Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Whirlpool’s Community Impact: Championing Disability Inclusion and Diversity


Whirlpool’s Community Impact: Championing Disability Inclusion and Diversity
Enhancing Product Features and Designs for Users: Our goal is to become the leading global company in the kitchen and laundry sector, and we believe that this can be achieved through a commitment to inclusive design that caters to everyone. Our AVID team plays a crucial role in this process, serving as advisors for business strategies and product development. They conduct Disability Immersion Activities that foster empathy among employees, encouraging them to advocate for more accessible features and marketing in our products.

The activities are divided into two parts, one focusing on vision impairment and the other on mobility disability. Participants are asked to perform simple tasks using appliances from our major brands while experiencing these impairments. This hands-on experience educates participants about the challenges faced by individuals with vision or mobility impairments and how minor modifications to our appliances can significantly improve their user experience.

Eduardo Andrade, Vice President of Laundry Platforms, shares his experience, “This activity has provided me with a fresh outlook on product design and innovation. It’s an invaluable experience for any leader, engineer, or designer as we aim to enhance home life with our products.”

Fostering Employee Engagement: A diverse and inclusive workplace culture is key to boosting productivity and achieving results. Employee education and development are vital to fostering an engaging workplace and promoting an inclusive culture. AVID organizes internal campaigns and events throughout the year to support employees, including Autism Acceptance Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, and Suicide Prevention Month, among others.

In October, AVID commemorates National Disability Employment Awareness Month with a variety of activities aimed at engaging employees, such as: • Product Immersion activities that foster consumer empathy • Development opportunities for current and aspiring people leaders to learn from inclusive best practices • “Let’s Talk About It” sessions where panelists share their personal stories in an open dialogue • Networking opportunities.
“Employee resource groups are vital to the employee experience, and the AVID ERG at Whirlpool is no exception,” said Monica Cederstrom, vice president of human resources and AVID executive sponsor. “From leadership development to resourceful webinars, they are continually driving progress for our employees and our business when it comes to disability inclusion.”
Benefiting the Community: Whirlpool’s success is intertwined with the prosperity of our community.

The AVID team extends its influence beyond the company, contributing to community welfare initiatives and collaborating with local organizations such as the Disability Network of Southwest Michigan, The LOGAN Center, and the United Spinal Association. In 2023 alone, the team has dedicated a minimum of 274 volunteer hours in southwest Michigan.

AVID is also involved in Project Search, a transition program for special education that provides training for individuals with disabilities to handle complex jobs and assists each student in securing meaningful employment within the community. This program aids in the recruitment and retention of diverse talent.

Moreover, AVID members contribute to corporate projects, such as advising on accessibility features for the new Emma Jean Hull Flats multi-family housing development in Benton Harbor.

Owing to these efforts and more, Whirlpool Corporation has been acknowledged as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion,” earning a perfect score on the 2023 Disability Equality Index (DEI) for the seventh consecutive year.