Costa Rica - Diversity and inclusion at LafargeHolcim: a strategic business outlook

In 2013, LafargeHolcim Costa Rica launched a program to promote and maintain a work environment that encourages diversity and inclusion. The aim is to provide an atmosphere in which people of different cultures, generations, genders, ethnicities, nationalities, and skills can create business value based on open communication and respect.

 

Objectives

  • Promote and maintain a work environment that encourages diversity and inclusion
  • Promote recognition of equality with the aim to respect human dignity and ensure equal opportunity, respect for diversity, and social accountability

Summary

To create a more diversified workforce, LafargeHolcim Costa Rica needed to revise or put in place specific conditions to reinforce the following:

  • Respect for diversity
  • Equality
  • Non-discrimination
  • Inclusion and participation
  • Accessibility
  • Co-responsibility 

To achieve this, a special Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) committee was created with the support of the CEO to regularly report on progress to the Executive Committee.
 
The program was designed to include indicators, responsibilities, and deadlines for implementation. To meet objectives, a work plan was developed that featured the following four streams:

  • Scope and Vision (Policy): Comprised of representatives from different areas, this stream was tasked with formulating a D&I Policy, which was submitted to the Executive Committee for approval. Adjustments were made to the Flexibility/Productivity Policy to include flexible working hours and the possibility of working at other LafargeHolcim work centers.
  • Communication: The communications department was tasked with leading the awareness and information campaign (through a D&I manual, statements, surveys, personal cases, teaching materials on bulletin boards, etc.), and communicating outcomes from Corporate Communications meetings and discussions with experts.
  • Accessibility: A group of expert architects was hired to assess disability accessibility at all workplaces. Improvements were made to parking lots, bathrooms, doors, safety equipment, as well as access and transit areas between buildings.
  • Diversity in the Workforce: With the support of Human Resources and field experts, a matrix was created that connected the work positions at LafargeHolcim Costa Rica and the types of disability in the country, which opened the door to inclusive hiring. To foster gender diversity, female candidates qualified for management positions were identified. Training, which involved 85% of female employees, was also conducted on women in leadership.

Results

Following the program launch, two interns with a disability were integrated into the administrative areas of the Cement Plant and Administration Building, in addition to 10 other employees with a disability. The program also revised the Succession Plan, which identifies female candidates qualified for management positions.
 
With D&I, LafargeHolcim has played a key role in providing awareness of emerging issues and strengthening a culture of respect and acceptance of social differences among different stakeholders.
 

 
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