UP Issues 2022 ‘We Are One’ Report

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
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Union Pacific (UP) on March 7 published the second edition of its “We Are One” report, announcing the receipt of “third-party validation of pay equity for women and people of color, and that its board of directors is now majority-diverse.”

The UP report covers company culture; diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I); workforce development; and recruiting efforts (download below).

Among the 2022 report’s highlights:

• “In 2022, a third-party compensation expert assessed our pay practices and validated equal pay at Union Pacific,” the Class I railroad reported. “The results showed there is no statistically significant difference in pay across gender or race: men and women, and people of color, are currently paid within 1% of each other. This is a significant milestone, especially given the current state of pay equity in the U.S.: Black workers’ median earnings represent 64% of white wages, while women working full time earned 83% the wages of their male peers.”

Union Pacific’s 2022 Board of Directors. From left: Jose Villarreal, David Dillon, Christopher Williams, Michael McCarthy,  Sheri Edison, Deborah Hopkins, Lance Fritz, William DeLaney, Jane Lute and Teresa Finley. (UP Photograph)

• “We’ve taken deliberate steps to increase the diversity of our Board of Directors to more closely reflect our stakeholder population,” UP said. “In 2022, for the first time, our Board’s representation leaned majority diverse at 60%.”

• UP in 2020 set the goal of increasing its people of color population from 29.4% to 40% and doubling its female population to 11% by 2030. “We made steady progress in 2022, battling the competitive labor market to increase our people of color representation by 1.5 percentage points,” the railroad said. “Progress toward our female representation goal remains more challenging—we gained 0.2 percentage points, driven primarily by increased hiring along with improved retention.”

• UP works with 13 major rail unions, representing approximately 83% of its roughly 33,300 full-time employees. National negotiations, which concluded in December 2022, delivered historic wage increases, the railroad pointed out. “Nine of 13 agreements were ratified based on PEB 250’s recommended framework, which includes the largest wage increases in nearly five decades—a 24% pay boost pushing average railroad salaries to $110,000 a year by 2025 while maintaining employees’ platinum-level healthcare coverage,” UP reported. “The remaining agreements were imposed as a result of legislative action.”

• In 2022, UP said it implemented virtual recruiting tools “to meet candidates where they are and provide an efficient, user-friendly experience through every phase of the recruitment process. … We’ve also been aggressive in how we compete to attract talent in the marketplace. In particularly hard-to-fill jobs and locations, we offered hiring incentives up to $30,000. These incentives are a mix of travel allowances and relocation bonuses, as well as local hiring bonuses to attract applicants already residing in the communities we serve.”

• UP reported earning “top marks—and a top spot—on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2022 Best Places to Work list for LGBTQ+ Equality. We were the only railroad on the list earning a 100% ranking, our first perfect score.”

• The railroad reported ranking No. 1 by Just Capital in America’s Most Just Companies’ transportation category.

UP was named by Disability:IN as a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.

“Union Pacific is committed to supporting the transition to a more sustainable future, one that fosters diverse and inclusive environments, provides innovative economic solutions, pursues clean air and plentiful water supplies, and improves the quality of life for everyone,” said Beth Whited, Executive Vice President-Sustainability and Strategy, and Chief Human Resource Officer at UP. “The achievements highlighted in the report showcase our efforts to create an attractive workplace that inspires current employees to build fulfilling careers and attracts new team members.”

Beth Whited, Executive Vice President-Sustainability and Strategy, and Chief Human Resource Officer, UP
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