9/16/2020

NCEAI and P&G: Harnessing the Power of Diversity in Innovation

Every day, P&G is making a conscious and deliberate effort to create a company and a world where equality and inclusion are achievable for all; where respect and inclusion are the cornerstones of our culture; where equal access and opportunity to learn, grow and thrive are available to everyone. We believe in the power of our differences and the impact we can make when we come together united by shared values and purpose.

Joining the National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCAEI) is just one part of this ambition.

NCAEI’s mission is to help the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) develop a comprehensive national strategy to increase participation in our innovation ecosystem by encouraging, empowering, and supporting all future innovators, increasing the involvement of women and other underrepresented groups, and fueling the United States’ innovation economy.

P&G is honored to be an inaugural member of this important Council to shine a light on the challenges and opportunities we have to make sustained and meaningful steps that will result in more inclusive STEM fields and IP community. We believe having a national strategy and a comprehensive plan will be a game changer and accelerate the progress towards the equality and inclusion we have made.

P&G Chief Innovation, Research and Development Officer Kathy Fish joined other members of NCEAI – intellectual property leaders in corporate, academic, professional, and government organizations. During the event this week she said:

“We know that diversity plays a powerful role in driving innovation. By mirroring our consumers, we have more empathy and are more likely to recognize and address unarticulated consumer needs. Innovation doesn’t happen in a straight line or orderly progression. We have found that diverse teams bring together individuals who come at problems and opportunities from different perspectives. These different viewpoints and thinking lead to new solutions and the ability to connect seemingly unconnected ideas and ultimately delivering breakthrough innovation and results.”

We are very proud that today, 51% of the 7,000 R&D employees world-wide are women and we are honored to be recognized as Number One in the USPTO Progress and Potential report with the highest rate of women inventors. This is no accident. We believe equality and Inclusion starts with all of us. Our strategy is designed so that each P&G employee sees themselves and their work making a meaningful impact in building the business and organization. We are committed to have diversity at all levels across the Company and in all R&D disciplines, especially women and women of color. We remain steadfast in our commitment to equal and inclusive based policies, flexible work, intentional career planning, pay equity and paid parental leave, which are all proven accelerators of equality.

And, we are empowering and creating our next generation of innovators by creating and developing partnerships with such as the STEM Careers Coalition and Girls Who Code, local STEM Collaboratives and community-based efforts that tackle equity and opportunity gaps for children of color to pursue their dreams and aspirations in STEM. And, by creating ReLaunch, a recruiting program for STEM-experienced female professionals who, after pausing their careers for personal reasons, are looking to re-enter the workplace. This isn’t just an R&D effort, our brands are also using their voice to reveal unconscious bias, inspire conversations and promote equality and inclusion.

And, while we have made progress, we know there is more work to be done. We look forward to contributing to the national strategy as well as learning from and partnering with the esteemed members of NCEAI.