Home > PUM One on One: Dina Clark, Head of Diversity & Inclusion -Covestro LLC

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PUM One on One: Dina Clark, Head of Diversity & Inclusion - Covestro LLC

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Dina L. Clark, Head of Diversity & Inclusion for Covestro LLC located at the North American headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


PUM: Tell us more about your focus at Covestro as the head of Diversity & Inclusion. You started August 2015 Since that time, what are you most proud of in terms of your work?

Clark: Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is a key component of Covestro’s global business strategy – not just because we know it’s essential to innovation, but also because it aligns with our corporate vision and values. I see my role as the supporter and driver of expanding our D&I efforts in North America. It’s a job I love because it gives me an opportunity to work across the business, with a key focus on engaging our colleagues, company and community.
What I am most proud of is the increasing support for D&I that I’ve seen since joining Covestro. We have a strong, passionate group of people committed to building a more diverse, inclusive and innovative culture here. Included in that group is our leadership. The level of leadership support for D&I in this company is impressive. And it’s not just lip service – there’s action behind their commitment. That makes me proud to work for Covestro.


PUM: You have focused your professional experience on issues of equity, anti-bias education, diversity and inclusion, civil rights, community engagement and leadership. Why are these social issues so important to you? 

Clark: I think it’s important to recognize that there are people who have been strategically and systematically excluded from opportunities throughout history. I don’t ever believe in compromising the qualification required for any given role in the name of diversity. What I do believe in is giving everyone fair and equal opportunity to contribute. 

Raising awareness around D&I provides an opportunity to shine the light on talent you might be missing. It can also lend a new perspective on someone’s life or experience, so we can move beyond stereotypes and see the underlying strengths of our differences. Every time an opportunity is created to connect people, or to learn from each other, a platform is created for strengthened teamwork. That’s what fuels my passion for this work.


PUM: From your perspective working in this field, why do we really need diversity and inclusion mechanisms in place within corporations? What is the difference between diversity and inclusion from your experience working in this field?

Clark: If everyone were treated fairly and equitably in the world outside, then companies wouldn’t need a focused effort around D&I inside. I hope to work myself out of a job in this field someday! But for the time being, I’ll continue to champion this effort because I’ve seen firsthand how a diverse and inclusive culture inspires innovation and growth. The companies that recognize this are the ones that will sustain success. 

Diversity is about understanding and acknowledging people’s different backgrounds and experiences, all of which shape their unique perspectives. Inclusion is about whether or not you are actively including, respecting and appreciating those different perspectives. 

You can convene a group of diverse thinkers, but you can only spark innovation by creating a culture of inclusion, where people can share ideas openly and without judgment. At Covestro, we like to say that diversity is our strength, inclusion is our commitment and innovation is our direction. The three go hand-in-hand.  

PUM: How are you effectively implementing diversity goals/plans at Covestro? How are you able to develop and strengthen the diversity and inclusion strategy across the company?

Clark: I’m fortunate to have a wide network of support when it comes to strategy implementation. Early on, we established three key levels of engagement to help us integrate diversity and inclusion into every aspect of our business. This structure enables us to ensure greater business alignment, while also extending our diversity and inclusion efforts to engage each other and the community. Already, we’ve made great strides – and we continue to raise the bar. For instance, this year, we’re expanding our recruitment efforts, building diverse supplier engagement and identifying new metrics to share our impact.

PUM: Many people resent diversity training and don't see its relevance. How will you overcome that hurdle?

Clark: I actually understand that perspective. Sometimes, people view diversity training as a one-and-done checklist. But it’s not the ultimate solution for tackling diversity issues. It’s just one tool of many that organizations can use to raise awareness. When it comes to D&I, it’s really about supporting behavioral change and being intentional about equality—both of which are driven by a deeper understanding of people and relationships. That’s not something that happens overnight. Building a diverse and inclusive culture is an ongoing journey. Fortunately for me, it’s a journey that Covestro embraces.  

PUM: Many believe that Pittsburgh needs to be more inclusive, to keep our city growing. It is well reported about the lack of diversity in many of the top corporations. What are some of your thoughts on recruiting diverse talent to Covestro? Especially recruiting the millennials, who feel that diversity is essential to a company's success and their work experience. 
Clark: If we want to continue to be an innovation leader, we have to be thoughtful in how we attract and engage diverse talent. We look for bright people with bright ideas—across all backgrounds—who can help us achieve our vision to make the world a brighter place.
We’re continually evaluating our recruitment practices, with an eye toward opportunities that allow us to cast a wider net on talent and make people aware of the vibrant culture we have at Covestro. A few of the ways we’ve tapped into these opportunities is by recruiting from inclusive career sites; engaging with a wider range of colleges and universities; expanding our presence at conferences geared toward underrepresented professionals; and committing to diverse hiring panels. 
But like I said before, gathering a diverse group of thinkers is only the first step. More important is how you keep people here. That’s why we’re also focused on creating a culture where people are encouraged to speak up…share their ideas…and be themselves.

PUM: Covestro unveiled a new survey of U.S. Fortune 1000 CEOs on business and purpose, which revealed that CEOs / c-suite executives: 

·        Predict demand for purpose-driven companies will increase in the next decade.

 ·      Report an “inherent conflict” between purpose and profit, but also transformative and competitive advantages.

·      Say emboldening employee purpose provides talent management, other benefits Tell us more about why this survey was important to conduct? 

Clark: At Covestro, we’ve seen firsthand how tapping into the desire for purpose can have a transformative effect on employees, companies and communities. But the only research that existed focused on global companies. That’s why we decided to commission our own study – the i3 Index – to uncover how some of our nation’s largest companies are responding to social purpose. And what we found is that it’s not just our own employees who want to make a difference. Employees across the country expect companies to have a social purpose…and are more inclined to work for ones who do. Most importantly, they want to be involved in the process! It all ties to back to creating an inclusive culture, where employees can engage with each other and the community in meaningful ways. I’m fortunate to work for a company that not only creates these opportunities for its own employees, but for other companies as well. That’s why we established the Covestro Center for Community Engagement at Robert Morris University, which provides social purpose training programs to companies and nonprofits throughout the region. 

PUM: Outside of work, how do you maintain a work/life balance? Clark: I enjoy having some down time with my friends and family, whether we meet for dinner, go to the movies or see a show downtown. I’m guaranteed to get a smile opportunity from my family every day…especially from my son. He always makes me laugh and reminds me to take things down a notch, which is necessary to maintain a positive outlook. But then again, I don’t have a choice…my blood type is Be Positive.



Pictured Above: 

  •  Covestro has 12 employee resource groups (ERG), which play a key role in the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts by engaging employees and the community. ERG members presented Dina with this customized print as a token of their appreciation and a symbol of the rare and beautiful culture that is taking flight at Covestro. (First photo from top) 
  • Dina joined her 100-plus colleagues for the annual United Way Color Run at the company's Robinson Township headquarters. This fun, colorful event is one of many ways the company engages and supports the local community. (Second photo from the top).

Click photos above to enlarge.




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