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.

1.    IMPACTFUL PARTNERSHIPS

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.

2.    A GLOBAL APPROACH

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.

3.    INCREASING VOLUNTEERISM

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.

4.    EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE

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]

 

International Day of the Girl: Keeping our Focus on Women and Girls

Girls wearing masks

On October 11, the world celebrates International Day of the Girl, a time to recognize the challenges girls face around the world and raise our hands to help create transformational change. Women and girls are half the talent and potential in our communities; when girls rise up and succeed, so do entire communities. While we celebrate the incredible ongoing achievements of so many women and girls, this year we must also recognize how events such as the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affect women and girls. We must maintain focus so that we don’t lose valuable ground. 

When COVID-19 struck, our Cummins Powers Women partners shifted quickly to address new and urgent problems, including the troubling increase in domestic violence, new educational and childcare needs from children suddenly at home and access to safety equipment. Young women trained through our grant with Camfed in Ghana and Zambia are sharing COVID-19 prevention information with their communities. Rise Up deftly transitioned a globally-recognized and scalable model of in-person training to its first virtual training for women advocates in a Delhi leadership accelerator. Girls Inc., our U.S. partner, creatively engaged students in online platforms to accelerate the advancement of  “strong, smart and bold” girls. And, Girls Academy in Australia closely connected with girls at home to ensure each continued to reach for their personal educational attainment goals. These are but a few examples of the ingenuity of our Cummins Powers Women partners around the world in the face of crisis. 

Cummins employees have been right there with them. More than 1,500 employees have signed up to be Cummins Powers Women ambassadors, formalizing their personal commitment to make change in support of gender equality. Our ambassadors represent 40 different countries around the world and volunteered more than 1,900 hours in 2019 with our eight global nonprofit partners. 

Many of our Cummins Powers Women Ambassadors have organized internal events around International Day of the Girl. Open to all employees and their families, these events include opportunities to write digital children’s books for youth with learning challenges that focus on educational attainment and economic empowerment. Several regions are also holding virtual panel discussions with Cummins leaders, during which children will have a chance to ask questions about their career paths and learn more about roles at Cummins.   

This International Day of the Girl, work with Cummins, our Cummins Powers Women partners, on your own or with others around you to reaffirm your commitment to gender equity. When women prosper, the whole world prospers.  


Interested in learning more about how your company or organization can get involved with gender equality efforts?

Contact Us

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.

 

Cummins focuses on remote learning challenges in our communities

Cummins Corporate Responsibility - Remote Learning Opportunities

The following was authored by Avril Schutte, Global Programs and Engagement Director, Cummins Inc. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant obstacles and changes to global education. UNESCO estimates that school closures have affected almost 70% of the world’s student population, a staggering 1.2 billion learners. The challenges that many people face in schooling children at home are amplified in disadvantaged communities where infrastructure and support for remote learning are lacking. Cummins employees are hard at work on reducing these hurdles for the most vulnerable in our communities.

When the pandemic first struck, schools closed around the world to keep staff and students safe. Teachers and governments had to adapt quickly to teaching methods for which many had not been trained. The challenges to remote learning began immediately: some students have no computers at home, while others have computers but no Internet access. As schools shifted to delivering content through television, radio or print materials, those, too, did not reach every student. The New York Times reports that, "By September, most students will have fallen behind where they would have been if they had stayed in classrooms, with some losing the equivalent of a full school years’ worth of academic gains."

In addition, students miss out on the nutrition programs offered in school and the personal connection to teachers and peers. Students will need emotional support to cope with months of isolation, often while families experienced health care and economic hardships.

The data suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic will have an enormous effect on student learning across the world, but students in low-income countries and in sub-Saharan Africa will be the most negatively affected. In these countries, governments have been less able to provide remote learning opportunities and guidance to teachers to address student learning needs during the crisis, according to the Brookings Institute.

Cummins recognizes the serious problems remote learning is causing in our communities. Ignacio Garcia, Vice President Latin America ABO, shared that in his region, “The closure of schools has impacted children’s lives in a very profound way. Many of the students will stay behind because of a lack of hardware and connectivity. Sadly, many of the skills required in the future are related to interaction between individuals that the current environment is not giving the opportunity to develop and learn."

Our employees are helping to bolster these connections and bridge the digital divide. Initially, our employees focused on immediate basic needs around the world, such as helping to address the hunger crisis. Now, they are working with community partners to deliver emergency grants in support of urgent learning needs. For example:

  • In Botswana, a Cummins grant is providing food and learning resources to 280 families in need.
  • In the United States, a Cummins grant is distributing learning packets, books and supplies to school age students.
  • In the United Kingdom, a Cummins grant supports 150 children with remote learning materials.

Additionally, Cummins has partnered with multiple businesses in Indianapolis, Indiana (U.S.A.), to launch an E-Learning Fund to support public student access to remote learning.

Srikanth Padmanabhan, Vice President and President – Engine Business, expressed his concern that "schools are now grappling with multiple struggles due to the COVID pandemic, including Internet connectivity, food distribution, mental health services, adaptation of new technologies, sanitization guidelines and more. These times call for all of us to work together to support our schools and each other. When schools reopen, I am confident that we, as Cummins employees, will adapt our volunteering to match these evolving and truly unprecedented needs."

