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Thu March 09, 2023 - Midwest Edition #6
When a group of women from CNH Industrial's Case Construction Equipment brand volunteered for housing charity Habitat for Humanity, the results were amazing. Their experience building homes for women in need in Wisconsin not only taught them valuable teamwork skills, but also helped strengthen Case's commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I).
Case has a proud heritage of using its expertise in the building sector to help shelter some of society's most vulnerable. It is important to the company to invest in and help develop the communities in which it has a historical presence.
Keen to continue this tradition, 20 Case employees, all of them women, recently volunteered to support the non-profit housing organization Habitat for Humanity in Racine, Wis., on the shores of Lake Michigan, in its first ever Women Build event.
In Racine, the Habitat for Humanity's Women Build initiative focuses on building affordable housing to support single mothers and draws attention to housing inequality.
"It was especially powerful because we created a strong, sister-like bond while also helping other women," said Jessica Klein, marketing communications manager of Case in Racine, who was one of the volunteers.
The figures are impressive.
Habitat for Humanity has sold nearly 100 new or refurbished homes in Racine to date, providing safe, affordable housing for 164 adults and 213 children. Each is priced at fair market value. Loans are interest-free and mortgage payments are calculated to remain below 30 percent of the homebuyer's monthly income.
Single women, and especially single mothers, face many challenges to access safe, affordable homes in the United States.
"They can pay up to two percent more for their homes and sell them for up to three percent less than single men due to implicit bias and prejudice built into the homebuying process," according to Grant Buenger, executive director of Racine's Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity projects ensure affordability regardless of gender and protect women from paying higher costs for their homes.
"Our homeowners start their homeownership journey with no deficit and gain the strength, stability and self-reliance needed to care for their families," said Buenger.
The Case women rolled up their sleeves and were on hand to prepare wood boards for building — first cutting them to size, then fastening the lumber together with nails and screws to frame the four walls of a new house.
Welcoming families to the new homes that they had helped to build was a powerful experience for the Case volunteers. Watching women and children see their beautiful new homes for the first time was particularly emotional. These homes feature open plan living and include stylish white woodwork and warm accents.
"This was incredible to see," said Klein. "These women were very appreciative, and the Case team was so grateful to have shared in their experience. The day generated great energy and warmth among us, but more importantly, it's contributing to provide a safe place and some peace of mind for these families."
CNH Industrial is committed to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment where all employees are valued, empowered and encouraged to make a difference.
In 2021, the company adopted new 2024 D&I targets. These include a commitment to increase the representation of women across the total workforce year-on-year; institutionalizing gender equality practices on career and compensation; and having women in 20 percent of leadership roles by 2024.
To establish a diverse, inclusive and attractive workplace well into the future, the company is carrying out initiatives that ensure women and minorities are equitably represented throughout all levels of its talent pipeline. In addition to providing unconscious bias training to all employees, CNH is encouraging them to start new employee resource groups (ERGs) while increasing membership and participation of existing groups. The company also is creating region-specific initiatives that advance our D&I efforts.
For more information, visit cnhindustrial.com.
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