At Caterpillar, Diversity Plays Important Role in Company's Success


With projected 2010 sales and revenues of $40.5 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. Caterpillar products and components are manufactured in 23 countries around the globe, and more than 50 percent of its employees are outside the United States. One of the ways in which Caterpillar maintains its position as a global leader is through careful inclusion of an incredibly diverse team of employees, suppliers and dealers. In Caterpillar's view, diversity is not only necessary from a purely business perspective, it is the right thing to do.

Any company wishing to thrive must, of course, recruit and retain a highly talented workforce. But for a company such as Caterpillar that conducts operations throughout the world, that workforce must also encompass an element of diversity so its employees can understand each region's language, customs and culture. Caterpillar in-house attorney William Purnell explained that creating a team with a rich mix of gender, culture and race is crucial to recruiting and developing the best people around the world.

The question becomes, how does a company help its thousands of employees from every possible background feel included, understood and respected? At Caterpillar, the answer is in its approach to diversity.

Wes Blumenshine, a Caterpillar in-house attorney who also serves as the Legal Services Division's Diversity Champion said, "At Caterpillar, we create a rich and uplifting environment where we look into people, not at them. We pay attention to a person's heart, mind and soul; not their race, gender, sexual orientation, age or other dividing line."

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