Can business help create a better world? There are a lot of young professionals that will unequivocally tell you yes – and I happen to be one of them – but logic demands that the next question be, how? At this month’s Net Impact Conference in Seattle, the push to answer that question had the room packed.
I got to attend with a great group of 3Mers: Cassandra Garber, Maureen Tholen, Angela Wasko and Nancy Sperling. Stephen Ritz, founder of the Green Bronx Machine, did not disappoint with his opening remarks. Green Bronx is a service learning organization that uses urban farming to teach kids an entire curriculum.
“Zip code and skin color should not determine opportunity.” That’s the message Ritz closed with in his powerful presentation – and the crowd went nuts. It was clear that the future leaders of America’s workforce will not accept inequity as we move forward.
At that moment, I was reminded of my own company’s commitment to social justice. At 3M, we have an amazing team dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and we’re working toward a sustainability goal of doubling the diversity of our management by 2025.
Our 3Mgives team – the company’s social investment arm – is focused not only on making grants but fostering conversations with community partners about ways to achieve measureable impact on society’s most challenging problems. A science-based company like ours doesn’t only have great ideas – we focus on results.
We strive to improve standards of living and drive access to quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning opportunities for under-resourced populations. This is not only the right thing to do – it’s also an investment in the future of our business, economy and society.