First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the many Tyson team members who are working exceptionally hard to keep food on the table for our customers and consumers during this crisis. As many of us are experiencing unprecedented change and rising to the challenges of the COVID-19 global health crisis, we should not forget to recognize the tremendous progress we are making every day as a company. Today is the final day of Women’s History Month, a time for us to reflect on those special moments in history when meaningful changes, big or small, have been made.
Each year during the month of March, we have an opportunity to celebrate the many women who contribute and have contributed to the continuing progression of equality for women in life and work. This year, we celebrate the women who have fought for a woman’s right to vote in our great nation, the United States of America. In August, it will be one hundred years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment which guaranteed American women the right to vote. But formally, women began to fight for their rights as early as 1848 in Seneca Falls, NY where 300 men and women gathered to debate the Declaration of Sentiments, modeled after the Declaration of Independence and outlining women’s inferior status and demanding suffrage.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal…In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object.”–Elizabeth Cady Stanton
The women we celebrate this month persisted for a hundred years to be guaranteed equality at the voting booth. Their perseverance and dedication to equality served as a catalyst to the continued progress towards equality and diversity we see today. And, at a time when voices desperately need to be raised and heard, I am grateful for all the women who paved the path for us to vote.
Reflecting on this past year and our own progress toward equality and diversity, I am pleased that Tyson Foods was recognized by Women on Boards, the premier global education and advocacy campaign committed to increasing the number of women on corporate boards, as a “W” for “Winning” company because its corporate board had at least 20% women directors during 2019.
In 2019, Tyson Foods had three amazingly successful women directors out of twelve total members, which means women held 25% of our corporate board seats.
- Barbara Tyson, retired Tyson Foods’ vice president, 32 years on Tyson Foods board
- Mikel A. Durham, CEO American Seafoods Group, 5 years on Tyson Foods board
- Cheryl S. Miller, CEO and President of AutoNation, Inc., a Fortune 150 company; 4 years on Tyson Foods board
In my role, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to see firsthand the value of a having a gender-diverse board at Tyson Foods. Whether faced with a new opportunity, a tough challenge or a potential risk, our women board members are bringing different perspectives to the table allowing us to make even more informed and thoughtful decisions. I’m proud of the women and diversity of Tyson Foods and believe it makes us a stronger, better company. We should be inspired by the dedication of the members of the suffrage movement, the commitment of the women who serve on our corporate board, and the allies to diversity within our company. We should be inspired to do more.
Let’s continue finding ways to bring women and more perspectives to the table. On this final day of Women’s History Month, please appreciate and stay connected to your family, your loved ones and your fellow team members. We are all in this current global health crisis together, and we are raising the world’s expectations for how much good food can do.