Cummins named Best-of-the-Best Corporations for Inclusion by NBIC

Cummins DBU HQ

The National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC) has identified its fifth annual cohort of Best-of-the-Best list of corporations in America committed to diversity and inclusion across all communities. Cummins is among just 50 companies named to the overall list, and was one of just five finalists for NBIC’s Best-of-the-Best program or Initiative of the Year award. 

“The Best-of-the-Best designation honors corporations for their commitment to America’s diverse employees and business owners, which includes LGBT people, people of color, women, and people with disabilities,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and President Justin Nelson. “This designation is highly competitive and is bestowed only to corporations that we see constantly striving to strengthen and celebrate diversity. These corporations being honored are true leaders in ongoing global commitments to create a better future for all diverse communities in business.” 

Cummins has a long legacy of commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and the company recognizes diversity and inclusion as one of its six core values. Cummins understands that businesses owned by diverse suppliers help contribute to the overall economic growth and wellbeing of the communities in which we live and work. We also understand that establishing strategic partnerships with suppliers helps create value for our stakeholders and provides us with a competitive advantage. Collaborating with such businesses to provide goods and services to our company creates a cross-cultural competency that only comes from multiple perspectives.

“We are proud to be a part of a culture valuing diversity and inclusion,” said Helena Hutton, Director of Global Diversity Procurement – Center of Excellence at Cummins.

“This recognition emphasizes Cummins’ dedication and commitment to drive action for an inclusive environment for suppliers and our employees.” 

In addition to Cummins, other Fortune 500 companies receiving recognition include: ADP, Anthem Inc., Bank of America, Comcast NBCUniversal, FedEx, General Mills, IBM Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg Company, Merck, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company and Toyota.

“Demonstrating commitment to diversity is not only the right thing to do, but it’s also the smartest thing to do for businesses large and small,” said NGLCC Co-Founder and CEO Chance Mitchell. “The select group of Fortune 500 companies honored with a Best-of-the-Best designation are innovators and trailblazers for inclusion and are constantly raising the bar forward for themselves, their peers, and their competitors. While we pause to honor some extraordinary leaders at the Best-of-the-Best gala, the great work of ensuring opportunity for all us is a year-round commitment. We look forward to working with all of these great companies for decades to come in shaping a more inclusive economy for all.”

NGLCC formed the National Business Inclusion Consortium in 2011, and its members represent a total of over $9 trillion in annual economic strength along with significant contributions to the marketplace and workplace. Only companies achieving industry-leading results across all diverse segments are eligible to receive the prestigious Best-of-the-Best designation from the NBIC, whose members include the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC); Disability:IN; National Minority Supplier Development Council; National Veteran-Owned Business Association; United States Black Chambers, Inc.; United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; United States Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce; WEConnect International; Women Impacting Public Policy; and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

The presentation of those honored with the Best-of-the-Best designation was made at the fifth annual Best-of-the-Best Awards Gala. 

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.

Saluting the Black family throughout Black History Month

Saluting the Black family throughout Black History Month
"To celebrate Black History Month this year, I encourage you to honor your colleagues, your friends and your neighbors who make up Black families." - Carolyn Butler-Lee, pictured here with her husband, Larry, and their son, Solomon.

The following was authored by Carolyn Butler-Lee, Executive Director, Global Strategy - Diversity & Inclusion, Cummins Inc. 

When I hear the word family, I think about my husband Larry of 32 years and our 20-year-old son Solomon. I think about my mother who cherishes her garden and my father, a strong provider, who passed away 25 years ago. I think about my six siblings who are dispersed throughout the country. I think about my aunts and uncles who defy aging. I think about my gazillion cousins, nieces and nephews who make family reunions memorable.

This is my family.

For Black History Month this year, Cummins Black Network (CBN) – our Employee Resource Group (ERG) – adopted the national theme, "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity."  This theme sparked me to humbly smile about my family – the potent ingredient that makes me who I am and who I can become. Unconditional love and unwavering loyalty define us.

That is my family. 

When I hear the word family, I also think more broadly about the Black American Family - proud, determined, resilient and challenged. The Black Family in America has suffered tremendously since slavery when families were first torn apart in Africa only to be further torn apart in America when repeatedly sold or traded. Today, over 150 years after emancipation, the Black family faces many struggles, lagging other racial and ethnic groups with respect to home ownership, health, education, wealth and employment, and outpacing others with respect to racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

My collective family struggles.

Carolyn Butler-Lee - Cummins Inc. - Black History Month 2021
"When I think about family...I think about my six siblings who are dispersed throughout the country." - Carolyn Butler-Lee

The Black Family persists even still. While it has taken on many new forms and shapes, the Black family has made more than due with what little has been provided, pivoting as needed to land further than projected.

