Our approach to diversity, equity and inclusion is both part of a comprehensive strategy and a natural extension of who we are. We believe all have a part to play in creating a truly inclusive environment that affirms and encourages others to bring their whole selves to work.
At Steelcase, we’re proud to be a company that believes in doing the right thing and doing things right. For over a century, we’ve used our core values to guide corporate decision making and shape our culture — and that starts by treating people with dignity and respect.
We believe every individual brings unique value to the office and that unlocking the contributions of our people amplifies their impact and empowers them to reach their full potential.
Our approach to diversity, equity and inclusion is both part of a comprehensive strategy and a natural extension of who we are. We are committed to advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and have defined desired aspirations for 2025.
Build Diverse Teams that Reflect our Communities
Redesign hiring and talent systems for more robust diversity outcomes.
Ensure Equitable Development Opportunities
Advance minority talent and use inclusive leadership hiring and advancement strategies. Steelcase uses an evidence-based selection process to cultivate a more diverse talent pipeline.
Create a Culture of Inclusion
Improve perception of inclusion and design DEI learning experiences for all employees.
Ensure the Utilization of a Diversified Supply Chain
Ensure 10% of addressable spend is made with diverse suppliers in the Americas.
Align Dealers in a Common DEI Purpose
Lead cross functional teams to create tools, resources and actionable plans that inspire and support dealer efforts.
Develop dealer and Steelcase platforms and leverage in-person events for ongoing engagement.
Awarded to Steelcase on the Corporate Equality Index by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, designating Steelcase as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” in the U.S.
Fill over half the positions on our board of directors.
U.S. 2021 interns are Asian, Black, Latino, International or Women in STEM.
Spent with diverse-certified suppliers, consistently exceeding our annual goal.
Our Current Areas of Focus
DEI must be woven into the fabric of our employee experience and culture. We offer learning experiences for leaders and employees that promote inclusive behavior, social learning and accountability. Our new global DEI Champions program empowers employees to drive DEI change within their local teams.
We have leveraged new tools to redesign our hiring and talent systems for more robust diversity outcomes. By combining diversity outreach efforts, increasing our community partnerships and designing key pre-career experiences for diverse high school students, we’re creating new, more inclusive pathways to employment at Steelcase.
Since 1991, the Steelcase Supplier Diversity Program has focused on building and developing minority-, women- and veteran-owned U.S. businesses by integrating them into our procurement processes. Our supplier diversity vision is to grow, develop and retain diverse businesses by creating strong supplier relationships with integrity and trust.
Diverse suppliers help Steelcase better respond to market demands and align more closely with the diversity goals of our customers. We emphasize reporting (infrastructure and spend), communication, networking, development and mentoring.
At Steelcase, we envision a world where thriving communities have equitable access to opportunities through quality education and healthy environments. This includes investing in community partners that provide quality education to those who otherwise wouldn’t have access, building the skills needed to thrive and potentially work at Steelcase in the future. We aim to design with, not for, the communities where we live and work though our Think, Make, Share creative process that allows us to amplify and integrate new ideas into existing systems.
We believe we can use our business as a force for good to make a lasting difference and shape a shared future for all. By shifting our focus to be more human-centered, using our resources and partnering with other impact-driven organizations, we’re creating new opportunities that help more people reach their full potential.
Our community of dealers are inspired, committed and confident in their DEI path to lasting change. To aid them in their DEI journey, we’ve developed a comprehensive roadmap and toolbox of information dealers can apply and scale in the way that best advances their DEI efforts. This includes abundant resources on topics such as recruiting, professional development and culture.
We empower our dealers by promoting community engagement, aligning dealer partners in a common DEI purpose and sharing and celebrating DEI and social innovation opportunities.
Business Inclusion Groups
CHANGEMAKERS: Steelcase Changemakers is our network of employee-led social impact groups around the globe.
DEI Champions: We leverage a network of employees globally to advance our culture of inclusion for all.
GAMING COMMUNITY: celebrates play in all forms (console, pc and board games) and offers opportunities to bond with each other over gaming and social events.
GEN (Gender Equity Network): welcomes women into their careers at Steelcase and supports their professional development.
