Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) shared an update today with its Employees, Customers, and Partners on the progress the airline has made during the last year and its next steps within the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) roadmap. In September 2020, Southwest Airlines announced Company goals to strengthen and improve efforts to create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive job opportunities and candidate pipelines while championing a welcoming environment for all Employees.
“Summer 2020 was a season of learning for Southwest Airlines in many ways; it heightened our awareness of social injustice and initiated an increased focus on our own diversity and inclusion efforts. We started with evolving our existing Company Values around how we show up individually, how we treat each other, and how we work as a Team,” said Bob Jordan, Executive Vice and incoming CEO at Southwest Airlines. “We identified that the first step toward accomplishing these goals was concentrating on key areas such as diversifying Senior Leadership, enhancing diversity in hiring, providing mentorship and sponsorship opportunities, improving the retention and upward mobility of diverse talent, and training Leaders and Employees. In the past year, we have taken tangible steps to update the required infrastructure, processes, and practices to meet these objectives.”
Today, the carrier is making steady progress in its processes to increase racial and gender diversity in Leadership. The Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Department formed an Executive Steering Committee to support the strategic direction of this progress. Additional strides include evolving the Company’s talent acquisition processes by requiring diverse candidate pools, inclusion training for all hiring Leaders, and the creation of a Diversity Recruiting Center of Excellence (COE). Southwest Airlines is currently working with more than 188 community partners in support of its efforts to continue developing diverse and inclusive talent pipelines and expanding recruiting efforts. Southwest also recently launched a formal Sponsorship and Mentorship Program and is enhancing its existing Supplier Diversity Program.