CEO, Procter & Gamble
“We want to be a force for growth and a force for good. to me that’s something to be excited about every day when you come to work.”
Skip Spriggs: david, your P&G career is long and successful.
What personal experiences brought you to value diversity and inclusion?
As a teen I was a part of what we called “forced busing” in North Carolina. It was an overall good experience for me, even though the papers were telling a different story. I found that when you get down to the person-toperson level, people that are open tend to be able to cross the barriers imposed on them by others.
My first job at P&G was as a shift team manager of a diverse team of new employees at a relatively new plant. I found that at 3:00 am, nobody cares who you are or where you come from. None of us had all the answers, but collectively we fixed things. When we were willing to listen, really listen, to each other, we were able to get better and better results. Now we call that team approach “integrative thinking.” That’s stayed at play throughout my career.
SS: How do you engage your senior leadership team in your vision, and then, at the other end of that barbell, your employees?
One example is our quarterly global webcasts, where I talk to all our employees around the world, hundreds present in our head office, others via the web. It’s mostly questions from the audience or called or texted in. Respecting our employees’ experiences is part of P&G’s culture, and I want to continue to model that.
Another example is something we call Step-Up Day, initiated by our AfricanAmerican Network, to talk about accelerating their development and advancement. I credit that network and the rest of our organization on their willingness to have that open conversation.
SS: do investors or shareholders question you about your commitment to d&i?
Not from investor groups, but we do get a lot of questions in the ESG area—environmental, social and governance—especially from environmental groups. They ask what we are doing. People want to join a brand that shares their values. And as the world’s largest advertiser, we have the ability to use our voice to leverage awareness beyond our walls, on pressing issues like sustainability and diversity and inclusion.