The year started strong with the release of the 2023 D+I Report, ranking 4th in Fair360 (formerly DiversityInc) and the first-time for both TMNA and TFS to be named to The Civic 50 list in a combined entry. Most notably, Tellis Bethel was named CDO in the spring and the Driving Possibilities initiative was launched in four new locations.

Through all the work in 2023, the Social Innovation programs focused on four key areas – Community, Culture, Workforce and Mobility. In May, the site was relaunched with content specifically covering these categories as a resource for team members, community partners and consumers.

Here are some highlights from the past year:

Community Sustainability
Toyota’s commitment to community sustainability remained steadfast. Our Impact extended nationally through collaborations, scholarships, and hands-on contributions. In 2023, nearly 50,000 volunteer hours were provided by team members to more than 995 nonprofit organizations. This is an increase of nearly 4% in the number of organizations from last year.

Local Programs with Impact
The E3 Mentoring Program empowered students at the West Dallas STEM School and Pinkston High School by instilling problem-solving and leadership skills. Also in West Dallas, we worked with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas to enrich the educational experiences of 36 West Dallas educators through DRIVE Grants.

The team member-led Team IMPACT fulfilled more than 1,500 wishes for families in need through Community Partners of Dallas during the 2023 holiday, as well as provided mobility through the annual Bike Build. Also, during the holiday season, dealer partners with Toyota Lexus Minority Owners Dealer Association (TLMODA) served 33 communities during their annual Day of Service.

Programs with National Reach
Our team members engaged with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) in local communities across the U.S., and we also celebrated the 2023 BGCA National Youth of the Year. In all these ways, Toyota works to ensure local Clubs can provide life-enhancing opportunities for kids and teens to explore, develop and apply the essential skills they need to be successful in life and work.

This year we celebrated 30 years of the Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC) empowering over 500 nonprofits to create impactful solutions. And in a landmark initiative, Toyota launched the Way Forward Fund, and has completed the first two rounds of grants to organizations focused on strengthening access to care and injury recovery support for individuals and their families. The initial focus of the fund remains on children with traumatic brain injuries.

Inclusive Culture
An inclusive workplace invites all voices to contribute, to lead and to help share the future. Without everyone, we are not us.

Team Member Engagement
In 2023, Toyota Business Partnering Groups (BPGs) grew to 126 chapters nationwide and launched our 14th affinity, SAGE (Supporting Adaptive Generational Experience) which is committed to knowledge-sharing across generations and roles. We celebrated what makes each team member unique through the growth and achievements of BPGs across North America. From Spectrum wining “Employee Resource Group (ERG) of the Year,” a first for Toyota, to TERRA, a BPG that focuses on environmental activities, forming a NAAC (North American Advisory Council) and hosting its first-ever symposium.

Members of African American Collaborative (AAC), Toyota Organization for the Development of Latinos (TODOS) and Toyota Asian American Society in Alliance (TAASiA) also had the opportunity for continued personal growth through the McKinsey Management Accelerator Program.

Additionally, the ToyotAbility BPG organized the first-ever Disability Pride Month for Toyota in July to align with the group’s focus on raising awareness and creating opportunities for persons with disabilities. Speakers and collaboration with nonprofit partners inspired team members.

Toyota celebrated five years of Diversity and Inclusion (D+I) Month in 2023 with the continued theme of “Uniquely Toyota, Uniquely You” to provide opportunities for team members to celebrate D+I. Programming included a focus on BPG membership with a virtual panel/workshop and celebration. Three-time paralympic snowboarder and best-selling author, Amy Purdy, shared how resilience, motivation, inspiration, and commitment are key drivers in creating limitless possibilities.

In 2023, Toyota was again recognized for its commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce. For the second year in a row, Fair360 (formerly DiversityInc) ranked Toyota Number 4 on its Top 50 Companies for Diversity. Notable specialty list rankings included Number 1 Top Company for LGBTQ+ Employees and Number 1 Top Company for Talent Acquisition for Women of Color.

Toyota was also awarded the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) five-star rating for a second year running. In addition, Toyota was named an honoree of The Civic 50, marking the first year both Toyota Financial Services (TFS) and Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) collectively ranked in The Civic 50 as a unified submission.

For the 16th consecutive year, Toyota North America received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index (CEI). Also, Black Enterprise recognized Toyota in its list of the Best Companies for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in 2023, and for the second year in a row Toyota Motor Corp. topped the Rainbow Coalition Automotive Diversity Scorecard.

