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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Six Sigma program helps Cummins fulfill mission

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The Six Sigma Racial Equity Initiative, a program for Black female professionals to earn a certification in problem solving, removes some of the barriers Black women often face in corporate America when it comes to receiving training.

The program includes six classes — one class a week for six weeks — and ends with a test and project. The next cohort will start in April 2022.

Cummins, one of the sponsors for the program, uses the training to advance its goals in diversity, equity and inclusion. Judy Brunson, vice president for global quality, answered questions about what the training means to the company.

Judy Brunson (Photo provided by Cummins)

Indianapolis Recorder: What is the relationship between Cummins and the Six Sigma Racial Equity Initiative?

Judy Brunson: Diversity and inclusion is a cornerstone value of Cummins Inc., and the company is recognized as a continuous improvement company because of our over 20 years of Six Sigma practice. Just as Six Sigma and continuous improvement are business imperatives, our diversity, equity and inclusion are also imperative. Connecting with the Six Sigma Racial Equity Initiative helps us fulfill our mission of making people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world, and in this case by helping build the data driven and problem-solving capability of Black women through accredited Six Sigma training. Our Six Sigma Black Belts, Latonya Sisco and Christopher Walker, lead Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE) Six Sigma coaching efforts, which is also a creative way to give back to the community with our talent and time.

Indianapolis Recorder: Why is the program important to Cummins?

Judy Brunson: Diversity, equity and inclusion have been woven into the fabric of our company and is an opportunity to upskill Black women to be complex problem solvers through this accredited Six Sigma Green Belt training program and aligns with our company’s values and mission, and improves the communities we serve.

Indianapolis Recorder: What does the program mean for you and other corporate partners?

Judy Brunson: Cummins Inc., and similar companies, understand the value of the data-driven methodology of Six Sigma. Six Sigma improves the performance of our products and processes throughout our company. We are helping to empower Black women that will use their Six Sigma skills to solve complex problems in their profession and communities. For Cummins, this aligns directly with our mission and values.

Indianapolis Recorder: Is there anything else you’d like people to know?

Judy Brunson: Cummins is built on diversity, equity and inclusion. Six Sigma is also a common practice in our operation. Six Sigma data-based analysis is used to identify defects and variation in a wide range of manufacturing and business situations. Cummins employees also frequently use Six Sigma when working with community partners on community engagement projects. Cummins’ support to the Six Sigma Racial Equity Initiative is part of Cummins Advocating for Racial Equity (CARE), which is Cummins’ systematic approach to dismantle racial inequity. Under our CARE initiative, April Guest and Sara McAninch lead Six Sigma projects to address mental health resource requirements in Bartholomew County, Indiana and recommend solutions.

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