The tragic events targeting Black Americans, which have unfolded over the past several months, have left me with a heavy heart. While it is not practical for me to respond to every incident of demonstrated hatred and discrimination in the U.S., nor around the world, these recent events disturb me deeply. I want you to know that at Danaher, we stand with you, along with all of our underrepresented associates, in calling for respect, justice and peace.
First, we learned about Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year old Black man who was shot and killed while out on a Sunday run. Then, we heard about Christian Cooper, a Harvard-educated Black male who asked a woman to leash her dog while walking in Central Park, resulting in her calling the police claiming she was being threatened. And now, most recently, George Floyd, a 46-year old Black man died while in police custody, where video footage shows Floyd repeatedly saying he couldn't breathe as an officer pinned him down.
These are horrible and senseless acts. I find it unfathomable that in 2020, events like these and hate crimes in general, directed at under-represented populations, still occur. It is shocking.
As part of our D+I journey, we’ve encouraged associates to become a “Friend” to under-represented groups within Danaher by joining and actively participating in our Associate Resource Groups. I want our Black colleagues to know that during this challenging time, the Danaher Leadership Team stands with you as Friends and allies. We share your sadness and moral outrage. But we know this is far more acute for you, your families and your friends as you live with these realities every day while trying to go about your lives. We also know that the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting our Black colleagues and that these additional events, on top of an already incredibly stressful time, are a heavy burden to bear.
Let me add that this same Friend commitment holds true for any associate who is a member of a community that suffers through societal discrimination and hate crimes, wherever they may be. We commit to giving our best efforts to ensure you find a safe and healthy environment at Danaher, one where you can be yourself and build your career.
I want to encourage anyone having difficulty managing right now, whether because of the pandemic or societal issues, to make use of our Employee Assistance Program. This valuable tool is available to every associate and your dependents at no cost. It provides confidential support, resources and information for personal and work-life issues, including short-term counseling services, financial and legal support, health and wellness information, and family and relationship advice.
Our Shared Purpose – Helping Realize Life’s Potential – unites us as a company. Please know that we have you in our hearts.
President & CEO