Cultural Events & Programs
As Toyota moves closer toward its goal of happiness for all, consistency in high scores such as the HRC CEI offers checkpoints along the way. It is not the end of our story.

The annual HRC Workplace Equality Summit invited team members and executives to a two-day virtual conference of dialogue and educational sessions to continue evolving for an ever-more inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ team members.

To connect with others also working towards greater equity for workers, Toyota participated in the Ascend 2023 Annual Conference, which brings together Pan-Asian leaders who are recognized for their professional achievements as well as the advancement of others in their industries or communities.

Toyota hosted the 8th Annual Board Leaders convening for the Latino Corporate Directors Association. As the largest gathering of Latino business leaders with the goal to increase representation of Latinos on boards of publicly traded and privately held companies.

In supporting the 2023 National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) Conference, our support for ethnic minorities in all aspects of the automotive industry remains strong. Dealers have focused on expanding the trainings on persons with disabilities and connecting with their local communities in a meaningful way.

In 2023, Toyota again ranked in the Top 25 for Supplier Diversity by Fair360, recognized for our commitment to diverse entrepreneurs across North America. Last November, we hosted the 34th annual Opportunity Exchange event, welcoming over 1,000 people to celebrate and continue building relationships and sharing best practices. Additionally, the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) named Toyota a Corporation of the Year for the category of annual revenue of $100 billion to $150 billion.

Future Workforce Development
As the business landscape continues to grow, a prepared workforce is more critical than ever. To help educate students while nurturing an inclusive environment, Toyota has leveraged several programs over the course of the year, demonstrating the range of possibilities for workers at all stages of their career.

To motivate and inspire youth for the careers of tomorrow, the Toyota USA Foundation’s STEM education initiative, Driving Possibilities, expanded in 2023, launching sites in four additional operational communities: Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan. In addition to teacher development opportunities in each school district, sites will engage with local partners to support each community in specific ways, including transportation, literacy, and basic needs support.

Scholarships Ease Career Pathways
In partnership with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), the Nunca Paras program awarded three students with a $25,000 scholarship each. The scholars celebrated at a ceremony held at Toyota’s North American headquarters in Plano, Texas.

Also in 2023, through the Toyota Scholars Program, 100 scholarships were awarded to students affiliated with select nonprofit partners. Since its inception in 2007, the program has awarded over $12 million in scholarships to more than 2,600 students. Each student who earns this award receives between $5,000 and $20,000 for four years.

Other scholarships were awarded through: Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Rainbow PUSH Scholars, APIA Scholars, and Point Foundation. Toyota awarded scholarships to students in higher education.

Grants Inspire Communities
In 2023, the first cohort of non-profits and grassroots organizations were awarded $10,000 to continue to fuel their ongoing local work and impact. The national initiative, launched in the fall of 2022, was conceived to help support and uplift non-profit organizations and leaders across the country, whose often unsung work is effecting positive change in the communities Toyota serves.

And finally, to experience first-hand the joy of learning and the excitement ignited in the young by education and exposure to possibilities, Tellis Bethel, group vice president, Social Innovation, and chief diversity officer, TMNA, served as Principal for a Day at the West Dallas STEM School, the first site for Driving Possibilities and the pilot program that’s informed the programs now rolling out at other locations.

Mobility Solutions
Mobility helps improve access to jobs, education and access to critical goods and services.

Social Mobility
The ability to move can create economic potential for communities through key connections. Two specific communities where this was evident year include, San Antonio, Texas through the VIA Link and Putnam County, West Virginia through three local partners. Working with local organizations to help bridge the last mile or enhance options helps students access more educational opportunities and provides senior citizens more independence.

Even the youngest passengers were able to travel in safety this year through the continued work with Buckle Up for Life. From educating over 17,000 children, teens and adults on child passenger safety and providing nearly 8,000 car seats, to partnering with three-time gold medal Paralympic athlete Alana Nichols for a PSA campaign, the awareness of child passenger safety grew in 2023.

Sustainable Cities of Tomorrow
This year, the Mobility Foundation launched the Sustainable Cities Challenge to drive safe and inclusive change in cities around the globe. The 10 shortlisted cities were announced in November, and they attended a workshop with Toyota leaders to begin thinking through solutions to the unique needs of each of their communities.

Woman using her smartphone application to know about public transport schedule

Looking back at all the ways Toyota made an impact in North America, none of it would be possible without the support of Toyota’s team members, dealers, and customers.

Originally published January 31, 2024

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