Washington, D.C. – September 27, 2013 – This week, The Dow Chemical Company, in collaboration with PYXERA Global, fielded 35 talented employees to offer pro bono consulting to local nonprofit organizations, social entrepreneurs, government agencies and educational institutions in Ghana.
The Dow employees have been consulting as virtual teams with their organizations since May and traveled to Ghana the week of September 21, under the Leadership in Action—Ghana Community Development Project, to meet with their clients and key stakeholders and to visit project sites to get a first-hand understanding of the clients’ needs.
The program is part of a unique leadership development initiative at Dow that partners with Dow Sustainability Corps (DSC), the company’s skills-based employee engagement program.
“Dow Sustainability Corps directly links leadership development to international corporate volunteerism, while building the capacity of local organizations through in-person and virtual consulting,” said Deirdre White, president and CEO of PYXERA Global.
The 35 participants, split into teams of five, were paired with local organizations in Accra to focus on a variety of programs that leverage the employees’ unique expertise. One team will work with the University of Ghana College of Agriculture and Consumer Science to develop a training and marketing strategy to build local awareness of how to sustainably harvest traditional medicinal plants. Other teams, like the one working with WaterHealth Ghana, are evaluating existing technologies to develop a safer, more sustainable alternative to sachet water. The Dow teams hope to give initial presentations to their clients after field research, and will then continue to work with the organizations virtually for another month to finalize the projects.
“Ghana is a rapidly-growing economy in Africa and Dow employees are providing access to critical skills for organizations in areas such as STEM education, water and agriculture. Many of these social enterprises, universities, and non-government organizations (NGOs) do not otherwise have access to this level of business acumen. Programs such as Dow Sustainability Corps offer a sustainable approach to developing more resilient economies around the world. At the same time, the company is readying its workforce with a lens for the future,” said White.
The Ghanaian organizations will certainly benefit from the program, but the Dow employees will also benefit from a hands-on talent development opportunity that cultivates critical global leadership skills. PYXERA Global is the leading organization designing and implementing international corporate volunteer (ICV) programs that leverage corporate employees to support local businesses, nonprofits, and governments in emerging markets worldwide. PYXERA Global’s ICV programs, which have included projects with IBM, John Deere, Pfizer, and PepsiCo, result in relationships that are win-win-win: companies, their employees, and local clients all benefit from the partnerships developed, new skills learned, and services provided.
“We are thrilled that Dow employees are being exposed to this kind of leadership development opportunity, and pleased to be able to demonstrate Dow’s commitment to the global community by putting some of our brightest minds to work on some of the country’s most important challenges,” said Johanna Soderstrom, Dow vice president, Human Resources-Center of Expertise. “Most important, we look forward to the potential impact on the Ghanaian community.”
PYXERA Global is a nonprofit economic development firm based in Washington, DC. With a quarter century of experience in more than 90 countries, CDS strives to create groundbreaking partnerships between the public, private, and social sectors that leverage the innovation in each to create shared value for clients. It achieves this through two practices: Global Pro Bono and Enterprise and Community Development.
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