Moderating the panel discussion was Houston Young, the inclusion, diversity and community outreach leader for Owens Corning. Young has been with Owens Corning for two and a half years, and his role as community outreach leader is a new one. Young says the creation of this new role speaks to the level of investment Owens Corning is making in the diversity and inclusion space.
“We’re looking to really build a culture of appreciation. We have a foundational belief at OC that, when you start with appreciation and you have a high degree of appreciation in everything you do, [that] leads to high inclusion,” Young says. “For our employee, we believe that leads to high engagement. And having high-engaged employees, they’re performing at their best, that leads to high-performing teams which lends to great outcomes.”
Young then introduced the panelists, all members of Owens Corning affinity groups themselves. Panelists included Clyde Calhoun, product leader; Scott Munch, logistics manager; and Jana Youtzy, sourcing leader.
“Inclusion is that key part of inclusion and diversity because it’s one thing to have diversity, meaning you’ve got kind of the numbers there, but it’s another thing to actually be heard,” says Calhoun. “For me, that’s why the inclusion piece is so important, is that you’re not only there but you’re also being heard and involved in the conversation, and that makes a world of difference.”
Youtzy says she originally joined the Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN) affinity group as a way to network, but as she got more involved, she realized how much value the affinity groups bring both her, personally, as well as Owens Corning as a whole.
“I took an opportunity to join the board to help plan the events and that’s just morphed into being part of the WIN leadership team,” Youtzy says. “It very much is a forum for connecting and networking and reaching people that you may not otherwise reach in your day to day, but where we’re going now is really driving kind of, like, awareness, and we talk a lot about allyship. So we’ve even had conversations recently on [having] male members part of our women’s inclusion network because we wanted them to be advocates as well and hear what some of the challenges are.”
The panelists highlighted that Owens Corning’s affinity groups aren’t run by the leadership at Owens Corning; they’re run by the members of each affinity group. As Youtzsy says, the groups aren’t just meant for networking, they’re built to cultivate positive changes at the organization as a whole, helping to create a more inclusive environment for all employees.
To hear more about what affinity groups are doing for Owens Corning, to learn how you can start your own affinity groups within your company and to learn how your business can benefit from the utilization of affinity groups, please watch the full recording of Talent Resource Week session Employee Resource Group Best Practices below: