our workplaces. We do so with a spirit of humility, authenticity and vulnerability. We may not always get it right, but we aim to do better today than yesterday – every day.

Learn more


Our DE&I efforts are championed by our chairman and chief executive officer and have full and complete support from our Board of Directors and Operating Committee. Our business leaders are held accountable to initiating real, demonstrated progress, and their results are a consideration in their year-end performance evaluations.

Our global head of DE&I is responsible for designing, leading and executing our global DE&I vision and strategy and leveraging data-driven insights to accelerate our agenda. This position is supported by our DE&I team, which reflects the diversity in gender, race, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and more that we aim to achieve across our workforce.

In 2021, we launched an internal DE&I ambassador group composed of leaders who are members of our strategic business unit and function global leadership teams. These global ambassadors serve as change agents across the company, helping embed a sense of belonging for all.

Our eight global employee resource networks (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.

PPG Employee Resource Networks

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

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 storytelling, organize volunteer events in their local communities or offer solutions on PPG's business challenges.

Celebrating Black History Month at PPG: Honoring iconic visionaries

Marking the start of Black History Month, PPG's Black Employee Network (BEN) hosted a global webinar with Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King shared her perspectives on the social justice movement, how she plans to carry her father's legacy forward, and what it means to "Be the change."

A global thought leader, strategist, orator, peace advocate and CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), Dr. Bernice King continues to advance her parents' legacy of nonviolent change.

In addition to the webinar, BEN highlighted the PPG paint color Visionary (PPG1210-3) in the famous Wynwood art district in Miami. As part of a mural, artists Kyle Holbrook and Lil Baby memorialized iconic visionaries such as Dr. King, August Wilson, Dr. Maya Angelou, and the first Black fashion designer for Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh. The soft yellow was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream of diversity, equity and inclusion for all people.

"The work of diversity, equity and inclusion is important, because equity is the one place where we’re falling short. 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."

Dr. Bernice King
during a webcast with PPG employees

PTSD Awareness Day

Our Veterans Employee Resource Network (VERN) provides veterans at PPG with support and networking opportunities, such as mentoring, community outreach, career development and cultural awareness activities. To educate employees about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on PTSD Awareness Day, our VERN and the Abilities First Network (AFN) sponsored a video featuring employees who shared their personal experiences with PTSD. A goal of the program was to raise awareness and destigmatize the conversation around PTSD for all employees – veteran and nonveteran alike – while also providing a voice to employees who may be struggling with PTSDrelated issues, regardless of the source.

Project Pronoun

Imagine if your team referred to you by the wrong pronoun every day. How would you feel? Would you feel like you were truly bringing your whole self to work?

Members of the LGBTQ+ community globally have dealt with this challenge for years. That's why members of our LGBTQ+ ERN are driving action to help others feel included, valued and respected across the spectrum of gender identities.

Named Project Pronoun, the initiative encourages employees to include their pronouns in emails, presentations and other communication avenues to raise awareness of the power of pronouns and the importance of gender identity. The team also hosted a webinar and created easy-to-use resources to help educate the organization on the power of pronouns and provide a breakdown of key LGBTQ+ terms.

New uniforms ensure comfort, inclusiveness for female employees

Female-fit garments are typically fitted to the waist, chest and length for comfort and performance as well as a professional appearance. Ill-fitting garments can impact employee confidence as well as performance due to discomfort.

Thanks to an initiative from our Women's Leadership Network (WLN), employees in the U.S. and Canada now have the option of two types of female-fit pant styles to accommodate differing body shapes. Female-specific shirts will be available in both standard and flame-resistant options.

"The unisex uniforms are uncomfortable because they can be too tight, too loose or too long in the torso. They can be distracting, causing you to not be able to focus on what you're doing because you are pulling on your clothing. The female-fit uniforms are a lot more comfortable."

Alyssa Fulwider
PPG optical quality control laboratory supervisor,


We believe that what gets measured gets done. We approach DE&I as we do any other business opportunity – with aspirational goals, a strategy, a scorecard and accountability.


  • Achieve 34% to 36% representation of non-frontline global female professionals by 2025. Achieved 29.6% as of December 31, 2021.
  • Increase the headcount of Black, Latinx and Asian employees by 45% to 55% across our non-frontline, U.S.-based employee population (using January 1, 2021, as our baseline). At the end of 2021, we increased our non-frontline headcount of Black employees by 12.8%, Latinx employees by 9.0% and Asian employees by 8.4%.
  • Achieve total global employee resource network and DE&I capability-building participation of 50% by 2025. As of December 2021, we had achieved 32.6% of this goal.

