May 8, 2021 | by M. Robert Weidner, III

MSCI’s Pledge for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Nearly one year ago, MSCI pledged to its members that it would do the work necessary to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the industrial metals community.

This effort is crucial for the future health of our industry. According to McKinsey & Company, companies in the top quartile of gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. In the case of ethnic and cultural diversity, companies in the top quartile outperformed those in the fourth by 36 percent.

People are truly any organization’s greatest asset. And part of MSCI’s mission is to promote the industrial metals sector to individuals who might not yet appreciate the quality opportunities that exist at our member companies. To attract a more diverse workforce, we must strive to:

  • Create workplaces in which all individuals are respected and valued;
  • Prioritize outreach, hiring, retention, and advancement of all individuals;
  • Implement unconscious bias and racial equity training; and
  • Share best practices to create and maintain diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces.

MSCI will provide important thought leadership, data, and educational programming as our member companies work to achieve those objectives.

Last summer, MSCI established a DEI Task Force that includes 12 industry representatives, along with me, and MSCI staff. We have been meeting monthly since late last summer. I want to thank the individuals who are serving in this important role:

  • Jess Carr, Ryerson
  • Michael Charles, Novelis
  • Sukh Cheema, Samuel Son & Co.
  • Rose Davis, Cleveland-Cliffs Steel
  • Beverley Downer, Russel Metals
  • George R. Frost, Arconic
  • John Hall, Bralco Metals
  • Michele Klebuc-Simes, SSAB Americas
  • Lauren McCallin, Steel Storage Systems
  • Cassy Powers, Olympic Steel, Inc.
  • Roscoe T. Wallace, Kaiser Aluminum
  • Oak Williams, Infra-Metals

The MSCI Board of Directors has approved a DEI mission statement that guides the Task Force’s work, and that will be our north star as an organization and as a community. It is:

“MSCI is committed to reducing bias and enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our association and throughout the metals industry.”

The Task Force continues to construct a comprehensive education curriculum, consistent with MSCI’s mission to “provide meaningful intelligence about the industry and how it will evolve.” The first initiative is a set of five virtual fireside chats that will occur monthly over the rest of 2021.

Members should already have received an invitation for a conversation on May 19 at 10 a.m. CT with Lt. General Nadja Y. West (ret.) and Nucor President and CEO Leon J. Topalian. Nadja and Leon will share personal and professional lessons in DEI leadership and will explore the power and importance of a diverse team. Register here, and share the invitation with colleagues and other members of our community.

Data drives everything MSCI does. Our DEI survey hit company leaders’ inboxes in March. The deadline to participate is May 14. To ensure member companies participate, please share this link https://secureii.com/msci/surveys/7821/entersurvey.aspx with your human resources team.  This survey is for BOTH our mill and service center members.

This survey will develop a baseline for the industry on diversity data and company DEI initiatives. MSCI’s goal is to publish benchmarks for the industrial metals industry to measure success as we implement our collective DEI initiatives. While we hope the benchmark will allow you to see where your company stands among your peers, please note that individual company responses will not be shared with MSCI or anyone outside of the firm gathering the results. That firm, Industry Insights, Inc., also will provide a confidentiality agreement upon request.

MSCI’s mission is “to build a community of industrial metals companies and related organizations that support the membership.” Our DEI journey is an important part of fulfilling that vision. We hope you will participate, and we ask you to urge your colleagues to join in our journey.

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