6 Highlights From Our 2023 Workday Global Impact Report

Erik Hansen shares takeaways from Workday’s “2023 Global Impact Report” highlighting customer successes, environmental sustainability, employee engagement, belonging and diversity, social impact, and responsible AI and ML and governance.

In this article, we discuss:

At Workday, we’re committed to driving lasting change. With a stellar employee population of nearly 18,000 talented people from across the globe, we strive to develop trusted relationships with our customers and with the communities we serve. In our “2023 Global Impact Report,” we share information from the last two fiscal years to showcase how we lead with our core values to make a positive impact in today’s changing world. 

Below I share highlights from this year’s report, including how we’re supporting our customers, helping create a sustainable future, putting our employees first, committing to belonging and diversity, creating social impact, and ethically governing our company. 

Customer Success

Our customers care who they do business with and look to partners like us to support their business goals. Top of mind for customers is how to responsibly use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), so we remain committed internally to responsible AI development  and externally to advocating for meaningful safeguards. 

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting is also a key focus area for many of our customers. Disclosure and reporting requirements for ESG are complex and demand high-quality data, so we continue to innovate to provide customers with the information they need. 

Our solutions enable customers to collect data, build strategy frameworks, ensure they’re audit-ready, manage supply chain challenges, report with confidence, and plan for the future. For example Workday Financial Management, Workday Prism Analytics, and Workday Strategic Sourcing collect ESG data from suppliers, identify areas for improvement, and capture and report on Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions from supplier spend.

We strive to be one of the most ethical companies in the world, and we’re proud to have been consecutively named to Ethisphere's list of World's Most Ethical Companies in 2021, 2022, and 2023. 

Environmental Sustainability

Because the next decade will be a critical window to reduce carbon emissions and limit climate change impacts, our sustainability strategy at Workday is aligned with transitioning our planet to a zero-carbon future. We’ve achieved net-zero1 carbon emissions across our offices, data centers, public cloud, and business travel; reached our 100% renewable electricity goal; and provided our entire customer community with a carbon-neutral cloud. We’ve also shared updates to our operational footprint, including our full Scope 3 emissions, while establishing our water baseline to measure our impact and share with stakeholders. 

In addition, our science-based targets (SBTs)—approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative across all 3 scopes of emissions—are aligned with keeping global warming to 1.5°C. In our report, we share our initial progress on our SBTs. As part of our strategy to transition from purchasing traditional carbon credits to supporting carbon removal, we announced our membership with Frontier, an advance market commitment to purchase permanent carbon removal. This is in addition to our previous $1 million investment to scale up two natural carbon-removal projects focused on mangrove reforestation

We’ve also increased our focus on climate policy and advocacy, prioritizing expanding access to renewable energy and decarbonization efforts. We’ve met directly with policymakers and helped build momentum to support the energy and climate provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act in the U.S. and advance progress for the European Green Deal in the EU. In our report this year, we’ve included a climate policy engagement timeline to summarize our efforts.

Workday's sustainability journey timeline began in 2008 with a goal of using 100% renewable energy and continues to grow.

Because the next decade will be a critical window to reduce carbon emissions and limit climate change impacts, our sustainability strategy at Workday is aligned with transitioning our planet to a zero-carbon future.

Our People

We know employees are at their best when they feel a sense of belonging and have equitable opportunities to grow and thrive. That’s one reason we’ve led with a skills-first people strategy, which includes our skills-based career hub that allows employees to access gigs and learning opportunities and to find potential connections who can help with skills development. 

Our talent philosophy puts employees at the center of their performance journey, and we provide the tools to further their careers. One tool we use is Workday Peakon Employee Voice, a continuous listening platform that surveys employees every week on a subset of engagement, wellbeing, and belonging questions. This provides real-time data to people leaders on team sentiment and recommends actions based on employee responses. Overall, the data helps us improve our culture, support productivity in roles, and simplify everyday employee experiences. 

Company participation in Workday Peakon Employee Voice surveys averages around 70% each week. We’ve collected over 300,000 employee comments, over 250,000 people leader responses, and over 1,000 people leader actions completed in response to feedback, making this one of the largest standardized datasets of employee sentiment feedback in the world. Furthermore, our employee engagement score puts us in the top 10% of software and services companies globally.2

Belonging and Diversity

Fostering a supported and welcoming workforce is essential to creating a powerful employee-first culture. We’re committed to value inclusion, belonging, and equity (VIBE™) for all, which is critical to our success and creates an environment where all employees are valued for their unique perspectives, respected as equal and integral, and given fair access to opportunity.

In 2020, we announced VIBE™ commitments to support our continued belonging and diversity initiatives and progress. We’ve made strong progress on those commitments, and in support of our journey to improve inclusion, belonging, and equity for all, we’ve developed new VIBE goals that focus on action, accountability, and impact.

We’re focusing our new goals in three areas:

Inclusion. We’re seeking to increase inclusive capabilities, behaviors, and practices throughout the organization. Demonstrating this includes creating access to opportunities in fair and just ways. Essential to meeting our inclusive hiring goals is our Opportunity Onramps program, which addresses the reality that talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. Through Opportunity Onramps, talented people gain valuable training through our internships and are positioned to pursue a career in tech.