Descendants of slaves have become leaders in every sector. Women-led households have nurtured presidents and vice presidents at the highest level. They also take care of home when Black men are incarcerated at rates significantly higher than all other groups. And this woman, two generations removed from enslavement, one of seven children, raised in a two-parent home in Milwaukee, stands tall today as a leader responsible for championing diversity, equity and inclusion for a global power company. I gain strength from my brave and courageous ancestors who survived unimaginable odds and created a foundation for me to thrive today.

My family has persevered

To celebrate Black History Month this year, I encourage you to honor your colleagues, your friends and your neighbors who make up Black Families. They are both deserving of our recognition for the past they have endured and of our support for their present and future contributions to our company, the communities we operate in and society.

This is what families do. 

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.

Pass legislation that ensures permanent protection for Dreamers

Tom Linebarger - Cummins Inc.

This op-ed also appears in The Indianapolis Star

In the wake of President Biden’s inauguration, leaders of both political parties have called for unity to help us heal and move beyond the actions that have divided people across our country in recent years.

For me, unity means bringing diverse people together to create communities that are more economically and socially vibrant, and inclusive and welcoming to all people. 

As the leader of Cummins Inc., a Fortune 150 global power leader that has been headquartered in Southern Indiana for more than 100 years, I have seen firsthand how diversity drives innovation, creates jobs and raises the quality of life in the cities and towns where our employees live and work.

Our company and our communities have benefited from the addition of hard-working, talented, and energetic people with new skills and experiences. Immigration has been a driver of economic growth, new talent and more vibrant communities.

The U.S. can demonstrate our commitment to unity by embracing the power of diversity and inclusion and supporting policies that provide opportunities for all people to prosper.

From infrastructure like railroads to innovations like the N95 mask, for generations our country’s success has been driven by contributions from immigrants who have used their talent, hard work, skills and experiences to build our country.

Immigration has helped grow our resilient economy since the founding of the U.S., and we as citizens have benefited from it, but the system is broken and urgently needs reform.

I realize that not everyone shares these views – but nearly all of us who lead organizations, both big and small, know the overwhelmingly positive effect that immigration has had on our companies and our communities. 

I strongly urge the Administration and Congress to take one immediate and decisive step to unify our country. Start by passing legislation that ensures permanent protection for “Dreamers” or codifies the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

President Biden has already issued an executive order to “preserve and fortify” DACA, but additional legislative action is required to provide a pathway to citizenship. 

Dreamers, including many who work for Cummins, have built careers, raised families and contributed to U.S companies, universities and communities. According to the National Immigration Forum, over the next 10 years, Dreamers who have DACA will contribute an estimated $433.4 billion to our economy and $12.3 billion to Social Security and Medicare if they can continue to work legally in the U.S. 

Congress will have significant debate as we work toward comprehensive immigration reform. Immigration reform is a major challenge and needs broad congressional support to ensure that the solution is sustained over the long term.

However, as an urgent and interim and unifying measure, let’s focus on something on which we all can agree - we need to do right by Dreamers. They arrived on our soil as children and have done nothing wrong.

They are Americans. They’ve grown up here, attended school and are significant contributors to our economy and society; some have even served our country in the military. Let’s remove the fear and uncertainty now and put them on a path to citizenship.

We need an immigration system that works for U.S. families, grows our economy, and strengthens communities by welcoming immigrants who seek to contribute as critical partners of our society. As we set our sights on comprehensive immigration reform, let’s take action now on DACA. This has broad public and bipartisan support and it can only benefit us all. We also believe this is the right thing to do.

We call on the incoming Administration and new Congress to begin the healing by enacting DACA, permanently protecting Dreamers and reshaping our immigration system into one that works for everyone. If we do this, not only will we signal that we are one country, we will also provide a catalyst for job creation and economic growth that can put America on the path for prosperity and unity.  

Tom Linebarger Chairman and CEO

Tom Linebarger

Tom Linebarger became Chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc., the largest independent maker of diesel engines and related products in the world, on January 1, 2012.  Prior to becoming Chairman and CEO, he served as President and COO from 2008 to 2011, Executive Vice President and President, Power Generation Business from 2003 to 2008, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2000 to 2003, and Vice President, Supply Chain Management from 1998 to 2000.

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.— I Still Believe in the “Dream”

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Washington, D.C.

As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I want to pause to reflect on his life and legacy. Dr. King spent most of his adult life as a minister and a leader in the civil rights movement. He fought for the end of institutionalized racial discrimination, racial segregation and disenfranchisement. He advocated for peaceful, non-violent change. I was just a child the first time I saw Dr. King on television, and I remember seeing images of police with water hoses, dogs and batons violently used on the marchers who were Black and white, men and women, children and adults. 

