Friday, 3 July 2020

Boeing force Senior Vice President of Communications to resign over an article written 33 years ago

Niel Golightly was the Senior Vice President of Communications at the Boeing Company,  until he was forced to resign over a complaint from a member of staff over an article written more than thirty years ago.

David Calhoun, President and CEO of Boeing said that he had "discussed at length the article and its implications for his role as the Company’s lead spokesman," with Golightly and respected the decision for him to resign, yet three sources inside Boeing have indicated that there had been no choice,  either resign or be sacked.

Back in 1987 while serving in the military Golightly wrote an article regarding a massive debate going on about whether women should serve in combat. This week Golightly said: "My article was a 29-year-old Cold War navy pilot’s misguided contribution to a debate that was live at the time. My argument was embarrassingly wrong and offensive. The dialogue that followed its publication 33 years ago quickly opened my eyes, indelibly changed my mind, and shaped the principles of fairness, inclusion, respect and diversity that have guided my professional life since. The article is not a reflection of who I am; but nonetheless I have decided that in the interest of the company I will step down,”

Whilst the firm said, "Boeing does not agree with the views expressed in the article, and it does not reflect Niel’s views today."   It's still forced him out.  Mr Calhoun added, “I want to emphasize our Company’s unrelenting commitment to diversity and inclusion in all its dimensions, and to ensuring that all of our employees have an equal opportunity to contribute and excel.”

I suppose nobody the works in Boeing's current management has ever changed their minds over the views they held in their youth. Equally, I guess none of them has ever said something or written about an issue thirty plus years ago that might not be well-received these days - I suppose the company has done its research, there are good at that.......

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