A Commitment to Progress

Progress as defined by Webster's Dictionary is a forward or onward movement. We stare progress in the face every day - whether on our commute to and from work or how we receive and send information - we are surrounded by progress. In order to appreciate progress, we must reflect both on where we've come from and also look forward to the future. While some may argue progress is a certainty and happens to us, I'd argue it happens by our influence, our aspirations and our belief in a better world.

As we celebrate International Women's Day, I find myself pausing to reflect on my upbringing and my future dreams. What role has progress played in bringing me to where I am today? How will progress shape my future? I grew up an only child. A kid with a big imagination and my parents may argue, an even bigger personality. My dreams were my parents' dreams for me. They shaped my self-confidence and provided experiences to help me see the world through a different lens. They enabled my growth, but also allowed me to make mistakes and used those as lessons in leadership. Through their love, guidance, and support they helped me #PressforProgress as I embarked on my personal and professional aspirations.

I've carried this passion for progress into my career. As a women leader in a largely male-dominated industry, I experience progress firsthand every day. Progress in the dialogue that occurs around the boardroom table; progress in our commitment to build our talent pipeline through a focus on diversity and inclusion; progress in how we work together to accomplish shared objectives; progress in how we listen, accept and embrace alternate viewpoints to solve a problem; progress in tackling today's goals and objectives by thinking about tomorrow's future. After all, the bridge between today and tomorrow is progress. My job as a leader is to facilitate this progress and create the culture that encourages the team to embrace new ways of thinking; challenges the status quo; fosters an environment that rewards the unique gifts and attributes of each team member; and, connects the team and their work to something much greater than themselves.

I'm proud to work for a company that embraces the possibility of progress and provides equipment and solutions to customers that enables them to build a better world. Our commitment to progress doesn't begin and end with our product and service offerings - it extends into our culture and is evidenced by the people who are proud members of Team Caterpillar.

I hope you join me in celebrating International Women's Day - it is a day to celebrate the past and look forward to the future. It's about believing in what's possible through progress and the legacy opportunity we can create for generations to come. #PressforProgress

Lindsey Birkel
Director of Corporate Communications