Sharon Barner, Cummins Inc.
Sharon Barner, Vice President and General Counsel, Cummins Inc. 

These images are indelibly etched in my mind and will always be a part of me.  So, when people are called “unpatriotic” for simply taking a knee in silent protest or saying “Black Lives Matter”— I can’t help but be reminded of the force and anger that Dr. King faced for his peaceful protests. But despite being beaten and jailed, Dr. King did not despair, he did not surrender, instead, he marched, he prayed, he preached and he spoke—because he knew his actions and his words mattered. Through his commitment, he was able to mobilize thousands and inspire millions.  

Leading up to this year’s celebration, we are confronted with the prominent and visible events of the last year—a national racial reckoning caused by the police killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many more; the failure of government to stem COVID-19, which disproportionately impacts crises in Black and brown communities; systemic racial health care disparities; the disparate impact of job loss on Blacks and the working class; and finally, a violent mob descending on the Capitol, some carrying Confederate flags and building gallows with nooses. 

Dr. King often spoke of the long arc of history and how it bends toward justice. He recognized the “fierce urgency” of acting now, and now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.  But like his protégé, John Lewis, he knew the struggle for justice “is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime.” And for his commitment to justice and racial equality for all, Dr. King paid the ultimate sacrifice of giving his own life.

If Dr. King were alive today, I believe he would tell us that we cannot give up, we cannot be deterred, and we must press forward. He would tell us that the struggle for justice and equality is everyone’s struggle and we must all work together – Black, brown and white, LBGTQ+, man and woman, child and adult. He would remind us that his powerful “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington in 1963, was in part possible because it was supported by Cummins CEO J. Irwin Miller whose support of civil rights demonstrates the importance of allies in influencing change. He would be heartened that our CEO Tom Linebarger encourages us to leverage our influence and power to speak up and speak out when we see injustice and he would certainly be proud of Cummins’ work with the Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE) initiative.

He would remind us that we have made progress—in the face of the most historic election in American history; an election in which more Americans voted than ever before, freely and fairly in the midst of a pandemic; the citizens of Georgia sent their first Black senator, the Senior Pastor from the same church as Dr. King, to the U.S. Senate.

So, I will tell you that no matter the challenges and the struggles for equality, I still believe in the power of hope and the value of holding on tightly to Dr. King’s “Dream.”

Sharorn Barner - Cummins Inc.

Sharon Barner

Sharon Barner is Vice President and General Counsel for Cummins Inc., where she is responsible for worldwide legal matters and oversees a team of lawyers, paralegals and other professionals. With more than 30 years of experience in the legal profession,

Sharon primarily specializes in intellectual property law. Prior to joining Cummins, she served as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). During the two years she spent in that role, Sharon led 15 foreign missions to meet with government representatives, as well as leaders in academia and industry to raise awareness about the impact of intellectual property on business and innovation.

At Cummins, the gift of recognition is always in season

2020 Cummins Chairman Impact Awards

In a year of uncertainty, one thing that remains unchanged is Cummins' emphasis on recognizing our global employees. 

Throughout 2020, the phrase “new normal” has often been used to describe the many changes this year has brought to both personal and professional life. At Cummins, however, one thing that will remain unchanged is the emphasis on recognizing the excellent work done by global employees to help build the world’s best company. While recognition activities are present within all teams, functions, business segments and regions across the globe, the Impact Awards is the company’s most global and inclusive stage.

"The innovative solutions our employees devise to address some of the most pressing challenges our company and communities face is one key element of how we achieve our mission of powering a more prosperous world," said Tony Satterthwaite, President and Chief Operating Officer and Executive Sponsor of the Cummins Impact Awards. 

Added Satterthwaite, "Now, more than ever, given the significance of those challenges, we want to continue and celebrate such work." 

The Impact Awards is Cummins’ largest recognition program. It celebrates both Six Sigma and non-Six Sigma projects that solve some of the company’s toughest challenges, as well as add value to employees, customers, communities and the environment. The awards recognize employees from all over the world, and they exist on three different levels: The Business Impact Awards, the Global Impact Awards and the Chairman’s Impact Awards. 

A total of 303 projects were recognized across the three levels this year. Fifteen of those were recognized at the Chairman’s level, the highest level, including a project that brought environmental awareness education to about 5.5 million school children in India. Another project improved water quality and reduced sewage pollution to livestock farms around the Han River in China. In the United Kingdom, one project worked to increase female representation in a technical environment. This list goes on, and the impact is vast.

As 2020 wraps up, global employees have begun giving their colleagues, and themselves, the gift of recognition by nominating eligible projects for an Impact Award in the upcoming awards cycle. The world might be experiencing a new normal, but recognition will always be in season at Cummins.

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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