4 ways Cummins Powers Women is making a difference in the world

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger (second from left) visits with Cummins Powers Women participants in India.
Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger (second from left) leads a cheer with Cummins Powers Women participants in India.

As the world marks International Day of the Girl today (Oct. 11, 2019), here’s a quick update on the Cummins Powers Women program and how it’s contributing to the advancement of women and girls around the world.

The initiative has already touched thousands of lives since it was launched by the company on March 8, 2018, International Women’s Day.


As of July 2019, the Cummins Powers Women  program had served more than 54,000 people through a network of expert nonprofit organizations, including Girls Inc., Rosa Fund, Save the Children, the China Women’s Development Foundation, Rise Up, Camfed (the Campaign for Female Education), CARE Australia and Girls Academy. Cummins is investing in these groups and engaging with them directly, careful not to get in the way of what they do best.


Cummins has a long history of community engagement, dating back to the company’s founding in 1919. Cummins Powers Women, however, is the company’s most ambitious community initiative ever, representing an $11 million investment in proven programs designed to create large-scale impact in the lives of women and girls globally. The initiative focuses on areas where significant barriers exist to the advancement of girls and women in communities where the company has a presence. As of July 2019, the program had issued 60 advocacy grants in six regions of the world.


The program has struck a chord with many employees, exceeding the company’s most optimistic hopes when it launched Cummins Powers Women 18 months ago. The global partners in the program have seen more than 120% increase in volunteerism from Cummins employees since Cummins Powers Women was unveiled in 2018.


In 2019, the company established the Cummins Powers Women ambassador program to supplement the successful leadership engagement already underway. Interested employees were invited to be ambassadors to learn about the complex array of challenges facing women and girls globally and how they could promote gender equality by volunteering in their communities.

More than 1,000 employees across 32 countries, including men and women, signed up for the ambassador program between May and July 2019. The ambassadors learn about issues such as the potential societal benefits to maternal employment and the gender pay gap, as well as how to discuss these matters effectively with friends and family.

International Day of the Girl  - Cummins - Coloring Contest Entry
"My mom inspires me because she is kind and thoughtful and a good writer. And she's brave when she gives speeches." - Elena, 

As part of its International Day of the Girl activities, the company invited the children of Cummins’ more than 60,000 employees to draw pictures of the women who inspire them as a way for families to talk about gender equality. Children as young as four years old from around the world submitted drawings like the one above and the one below. 

International Day of the Girl - Cummins Coloring Contest
"My Grandma inspires me because of all the things she does for me." - Leo

What’s next for Cummins Powers Women? One thing is for sure, the program is off to a fast start as the company lives its mission to make people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]


100 years of powering a more prosperous world

Cummins Powers Women
The following was authored by Mary T. Chandler, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, Chief Executive Officer of the Cummins Foundation

We have been powering a more prosperous world through our Corporate Responsibility work for decades, and for many, like me, its impact is still the topic of daily conversation.

Just the other morning, my husband Bryan was reading the newspaper and said, “looks like other companies are catching up with Cummins.” My response – “Doubt it.” (I act that way sometimes early in the morning). Interest piqued but still resolute in my initial response, I paused and asked, “What do you mean?” 

Tom Linebarger and Mary T. Chandler - Cummins and Rise Up!

He referenced the media coverage of the Business Roundtable’s (an association of which Cummins is a leading member) statement on the purpose of a corporation.​ The crux of the statement is a shift from focusing solely on shareholders, to a more inclusive commitment to all stakeholders. 

Cummins has been doing this for almost 100 years. Seems like the rest of the world is learning.” He was right, and it was only 6:00 a.m. 

Bryan doesn’t work for Cummins – he has a busy career in a different industry – but he knows about the Cummins stakeholder model. He, and my friends and family, often hear words like community, integrity, reputable, brave and honorable to describe Cummins. 