Another example is our talent acquisition teams. They're reviewing their end-to-end processes to help drive equitable hiring practices for all. They've also developed strategic partnerships with organizations focused on supporting untapped and underrepresented talent to better align Workday as an employer of choice.

Belonging. Our goal is to strengthen our culture where all employees feel like they belong, and we’re committed to supporting this throughout our Workday community.

Reporting from our Workday Peakon Employee Voice continuous listening platform indicates we’re in the top 10% of our industry benchmark for belonging and satisfaction. We’re striving to increase employee confidence scores in Workday Peakon Employee Voice in all three of our focus areas: belonging, inclusion, and equity. 

Equity. Our goal is to balance diverse representation by infusing VIBE in development, enablement, hiring, promotion, performance management, and retention practices; we’ll measure equity through increasing representation of underrepresented backgrounds. While we have made notable progress with certain communities, we will continue focusing on attracting and retaining talent from historically underrepresented communities by increasing their representation across the organization and in leadership roles.

As part of our VIBE goals in 2023, we’ll also continue to focus on improving our gender representation, which includes increasing the representation of women globally and their advancement in senior leadership roles. For example, our VIBE Council representing employees in Europe has developed mentorship and training programs focused on empowering women to move into upper management positions, which supports our global aim to increase gender equality in senior leadership roles. We’ll also work to improve equity in our advancement processes to leadership positions for our Asian employees. 

Social Impact

Giving back is in our DNA, and we aim to support causes our employees care about most. Annually, employees participate in a program called Workforce Week™, our largest employee volunteer event and a Workday tradition since 2015. During the volunteer week, employees meet one-on-one with job seekers to help with job interview confidence, talk through resume questions, and more. Building this social capital and having access to a network of professional relationships is important for job seekers, yet many in this talent pool aren’t offered these opportunities because of life experiences, ZIP codes, and previous work experience. Workforce Week removes these barriers to help create access and equity for all.

In addition, last year we introduced an initiative called Bright Days Off to make it easier for employees to give back. We offer up to three days per calendar year for employees to volunteer with the charities of their choice. 

  • Employees logged more than 53,600 volunteer hours in FY23. 

  • Workday matches employee volunteer hours logged with donations, so employee volunteer hours have resulted in over $1.2 million donated to nonprofits in FY22 and FY23. 

  • For our charitable donation matching gift program, Workday matches employee donations to qualified charities, up to US $1,000 or equivalent per employee, per year; this has resulted in $12.3 million in donations since 2013, and over $1.9 million in FY23 alone. 

Our Workday Foundation efforts are also a key piece of our social impact. For many years, the Workday Foundation has made annual donations to organizations responding to natural disasters. We expanded this preventative grantmaking portfolio to include nonprofits in public health and social justice, allowing organizations to invest in prevention and respond quickly when events arise.

In addition, the shift from fossil fuels to green alternatives creates the need for reskilling workers for the green jobs of tomorrow. We’ve invested $1 million in organizations, including the Just Transition grant fund, to retrain workers for emerging green jobs.

Reporting from our Workday Peakon Employee Voice feedback indicates we’re in the top 10% of our industry benchmark for belonging and satisfaction.


We strive to be one of the most ethical companies in the world, and we’re proud to have been consecutively named to Ethisphere’s list of World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2021, 2022, and 2023. We engage with policymakers, regulators, industry partners, and nonprofits to advocate for policies that build trust in enterprise software and enable growth and innovation. 

For nearly a decade, we’ve invested in building trustworthy AI and ML innovations that amplify human potential, positively impact society, champion fairness, and deliver on data privacy and protection. In 2022, we created our Responsible AI team, made up of our diverse group of data and social scientists to address how Workday delivers AI and ML technologies to ensure focus on ethics, customer trust, and global AI regulation. Ethical AI and ML principles guide our innovation, so we’re playing a constructive role in the development of AI policies in the U.S., EU, Canada, and Asia. We’re helping to develop policies that build trust in AI and ML technologies and support innovation. 

Our values continue to guide our efforts at Workday. We remain committed to collaborating closely with our employees, customers, partners, and communities to create a brighter workday and a better future for all. While we’re proud of the work we’ve done already, we know there’s more to do, and we look forward to sharing updates with you.

To learn more about Workday’s global impact, see the full “2023 Global Impact Report.” 

1Net-zero carbon emissions goal boundary includes global Scope 1, Scope 2 market-based, Scope 3 market-based data center non-IT, Scope 3 business travel, Scope 3 public cloud emissions, and Scope 3 serviced offices.

2The Workday Peakon Employee Voice core measure of employee engagement is based on the employee Net Promoter Score question, “How likely is it that you would recommend [company name] as a place to work?” This question is also used by customer organizations providing robust benchmarking. Through FY22 and FY23, Workday placed in the top 10% of the Technology-Software and Services Industry benchmark for this core measure of engagement. 

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