WM has earned recognition on Forbes’ list of Best Employers for Diversity 2022, joining other U.S. companies identified by employees across the nation as being the most dedicated to inclusion, equity and diversity (IE&D).
The designation underscores WM’s People First culture and its ongoing commitment to cultivating and sustaining an all-encompassing workplace that reflects the diverse customers and communities it serves, while welcoming its nearly 50,000 team members to be their best and authentic selves.
As highlighted in the IE&D section of the 2021 WM Sustainability Report, nearly half of WM’s workforce is ethnically diverse, with one-third of its senior leadership team and 22 percent of its Board identifying as ethnic minorities. One-third of WM’s Board of Directors and nearly one-third of WM’s senior leadership team are women.
IE&D are core values woven into WM’s familial culture and social impact framework, proven by the company’s organizational and hyperlocal approaches to engaging, upskilling, attracting and retaining a diverse team of industry leaders.
From the frontline to the C-suite, we want
our employees to not only have a seat, but
a voice at our table every day.
- Tamla Oates-Forney
“At WM, People First is not a cliché; it’s foundational to everything we do. Our goal is the be an employer of choice, a great place to work, and build a career for all, not just some -- a place where all are welcomed at our table,” said Tamla Oates-Forney, chief people officer, WM. “From the frontline to the C-suite, we want our employees to not only have a seat, but a voice at our table every day.”
WM’s IE&D leadership council – guided by senior leadership with representation from frontline and field operation team members – impacts efforts that support the company’s mission of achieving more ethnic and racial diversity in leadership positions and women representation at every level of the workforce. The council has developed a framework for the continued rollout of employee- and market-led impact and resource groups at WM, including the Women’s Empowerment Network as well as Tapestry which encourages multicultural dialogue for solving IE&D workplace issues.
In addition to its impact groups, WM’s employee engagement series, Courageous Conversations, helps foster more discussion and shape opportunities in support of groups facing disparities, including women, people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, overlooked and underserved populations, people with disabilities and veterans.
WM has also taken into account the diversity employment gaps that exist in markets where WM operates. The company started leveraging market-level and demographic data to identify the gender and racial makeup of certain occupational groups near a WM site or in a particular region, helping inform diversity recruitment efforts at a local and facility scale.
WM continuously strives to be a world-class
sustainability leader, and we understand that an
underrepresented workforce is not sustainable.
- Tiana Carter
“WM continuously strives to be a world-class sustainability leader, and we understand that an underrepresented workforce is not sustainable,” said Tiana Carter, senior director of culture and social impact, WM. “By diversifying our teams and providing the resources for our team members to equally thrive, we’re able to retain and develop untapped talent to deliver more innovative and sustainable solutions.”
In 2021, in collaboration with Guild Education, WM announced its Your Tomorrow program, which offers access to 170 high schools, undergraduate, graduate, technology and business programs at no cost to its 36,000 benefits-eligible team members. In 2021, the program was extended to include team members’ dependents, reaching approximately 34,000 additional individuals. The program helps build a diverse pool of talent and close the educational equity gap by breaking financial barriers for team members at all levels (and their families) to reach their full potentials.
Forbes partnered with world-leading industry ranking provider Statista to survey over 60,000 U.S. employees from companies with at least 1,000 employees to identify the Best Employers for Diversity. Employees were asked to give their opinions regarding age, gender, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQIA+ and general diversity in their current workplace. Diversity among top executives/executive boards and diversity engagement indicators were also part of the evaluation.
Click here to view the full list of Forbes Best Employers for Diversity 2022.
Learn more about WM’s sustainability and IE&D efforts in the 2021 WM Sustainability Report.