The Value of 168 and RPM’s core principles have long encouraged our employees to do the right things, the right way, for the right reasons. These have shaped our code of conduct, which reminds us that discriminatory practices are never tolerated. We all share the responsibility of ensuring that the workplace is free from harassment in both the day-to-day work environment and work-related settings outside the workplace—whether by RPM’s employees, vendors, customers or non-employee business partners with whom our employees interact.
Our leadership recognized in 1992 that we must walk our talk if we want RPM stakeholders to behave the same. That’s when our directors sought gender balance and recruited Lorrie Gustin, now a retired trustee of the National Association of Investors Corporation, to serve on our board (1992-2002). They furthered our commitment with the additions of Dr. Jerry Sue Thorton (1999-2007), former President of Cuyahoga Community College, as well as current directors Jenniffer Deckard and Julie Lagacy.
The board’s commitment extends to racial diversity, too. We need to look no further than to the 1999 addition Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton and the 2007 addition of Fred Nance, Global Managing Partner, Squire Patton Boggs. Furthermore, this commitment was formalized in January 2020 when our board adopted the Rooney Rule, which mandates that we always include diverse candidates in the selection pool when filling board vacancies.
We can turn to The Value of 168 to remind us to pursue best practices in diversity and inclusion and demonstrate to all stakeholders that their voices matter. When this happens, RPM has the critical feedback needed to encourage associates to make balanced decisions in their pursuit of serving as entrepreneurs to the benefit of all of RPM’s stakeholders.