To supplement the grants designed to improve access to educational materials, our employees are also volunteering their time to improve the personal connections and support for students that are often lacking during remote learning. These critical factors play a large role in increasing the number of students who return to school. I am inspired to see the many ways our employees are engaging with educators to keep learning interesting, including in:

  • Australia, where Cummins and Komatsu employees gathered on Zoom to welcome the Cummins TEC: Technical Education for Communities students back to the classroom. Employees have increased their engagement with two virtual platforms that allow them to provide tutoring to students.
  • Mexico, where Diego Medina, Cummins Care Coordinator, and the principal of two primary schools in La Pila (a disadvantaged community near San Luis Potosi), launched a five-week challenge over social media to engage students.
  • United States, where Karen Ramsey-Idem, Global Technical Operations Leader, and a team of Cummins volunteers have transitioned the Girls Inc. summer STEM program from in person to virtual.


We know that each of Cummins’ global communities will return to school with a unique set of challenges. Some may limit in-person attendance and continue to rely on remote learning for a longer time. Some will return with new guidance for sharing school supplies safely and how to space desks according to social distancing. However the return to school happens, Cummins and our employees remain committed to engaging with schools in our communities to ensure students learn and thrive, whether that’s from home or from a new environment they’ve yet to experience.

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.

Cummins partners with Immigrant Welcome Center for COVID-19 response

Immigrant Welcome Center
IWC volunteers stand outside its office in Indianapolis, Indiana

In line with the company’s continued commitment to building more prosperous communities, the Cummins Foundation recently issued a grant to the Immigrant Welcome Center (IWC) to provide support services to Indianapolis-based immigrant populations in the wake of COVID-19. 

IWC empowers immigrants in the Indianapolis, Indiana, area by connecting them to people, places and resources that enable them to build successful lives in the community. This mission is supported by volunteers, referred to as natural helpers. Natural helpers are immigrants themselves who provide first-hand guidance to new immigrants and refugees on how best to transition into life in Indianapolis and the U.S. generally. IWC has trained almost 200 natural helpers over the past 13 years. The organization currently has 60 active volunteers representing 28 countries and 29 languages. 

Cummins has had a relationship with IWC for several years. Cummins leaders have sat on the organization’s board; employees have volunteered at the organization’s events and Cummins has hosted IWC to present Immigration 101 lunch and learn sessions to employees. In 2018, IWC received support from the Cummins Foundation for its Immigrant Integration Plan, which created task forces to make Indianapolis a more welcoming community for immigrants. 

With the help of the Cummins Foundation, IWC will be able to enlist seven volunteers from the pool of natural helpers to conduct virtual wellness checks that connect immigrant populations to necessary resources and services considering the current pandemic. These natural helper specialists will communicate with the target populations in their native languages to: better explain safety protocols; offer support with schooling for children if needed; and specify how they can access masks, food banks and other such services at this time. They will also play a vital role in connecting non-English speakers with rental assistance and other programs that play an important role in the wellbeing of their families. IWC hopes that these wellness checks will reveal the gaps facing the target populations during the pandemic and inform how the organization can serve them better. 

"COVID-19 has had a big impact on public health and the economy here in Indiana. Effectively communicating helpful information to the immigrant community, specifically Hispanics, is a gap," said one of the enlisted natural helper specialists. "This program serves to bridge that gap and connect them with needed resources," the specialist added. 

Learn more about IWC and its work to enrich the Indianapolis community.
 

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.

Employees in the UAE put their writing skills to work to help children with special needs

Cummins employee Anirudh Singhania led the writing project, which is helping children with neurological conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, and many others.
Cummins employee Anirudh Singhania led the writing project, which is helping children with neurological conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, and many others.

When the Cummins Community Involvement Team (CIT) in the United Arab Emirates was looking for a project it could do with employees working remotely during the COVID-19 crisis, Anirudh Singhania immediately had an idea – writing books.

Given that Cummins is a global power leader known for its technical expertise, books might not be the first thing that would come to mind for an employee project. But these are not ordinary books. These books are tailor made to be accessed by children with special needs.

Singhania, a Director of Power Gen Sales for the region, says the books can be vital to a special-needs child. 

“For example, children with hearing or processing difficulties rely solely on books to understand what is happening around their world,” he said. “Commercial books can be too difficult to read, with small fonts, confusing pictures, and long sentence structures.”

“Our books help expose new topics, current affairs and academic concepts to children with all sorts of special needs,” he added. “It saves parents precious time in having to make books daily, and helps them explain difficult topics like the pandemic we are living through today to reduce anxiety and stress.”

An example of the CIT's books for children with disabilities
One of the stories in the Cummins' collection, this book features Leyla, a cat with different colored eyes, who teaches an important lesson on diversity.

NO ORDINARY BOOKS

The books are essentially PowerPoint slides with pictures and limited words per slide. The templates were developed by Cummins employees working in collaboration with the Doman International Group.

The mission of Pennsylvania-based non-profit in the U.S. is to give parents the “knowledge and tools to help their children with special needs grow and develop.”

The group addresses most neurological conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, and many others which manifest either in cognitive or physical disabilities.

Singhania said it is easy to get employees to tap into their inner writer once they understand the concept and the need. The 16 books recently made by CIT volunteers in the UAE had titles ranging from “What is a Virus,” “Importance of Reuse and Recycle,” “How to Make Compost,” and “Why are Mom and Dad Upset These Days.” 

A GLOBAL IMPACT

These books are being shared through online portals with thousands of families across the world who cannot use commercial books. This is not the first time the UAE CIT has produced books for the Doman International Group, but it is the first time the team took a CIT activity online. 

With the addition of the latest 16 books, the Cummins library has now reached 106 different titles in five languages, written by employees from every business segment. The books have been read by hundreds of children across the world. 

“Providing equality of opportunity for people with disabilities is one of Cummins key areas for Corporate Responsibility,” Singhania said. “Even in these trying times we firmly believe we can make a difference in the life of a child with special needs.”

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]

 

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