In late 2018, we recognized that we faced a risk of siloing D&I efforts within Human Resources functions, while seeing limited progress on initiatives that required a top-down approach or significant senior leadership buy-in. We recognized the opportunity to accelerate our D&I objectives by engaging QIAGEN management and executive leadership to play a more substantial role in driving D&I change at QIAGEN.
Encouraged by the success of the QIAGEN Diversity & Inclusion Ambassadors program, we created the QIAGEN Executive Council on Equal Opportunity (ECEO) to drive overarching initiatives across the company. The ECEO is charged with identifying and prioritizing strategic initiatives to focus corporate efforts on specific facets of D&I; promoting education and awareness on matters of diversity and inclusion; promoting and participating in inclusive and diverse employee recruiting, retention, and development practices; and advising and influencing executive management on achieving business goals through diversity and inclusion. The ECEO is staffed with leaders from major functional area of QIAGEN, each senior enough to champion and drive D&I initiatives down through their respective functions.
The ECEO is now the primary forum by which QIAGEN aligns EC areas and leadership teams around Diversity & Inclusion initiatives. Team members champion these initiatives to broader leadership teams within their respective functional areas, in partnership with EC leaders and HR representatives. The ECEO developed our target-setting philosophy and KPI tracking for QIAGEN's Women in Leadership initiative; facilitated a fast exchange of learnings, ideas, and D&I best practices across business areas; and increased participation in external industry initiatives. The ECEO now supports QIAGENers in expanding our Diversity & Inclusion initiative globally along the dimensions of communication & reporting, training, and implementation of practices in the staffing process of leadership positions and clear lines of accountability for QIAGEN leadership across all represented functions.