Polaris has always been dedicated to being a good steward and acting as an ethical and inclusive community member, and wanted to create a more formal framework to align and amplify these efforts.
In 2019 Polaris established Geared for Good, a formalized framework that focuses our efforts toward elevating industries, communities and quality of life for everyone and everything within our corporate ecosystem. In conjunction with this, Polaris also established its Corporate Responsibility Committee (CRC), an internal working group made up of senior-level management, which advises on and advances matters of significance related to corporate social responsibility, sustainability and reputation. One pillar of our Geared for Good structure emphasizes that supporting our local communities through corporate giving and volunteering is a vital part of our culture. Polaris employees are encouraged to donate their time and resources through corporate matching of charitable giving and paid time off for volunteering. Developing our people is another of Geared for Good’s core tenets, which has encouraged the creation and expansion of programs such as our Women Leaders in Powersports initiative, which has grown fourfold since its inception, and our Functional Development initiative, which recruits a deliberately diverse selection of college graduates and develops their capabilities through an intensive series of leadership rotations. Geared for Good coordinates and advances our efforts to be a force for positive change.
Under the auspices of Geared for Good, Polaris has donated $1.8M to the Greater Twin Cities United Way, and responded to the death of George Floyd by donating a total of $250k to three Minnesota-based nonprofits focused on promoting equality and supporting economic development, particularly with under-represented business owners, as well as aiding in the rebuilding and reopening of small businesses impacted by the recent events. Polaris also donated $250,000 to the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering to support STEM outreach to underserved youth. Additionally, Geared for Good informs our hiring practices, and with the addition of Gwynne Shotwell in 2019, Polaris’ board of directors is now 30% female.
Being better with diversity and inclusion is not only good for our society, it makes Polaris better as a company. We must truly commit to widening our aperture to understand more about each other and our different experiences, listening more, doing more, and being better to help drive positive change. When we talk about Geared for Good and Safety and Ethics Always, those sentiments must extend far beyond our own walls to encourage inclusion and promote unity.