LA MESA: systematically connects Hispanic & Non-Hispanic individuals at Steelcase who are dedicated to learning and improve Career growth strategies for others and becoming the “family/familia of choice among our Community.
PRIDE: celebrates and supports our LGBTQ diversity and creates awareness through storytelling, conversations and activities.
STEELCASE SALUTES: creates an inclusive ecosystem for veterans at Steelcase and the communities where we live and work.
WOMEN OF STEEL: empowers women in our Indian manufacturing site, contributes to create a safe, equitable work environment, opportunities for growth and to give back to the local communities.
WORKING PARENTS: provides learning opportunities around relevant topics and giving working parents a meaningful place to connect.
YOUNG PROFESSIONALS: provides a fun environment with events geared toward relationship building, personal growth and professional development.
Steelcase is committed to driving equal access to opportunities by selecting the right candidates for our open positions. To achieve this, we’ve analyzed and grouped jobs by their most important competencies and have determined which assessment tools will best measure and predict a candidate’s ability to perform.
By leveraging tools and data rather than relying on “instinct,” we’re minimizing barriers and increasing evidence-based hiring across the enterprise.
Key to the learning experiences Steelcase provides is our civility training. Research shows diverse teams outperform homogenous teams once they develop highly-effective collaboration skills — yet this same diversity also exposes different norms and unconscious biases that, left unchecked, could pose hurdles for growth.
By launching a civility training program in Steelcase locations around the world, we’re helping people explore differing norms around what is appropriate or productive so that together, we can do more to empower our people, enable innovation and reduce accidental incivility.
For over a century, Steelcase has aspired to fully live our core values, which include treating people with dignity and respect and acting with integrity. Our mission is to unlock human promise, which includes an accountability to improving diversity, equity and inclusion within our company and in the communities in which we do business.
Amplifying Diverse Voices
Ryah, The Diatribe
Meet The Diatribe – uniting youth and raising awareness through art. Ryah, Diatribe artist and student, shares her experience performing at the annual Grand Showcase:
“Being on stage is a calming thing for me. It’s like all eyes on me. When I start performing I’m more than likely going to demand your attention. The Grand Showcase was an amazing experience for me along with all the other places I’ve performed. The Grand Showcase gave me way more exposure to different artists and I love it! The Diatribe has helped me in so many ways. Starting with me learning and accepting that my voice matters. Also my voice has so much value in the world today. They have inspired me to be a better person not only for myself but for my community. They also showed me the true reason why my voice is so important. So that I can speak and stand up for others who can’t or are afraid to speak up. If it wasn’t for them i possibly wouldn’t be the person i am today. My future plan is to become a Poet Laureate but also maintain a doctoral degree in neuropsychology.”
Marcel “Fable” Price, shares: “As the Executive Director of The Diatribe, I will say that we aren’t your average non profit organization. We are real human beings, human beings with flaws, who aren’t “well off” by any means, and who want to live using our talents to make as much of a positive impact in the lives of those around us as possible. All of our staff, and teaching artists are from different marginalized communities, but our organization isn’t rooted in representation alone. It is about curating culture, harnessing our creative energy to invest in our city, and being able to compensate some of the most diverse creatives not only in our city but in the world. It is about creating out own platforms, and showing hungry creatives that look like us that we can create without limits. Hopefully, one day it will be about helping to make fellowships possible, sending artists on tours, and having a physical space dynamic young creatives see as a sanctuary – especially young creatives of color.”
Support The Diatribe’s mission by making a donation here .
Nia, West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology
Black Lives Matter – as do black voices. Nia, an alum of West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, shares her reflection:
“I commonly hear the sentiment that, although people of color are angry about the injustices that they’ve experienced for the entirety of this country’s history, that rioting and destruction is not a justifiable response. Far too often though, people look at the ‘what’ and not the ‘why’ in people’s motives, and I think the riots in Grand Rapids as a result of George Floyd’s murder were treated no differently. In my eyes, the boarded-up windows downtown were a symbol of exasperation and frustration with the systemic racism that black people experience daily; it was a breaking point that demanded everyone to take it seriously. I created this piece to be intentionally uncomfortable and very much not beautiful.