He knows how proud I am to work for Cummins and stand next to leaders as committed to our communities as they are to our shareholders, customers, employees and suppliers. In up markets and down markets, we work throughout the year in our communities to help those who have less, speak up for those who don’t have a voice, advocate for equality for women and girls and just treatment for immigrants, help build strong educational systems​, and soon, launch a new environmental program to unite our employees around the world. He knows how proud I am to do this with all of our employees around the world. 

Cummins Powers Women - Girls

What a company! I feel so lucky to work at Cummins and I’m certain the work we’re doing now will sustain Cummins for the next 100 years. I encourage all of our global employee, customers and suppliers to help us continue to be industry leaders in all we do and build upon our distinguished legacy of improving our communities.

Mary Chandler - Cummins Inc.

Mary T. Chandler

Mary Titsworth Chandler is Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Executive Officer of the Cummins Foundation. She joined the company in 2011 serving in Corporate Responsibility and became the leader of the function in 2015. A lawyer by training, Chandler practiced law for 25 years prior to working at Cummins.


Monsoon Project Addresses Water Scarcity with Impressive Results

Cummins employees in Maharashtra, India, help build bunds to capture water.
Cummins employees in Maharashtra, India, help build bunds to capture water.

In some areas of India, monsoon season often provides residents with their primary source of water. But employees for Cummins India have launched a project in hopes of changing that. 

Cummins’ headquarters in India is in Maharashtra, a state that’s no stranger to water scarcity. Inadequate and unreliable monsoons have resulted in successive droughts, with devastating consequences for poorer communities, and especially, farmers. 

The unequal distribution of rain has led has contributed to tens of thousands farmer suicides, three million villagers seeking work, and, crop yields reduced by 50%. About 82% of the land is covered by volcanic rock, so only 4% of water is captured, resulting in runoff and soil erosion. 

To address this grave concern, Cummins India employees launched the Monsoon resilient Maharashtra (MRM) project to help local communities be less dependent on monsoons. The results have been impressive.

“India is largely an agrarian economy, where lives and livelihoods of farmers depend on monsoons,” said Rajiv Batra, Chief Financial Officer for Cummins’ operations in India and a sponsor of the project.

“Inadequate, inequitable rains, undulating terrain and rocky geological structure of Maharashtra have resulted in challenges, particularly for the farmers in this state. Cummins through the MRM project is contributing to mitigate the problem and make a difference in the lives of this community.”


Cummins employees conducted research and field studies and met with expert stakeholders to learn about possible solutions. They also spent time with local residents to capture valuable information about water usage and crop patterns. 

This led to the formation of a unique scientific and technical model, in partnership with a strong team of experienced nonprofit partners. The project officially launched in four villages in 2017, focusing on areas that would give the highest impact in the region. 

Cummins employees continued their engagement by planting saplings between continuous contour trenches and sowing grass seed onto bunds to collect surface run-off.

To ensure sustainability, the team encouraged community members to participate through various training sessions. 


The project reached 5,700 people and created 490,000 litres of additional water in its first year. Thirty acres of fallow land were converted into cultivable land and average crop productivity increased by 30 percent.

Due to this success, the project team is working this year to scale the project to 19 new villages. They are creating water budgets and conducting geological mapping studies to help make communities’ water secure. A concerted effort is also underway to educate residents on the approach and provide training to ensure water access for years to come. Already this year, they have reached almost 40,000 people.

Cummins believes that a company is only as healthy as the communities where it operates. When the ability to meet a basic need – access to water – is not met, the health of the community is clearly threatened. 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]


Cummins Supports STEM Initiative in Indianapolis

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) is a critically important part of our society, and as such Cummins continues to grow and support STEM-based activities globally. In the greater Indianapolis area, Cummins sponsors the Minority Engineering Program of Indianapolis (MEPI). MEPI is a volunteer organization with the mission of increasing the exposure of 6th through 12th-grade minority students to STEM majors and professional careers. Cummins employees and employees from other Indianapolis organizations volunteer their time at each session to mentor and coach students on a variety of subjects ranging from core technical and science projects to project management, and even soft skills required to excel in professional careers as they matriculate from high school to collegiate life. These sessions are held one Saturday a month throughout the academic school year in downtown Indianapolis. 

