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Our Commitment to a More Diverse, Equitable, and Sustainable World

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published

02.02.2021

NI's corporate impact strategy aims to diversify the engineering talent pipeline, reduce socioeconomic inequity, and stabilize the climate.
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The world is facing a lot of big challenges, from climate change to inequality. Engineering can play a pivotal role in righting these wrongs but only if it reflects the change we hope to see in society.

 

The next great idea in engineering could lead to a breakthrough that ends a crisis. But great ideas don’t occur in a vacuum. They flourish at inclusive workplaces, amid diverse teammates that are comfortable voicing their unique perspectives. They prosper when everyone has access to quality education and career opportunities. And, at a fundamental level, they grow on a healthy planet that sustains us.

 

At NI, we know we are part of diverse, interconnected ecosystems—our company, our society, and our planet—that must work together to thrive. When one ecosystem suffers, we all feel the consequences. It’s imperative for us—and for all businesses—to be a leading force for good and add value to the world, year after year.

 

That’s why we created Engineering Hope, our 2030 Corporate Impact Strategy and vision of a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive world, where diversity is embraced and used to innovate solutions to humanity’s toughest challenges. It puts forth 15 ambitious goals and commitments, which outline how NI will put our company, people, and products to work to make a positive impact on society and our planet over the next decade.

 

Here’s a preview of our strategy, which is focused on three pillars of impact: changing the faces of engineering, building an equitable and thriving society, and engineering a healthy planet.

 

Changing the Faces of Engineering

As society becomes increasingly technocentric, engineers will continue to shape every facet of our lives. That’s why it’s important for engineers to reflect the diversity of the people they’re creating solutions for. However, the engineering talent pipeline hasn’t diversified much in the past 20 years.

 

Stephanie Amrite, Anjelica Warren, and Murali Parthasarathy

Stephanie Amrite, Anjelica Warren, and Murali Parthasarathy

 

We’re addressing this challenge head-on with bold moonshot goals to increase the gender and racial diversity of NI’s workforce and leadership. Rather than goals based on what’s easily achievable, we set these goals based on what’s needed for our business and our society.

 

Aiming for our highest ideals, our goals are that by 2030, 50 percent of our global workforce and people leaders will be women, 40 percent of our global people leaders will be people of color, and our US workforce will be 13 percent Black and 18 percent Latinx.

We’re also committed to advancing STEM education initiatives serving underrepresented or economically disadvantaged students and will award $3.4 million in grants over the next four years. Look for future Next 100 stories about our first two grantees, Project Lead the Way and Code2College.

 

Building an Equitable and Thriving Society
When people from all backgrounds have equitable access to opportunities to reach their full potential, that increases the wellbeing not only of individuals but also of entire communities. Reducing economic, racial, and gender inequities is good for our business, society, and economy. And by changing the faces of engineering, we’ll increase access to higher-paying technology jobs.

 

 

Our 2030 goals address pay equity and wellbeing at NI—two areas where we’ve already made great strides. And we’re extending our commitment to equity into our supply chain, with a goal that by 2030, 16 percent of our suppliers will be small and diverse businesses. Inclusive procurement also has a ripple effect throughout local economies.

 

Engineering a Healthy Planet
Industries and government must work together to stabilize our climate by mitigating rising temperatures. We also need to protect and repair the ecosystems that nourish us all. Doing so is vital to the long-term survival of our business and humanity.

 

Zero Waste

One big 2030 goal we have in this area is to achieve Zero Waste at NI-owned buildings and reduce waste at leased facilities. Zero Waste is defined as diverting at least 90 percent of a facility’s waste from the landfill through recycling, composting, or reusing materials. We’ll also be shrinking our environmental footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and natural resource usage. In the spirit of iterative engineering, we will use data to develop more specific targets.

 

Additionally, we’re expanding a new program to discount or donate NI products to financially eligible nonprofit and academic organizations, B-corporations, and social enterprises developing technology that promotes environmental sustainability. This builds upon our former Planet NI program, which enabled innovations such as a rapid milk chiller that’s reducing food waste in India.

 

 

We’ll Get There Together

To identify where we can best direct our resources to make the greatest impact on society and the planet, we analyzed our business and surveyed employees, customers, and stakeholders to gauge their priorities. Our strategy and goals reflect the material issues we identified.

 

Building upon our legacy of community involvement, giving, and volunteering will continue to be a big driver of impact, but we’ll also be evolving our operations and looking for more ways our products can drive transformational change.

 

No one organization can solve the world’s greatest challenges alone, but we must all do our part. We look forward to partnering with our employees, suppliers, customers, industry, and nongovernmental organizations to Engineer Hope over the next decade.

 

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