Sustainability reports motivate organizations to keep tracking against their aspirational goals, and sustainability reports may encourage other organizations to start their own sustainability-focused journeys as well, which ultimately helps create a better future.
Here is our full Q&A with Ms. Woods:
Q: Why are they important for consumers and for investors?
A: Today, many consumers want to know that they are purchasing products and services from a sustainability-driven organization. As an example, according to Retail Dive, consumers are growing increasingly interested in upgrading their old products and appliances for environmentally-friendly options, and we expect no end in sight here as it relates to Frontdoor’s business and the support of homeowners.
Likewise, investors continue to emphasize the importance of ESG reports, advocating that organizations should aspire to be more ESG-conscious in order to remain sustainable organization.
In their view, these investors believe that organizations that choose to establish clear, aspirational, and measurable sustainability targets are likely to be more prepared for challenges ahead, more competitive and therefore more profitable compared to organizations that do not prioritize sustainability efforts.
Q: What sustainability milestones is Frontdoor most proud of this year? What sustainability trends are you predicting for 2023 and beyond?
A: While we are proud of our 2022 milestones, we know that we have more work to do. We are committed to strengthening environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives as a service provider and global corporate citizen. In 2022, Frontdoor advanced several ESG initiatives in categories supporting diversity and inclusion, career training, and preparing the next generation of employees for the workforce.
- We advanced our diversity and inclusion initiatives through the launch of four additional associate resource groups, each of which developed thought-provoking, fun and inclusive programs. And we continued to track diversity in our leadership. Leadership representation in the U.S. workforce continues to be top of mind for countless organizations, and according to data by McKinsey & Co and LeanIn.org, women are leaving their companies at the highest rate ever, with the gap between women and men in senior roles quitting their jobs being the largest it’s been since the firms began tracking it. As of September 30, 2022, 50% of our leadership is female and ~67% of our workforce is female. And, approximately 60% of Frontdoor’s leadership (director-level and above) includes women and individuals from underrepresented communities.
- In the way of career development and mobility support for our team members, we were thrilled to expand our series “The Exchange” to train and upskill more employees. We’re proud to share too, that 94% of polled employees confirmed that these learning programs were impactful for their career development, and we are just getting started.
- We also kept up the momentum by supporting the skilled trades pipeline, engaging in partnerships and sponsorships with SkillsUSA, Be Pro Be Proud South Carolina, and Be Pro Be Proud Georgia, among others, to introduce students from across the country to the breadth of skilled trades opportunities and to empower students as they determine their career paths.
We also continued to analyze how the use of our Stream technology may reduce carbon emissions from contractor vehicles by minimizing in-home visits for repairs. Our Streem technology uses augmented reality, computer vision and machine learning to facilitate remote service calls. By promoting remote communication for jobs that can be completed virtually, we’re limiting the number of service vehicles on the road.
Q: Your report included a good amount of DE&I details: How is Frontdoor instilling a sense of belonging across the company?
A: Our hope is that we can instill a palpable sense of belonging at Frontdoor, and that employees feel valued day-in and day out. While we know we can’t control what happens outside our company, we can and will continue to focus on diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives that show our employees that they belong at Frontdoor.
Our Associate Resource Groups (ARGs) are vital to our company’s overall success and employee well-being, and 2022 was a tremendous year for them. We increased our total number of ARGs to six, and these ARGs launched a series of educational and informative programs designed to discuss subjects that have an impact on our communities, provide resources and offer actionable steps to cultivate a more informed and inclusive culture.
Topics ranged from cultural awareness and appreciation to the income and educational disparities impacting many communities. The ARGs also offered a sense of community and belonging to all Frontdoor employees by helping to introduce new and current employees to the organizational culture through fun activities from book clubs and salsa dancing lessons to more structured networking and mentoring opportunities.
The response was fantastic – over 1,100 participants in the company-wide events alone. We’re excited about the passion that the ARG leaders bring and are looking ahead to how we can support even more activities in 2023.
Q: Why is it important for Frontdoor to begin filling the trades pipeline with new talent via upskilling initiatives?
A: Today, the demand for skilled work is far outpacing the number of individuals qualified to fill those roles. We believe there’s a critical opportunity to support the next generation of workers, inspiring them to pursue careers in the skilled trades and help keep our communities and economy running.
In 2022, we continued driving attention to rewarding career opportunities in the skilled trades and growing the pipeline of talent by building partnerships with organizations like SkillsUSA, Be Pro Be Proud South Carolina, and Be Pro Be Proud Georgia, among others, who share these goals and are also passionate about the incredible opportunities ahead through increasing use of technology in the skilled trades.
Q: Leadership Diversity: How have your Leadership Diversity initiatives impacted Frontdoor? Please provide 1-2 specific examples of a change in leadership diversity and the positive impact it has had on Frontdoor.
A: A key starting point for Frontdoor was forming our Diversity Council and creating the role of Diversity and Inclusion lead in 2020. Executive leadership was highly engaged in the Council, demonstrating the organization’s commitment to meaningful dialogue and change, which I think was critical to prioritizing development and launch of the ARGs.
Another outcome from the Diversity Council was the removal of college degree requirements from many of our job postings, broadening the pool of candidates from which we recruit. Looking beyond a degree to the work and life experience that has shaped an applicant, we think we can open the door to skilled and competent candidates who may not have had the opportunity or resources necessary to graduate from colleges and universities.