CHICAGO, June 10, 2020 — Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun issued the following letter to employees today regarding company actions in confronting racism:
A little over a week ago, after seeing George Floyd die under the knee of a police officer in Minneapolis, I posted my reaction to his death, my condemnation of discrimination and harassment, and my expectation that Boeing and its leaders will have zero tolerance for bigotry of any kind in this company.
Your response to that message has been overwhelming. Many of you expressed your appreciation. Some shared deeply moving stories about the effect of discrimination in your own lives. A few frankly questioned the commitment of the company to the values I expressed.
But I was most affected by the large number of you who wanted to see us — and me — do more.
I’ve read your responses. I’ve listened carefully in numerous talks with Boeing people all over the enterprise, in lengthy discussions with my executive team last week, and in conversations with my counterparts at other companies.
I am proud of Boeing leaders’ commitment to this and the progress we have made over the years.
But all my conversations over the last two weeks have reinforced for me an obvious point: What’s happening across the U.S. now goes beyond discrimination and harassment, beyond diversity and inclusion. What we’re seeing is the ongoing human cost of historic and persistent racial inequality in the United States.
And a second obvious point: As a company and as human beings, we need to work even harder at doing something about it.
Boeing has long been committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion, and the efforts we have made — often quietly and behind the scenes — have been meaningful.
But here’s what we’ll do to take that commitment to the next level:
Every member of my team has committed personally to confronting racism and building more inclusive opportunities — both inside our company and in our communities. That means, among other things, understanding more about the role that law enforcement and the criminal justice system can play in overcoming, not perpetuating, the unfair gap that divides the experience of our black colleagues and neighbors from the rest of us.
This is not an issue of the week or the month or even the year. These commitments will be an even more permanent and visible aspect of how Boeing conducts itself as a company. It’s the part we can play in capturing this moment to help solve a problem that has for so long prevented our society from being as inclusive and just as it should be.