How Being Bold Benefits Our Customers

I am proud to stand with Caterpillar employees from across the Globe to #BeBOLDforChange. We will take time on March 8 to celebrate women, advocate for gender parity and continue on our bold journey to create an inclusive culture. 

After nearly 20 years with Caterpillar, I have observed a steady increase in workforce diversity. We have not yet realized our goals, but we are advancing on the journey. Over the past 18 months we have accelerated our focus on driving the culture needed for an inclusive environment. We now have a corporate strategy focusing on Women in Leadership. Unconscious bias training is taking place across the company and it is quickly becoming part of our corporate vernacular. Leaders are sincerely engaging in the conversation about micro-inequities and working with discipline to eliminate them. Senior leaders are participating in reverse mentoring programs to gain new insights on inclusion. Looking across the corporation, I see an upsurge of both corporate and grass roots initiatives, that when compounded, are driving a holistic change to our culture.

Of course I'm excited about this shift in the way we work.  It has benefited me significantly!  

  • Mentoring - In the past year I have been paired with a world-class mentor.  His intellect and insights give me a deeper understanding of our business and inspire me to lead with purpose.
  • Leadership Development - Last year I was afforded the time to facilitate hundreds of women through a leadership development course. Each woman in the class encouraged me to #BeBOLDforChange and in the process, I honed my facilitation skills.
  • Unconscious Bias Training - As a result of unconscious biases being exposed, I am no longer a default resource for "invisible work" assignments:  i.e., coordinate the team dinner, set up the calendar invites, cut the retirement cake.

I'm thrilled to reap the benefits of change. But, I also see a much bigger impact…on our customer!  Caterpillar's commitment to inclusion will have direct impact on our customers. Let me explain.

Innovation: It is well known that inclusion attracts diversity, and diversity drives innovation. Our customers demand innovative solutions from Caterpillar today, just as they did in 1925. Innovation is our legacy. Inclusion is the foundation for the Cat® brand to remain relevant to our customers in the 21st century and the digital era.

Customer Alignment: Customers seek alignment with brands…in terms of value prop and brand promise. The Cat brand is a premium product that promises to champion the customers enduring success. Our motto is: an intense, acute focus on our customer. And most of our customers are men. We picture our customers as men, we talk about our customer as men, we think about our customers as men. But in some segments of our business, like agriculture, this is changing! Estimates suggest that over 30% of farms and ranches in the US are managed by women. In recognition of this shift, Caterpillar is a proud sponsor of American Agri-Women.  And in time, I anticipate Caterpillar partnerships like this will multiply. Globally, women produce more than half of all the food that is grown. And as mechanization increases in agriculture, Caterpillar’s impact on female customers will grow. Women in agriculture will benefit from the many seeds of inclusion being planted today at Caterpillar.

I applaud Caterpillar's support for International Women's Day. And to my company, I say:  Thank you for stepping forward to #BeBOLDforChange. I am better for it. And our customer are, too.

Jada Hoerr
Customer Experience & Market Coverage Manager