The boards on which I painted were there because of centuries of struggle, not so that I could cover them up with flowers. The lyrics I painted were written before both of my parents were born, and it’s disgusting how much truth they still hold. I have learned how to express my truths through art from years of being taught how to speak my mind creatively, most notably through attending WMCAT classes for four years where I practiced making propaganda posters and painting murals throughout my high school career. Visual art is the best way that I know how to communicate, and I am extremely grateful that I had the opportunity to scream as loud as I possibly could with this piece because I believe that art will always be a part of the revolution.” — Nia
Support WMCAT’s mission by making a donation here .
Dr. David Pilgrim, Ferris State University
Dr. David Pilgrim, VP for Diversity and Inclusion at Ferris State University and founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum, located on Ferris State University’s campus in Big Rapids, Michigan. Dr. Pilgrim states:
“Compassion is not pity, not even empathetic pity. There is arrogance and haughty pride in pitying others. Compassion is when we are confronted with another’s suffering and we suffer with them. Their pain is ours. We are motivated to relieve their suffering. When we feel true compassion, we help those who suffer, not as a cathartic release, but because it breaks our heart that they are hurting. I have not always known or believed these things, but I am thankful that I do now.”
Learn about the Jim Crow Museum and how you can support its mission here: https://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/
Mariela Benavides Espronceda, TECHO
Mariela Benavides Espronceda reflects on an insight she has gained from her critical work transforming slums into thriving communities across Latin America:
“My time working in human settlements has taught me that in Latin America, racism disguises itself as classism, as if this were somehow better, but the fact that poverty in our countries is also highlighted by skin color is forgotten. That is why I have come to understand that social justice must be fundamentally linked to eliminating racism from our systems, both political and social, once we achieve this battle we will understand that the root was there.”
“El tiempo que llevo trabajando con asentamientos urbanos me ha enseñado que en Latinoamérica el racismo se disfraza de clasismo, como si por alguna razón esto fuera mejor; olvidamos el hecho de que la pobreza en nuestros países se distingue también por el color de piel. Este es el motivo por el cual entendí que la justicia social debe estar estrechamente relacionada con la erradicación del racismo en nuestros sistemas, tanto políticos como sociales, y solo cuando ganemos esta batalla entenderemos que la raíz se encontraba ahí.”
To support TECHO’s mission, visit: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/building-for-mexico/
Valeria Gonzalez, HATCH
Our next Amplifying Diverse Voices feature is Valeria Gonzalez, a NextGen student leader for HATCH. Valeria helped pass the first Student Bill of Rights for the Los Angeles Unified school district – the second largest in the U.S. Here’s how she described her experience:
“Within the compassionate and driven community there, the Student Bill of Rights was born during our lab sprint at the 2019 HATCH Montana Summit. Following the summit, my mentor and I carried on the ambitions, first partnering with a national youth organization, the Junior State of America, to gain student insights and draft the Student Bill of Rights using student voice. We developed more partnerships with the Los Angeles Unified School District school board members and the Superintendent Student Advisory Council that ultimately led to the school board’s unanimous passing of this student-authored bill for the second largest school district in the country on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.
The passing of the Student Bill of Rights was an especially empowering moment for all of the students that had worked on it, as they had helped develop legislation that would protect countless of their peers and be the foundation for further change.
With HATCH, I feel my humanity is embraced in all forms. Leaving the Montana summit as a more realized person and continuing as a NextGen leader now facilitating a remote HATCH Impact Lab design sprint for the future of education, I feel all the more capable to not only expand our Student Bill of Rights nationwide but all efforts to support a better future for this world.”
Learn more and support HATCH’s mission at https://hatchexperience.org/partners/support-contribute/
Doing the Right Thing
Steelcase earned a perfect score of 100 points on the Corporate Equality Index, issued by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, designating Steelcase as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” in the U.S. The company has received this top score in seven of the past eight years.
Leading with Purpose
We are human-centered company committed to fostering diversity and inclusion, dignity and respect. Former Steelcase CEO, Jim Keane, was a signatory of the Business Round table’s Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, which highlights, "... investing in our employees. This starts with compensating them fairly and providing important benefits. It also includes supporting them through training and education that help develop new skills for a rapidly changing world.”