Customers and Suppliers

  • Amplify the diversity of our workforce to be representative of the global customers we serve every day.
  • Engage with our customers and suppliers in DE&I dialogues to learn from one another and advance our collective efforts to benefit our stakeholders.
  • Through our Supplier Diversity Program in the United States and Canada, actively identify and include qualified diverse suppliers in our purchasing process for products and services that meet our requirements.


  • We are investing $20 million by 2025 to advance racial equity in the U.S. by funding educational pathways for Black communities and people of color, with a goal of helping to address the race and gender gaps in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and career paths.
  • We respect the dignity and human rights of all people and hold our contractors, suppliers and other business partners to the same commitment.
  • We will continue to hold COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® projects in areas across our global footprint.
  • As legislation is introduced at the local, state, federal and international levels of government, we will work to determine if the proposed policies align with our position on DE&I.

Our DE&I Strategy

We know that it will take intentional, relentless action and focus to achieve our aspirational commitments. We leveraged a data-driven approach to develop our strategy, delving into company data to better understand demographic and culture opportunities across our workforce. We also benchmarked against best-in-class processes, programs and partnerships to help accelerate our impact. We aim to enhance the elements of our strategy as we advance in our journey.


  • Continue updating our DE&I scorecard and embed accountability mechanisms to drive results.
  • Enhance our recruiting processes with a DE&I lens, including scaling our diverse slates process globally for non-frontline roles.
  • Foster partnerships with external organizations that will diversify our talent pool.
  • Nurture a DE&I ambassador group composed of senior leaders who serve as change agents for our strategic business units and functions.
  • Build and execute a strategy to grow DE&I capabilities for all employees globally.
  • Grow and elevate our ERNs to support career development and provide business value.
  • Build and launch site-activation kits to allow our frontline employees to participate in global ERN events.
  • Develop and deploy a mentoring program specifically for our ERN members.
  • Scale a sponsorship program for women, Black, Latinx and Asian non-frontline top talent to build a more diverse leadership pipeline.
  • Engage in regular global employee self identification campaigns to validate employee representation data, identify gaps and inform future tactics.
  • Develop and share DE&I data and an impact summary internally and externally on an annual basis.

Customers and Suppliers

  • Further embed DE&I into our environmental, social and governance (ESG) and stakeholder engagement strategies.
  • Share and collaborate with our suppliers and customers regarding our respective DE&I journeys.
  • Review and enhance our Supplier Diversity Program on a regular basis.


  • Execute a community engagement strategy to create pathways and impacts that advance social justice. Learn more about how we support our communities and neighbors.
  • Continue our global Colorful Communities program to unite the power of our paint products and our employee volunteers to brighten neighborhoods and transform the way people think and feel about their surroundings and experiences. Learn more about how we transform diverse communities around the world.

Our Data

Our employee data provide valuable insights into our performance and progress. As our data change over time, our goals and strategy will evolve to address gaps and capture emerging opportunities. Our goals are aspirational, and we recognize that they are challenging yet achievable with intent and rigor.

The following data do not include all employees who joined our company through recent acquisitions. Our numbers could vary in future reports as we continue finalizing various integrations of new employees into our human resource systems, as employees continue to provide or update their self-identification status, and more.

As we develop future DE&I reports, we also will share new employee details, such as turnover, representation by more employee levels and other disclosures.

2021 U.S. Employee Race and Ethnicity Representation

As of December 31, 2021


"Other" category includes employees who are two or more races, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and Native American or Native Alaskan.

Employee Designations

Frontline and select support employees encompass a wide range of critical operational roles. These include plant and manufacturing employees, store employees, custodial employees, clerks, assistants, customer service representatives, electricians, technicians, drivers and color matchers.

Non-frontline employees cover a variety of roles, including chemists, engineers, corporate function employees, managers, directors and executives.

Management team comprises employees who are vice presidents and above.

2021 Total Global Gender Representation

As of December 31, 2021



2021 U.S. Non-Frontline Black, Latinx and Asian Employee Headcount Changes

As of December 31, 2021



2021 Total Global Generational Overview

As of December 31, 2021

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