Teejah Momoh talks to students about developing their personal brand.


An important piece of the MEPI curriculum are the mock interviews conducted by volunteers, which occur during the spring session each year. Cummins volunteers from the Talent Acquisition team review student resumes and conduct mock interviews with the program's high school seniors. This year, Brian Cook (Talent Acquisition Team Lead) and Teejay Momoh (Global System Engineering Tool Architect) assisted with the

Brian Cook, Talent Acquisition Lead at Cummins, conducts a mock interview with a student.

interviews and resume reviews. This process helps shed more light on areas of improvement, presentation skills, confidence building, and personal branding for the involved students. Additionally, it allows Cummins team members to identify future potential interns.

Cummins also sponsored students from the program to attend the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) national conference in Detroit, Michigan in March where they received the opportunity to participate in Pre-College Initiative activities and network with industry experts & professionals. 

The Minority Engineering Program of Indianapolis is paving the way for Indianapolis students to see STEM as a career choice and Cummins employees are an integral part of this journey. 

Lauren Cole

Lauren is the Global Employer Brand Digital Communications Specialist for Cummins Inc, where she focuses on social media, employer branding, and digital media. Lauren joined the company in early 2017 and has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Indiana University. She currently resides in Columbus, IN.

Cummins Empowers Girls Inc. to Share Their Story at the Indiana State House 

Girls Inc young women and Cummins leadership at the Indiana Statehouse

The local aspect of the company’s Cummins Powers Women program was recently displayed at the first-ever advocacy day with Girls Inc.

The nonprofit partner, which inspires girls to be “strong, smart and bold,” brought more than 40 Girls Inc. participants and executives to Cummins’ Distribution Young Women in LeadershipBusiness headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana (USA), to learn from Cummins leaders about the company’s advocacy skills. 

The day began with a panel discussion featuring several Cummins leaders, moderated by Elyssa Campodonico-Barr, President & CEO of Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis. To introduce themselves to the girls, the leaders described their roles and work at Cummins, and what they thought they would be doing at this stage of their lives when they were theCummins leader speaking to young women girls’ age, between about 11-13 years old. The answers ranged from: mayor of Chicago, to president of the United States and professional sports player, with the key takeaway of not limiting or excluding your options. Several of the girls in the room nodded their heads at the answers, a clear sign they are focused on serving in roles of significant influence when they enter the workforce. 

The questions of the panelists focused on how to: be an effective mentor and mentee (find someone who really cares about you and will tell you not only what you are doing well, but what you can do better); confront self-doubt Cummins leader speaking to young womenand overcome it (reaffirm that you are meant to be where you are and to ask for help when you need it); lead with authenticity and bring your whole self to work (people will want to join you in what you are doing if they know who you truly are and what you stand for); and, find your own voice so as to advocate for yourself and others (know your subject matter and be sure to listen). The answers from the Cummins leaders set the stage for the Girls Inc. girls to think about how to amplify their own voices, and to share with the legislators why the program has played such an important role in their lives. 

That led the group to the Indiana State House, where the girls met with legislators from their respective counties. ManyGirls Inc young women with Indiana state leadership and Cummins leadership state representatives and senators met with the girls, answered tough questions from them, and heard first-hand just how impactful Girls Inc. is in shaping them to be strong, smart and bold. The group also met with Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson and heard about her career and public service journey. The day concluded with the group meeting, and having their picture taken on the floor of the Indiana House of Representatives with the POWER Caucus, a bipartisan organization of female legislators who are focused on elevating issues pertaining to women. 

It was an educational, engaging and inspirational day for all involved, and both Cummins and various Girls Inc. local groups are in talks to do this event in other areas around the country.


Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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