Our Commitments to Support Equity: An Update on Workday's Progress

Our Chief Diversity Officer Carin Taylor reflects on the movement for equity and social justice, and provides an update on Workday’s progress to increase hiring and development of diverse talent, further cultivate a culture of belonging, build inclusive products and technologies, and strengthen our communities.

This last year has shined an even brighter spotlight on the challenges we face, such as global health, social justice, immigration, an increasingly divided political climate, and acts of violence and racism, pushing us to address these hard issues with grace and mutual support, all while balancing our own personal struggles and searching for understanding.

The end of May marks one year since the killing of George Floyd, and also a time for deep reflection. The fight for social justice didn’t start or end with the events of that day, but it marked a turning point, as pain and anger turned into activism in cities globally, and more intentional efforts for equity from companies worldwide.  

At Workday, while we had made some progress, we dug deeper to rethink, reevaluate, and in some instances rebuild our efforts for positive, substantive change. We came together to tackle this important work, assembling a dedicated team to address four key areas—hiring and developing diverse talent, cultivating a culture of belonging, building inclusive products and technologies, and strengthening our communities—with specific goals for each. As we drive together toward these commitments, and infuse VIBE™ (Value Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity) in how we think and act, we’ve all learned that the road to change isn’t always a quick or linear journey, but I’m hopeful about the progress we’re making. And while there are some areas that may take longer to see results, we’ll continue to lay the groundwork, revise our processes, develop new programs, and learn as we go. 

Here is a scorecard with the latest highlights on some of our progress, with more insights and details below:

Hiring and Developing Diverse Talent

Increasing our Black and Latinx representation in the U.S. is a core focus of our work, and while change takes time, we’re starting to see positive results, as noted above. A couple examples include our overall Black representation at Workday, which has increased from 2.5% when we announced our commitments to 3.1% as of the end of April. In the same timeframe, Latinx leadership representation has increased from 3.5% to 4.6%. With our hiring expected to increase this year, we anticipate the opportunity to make a bigger impact toward our three-years goals

As part of our efforts to attract and retain diverse talent, we are revamping our talent acquisition strategy to include expansion of our diversity recruiting programs and partnerships. We’ve also launched required training for all people leaders to better attract, recruit, hire, and advance employees of all backgrounds. 

Cultivating a Culture of Belonging

In support of our goal to invest in career development programs and education that increase visibility and opportunity for Black and Latinx talent, we recently launched The VIBE Way Workday growth journey to all Workmates. The first two required learning courses share important lessons about belonging and diversity in the workplace. A new series on inclusive hiring also supports our goal of ensuring an equitable sense of belonging across all our demographics.

Additional efforts include the recent launch of two career development programs, which offer curated experiences that help increase visibility and opportunities, including leadership opportunities, for underrepresented minority (URM) talent.

A critical ingredient for change is understanding each of our own relationships with race and how that impacts the ways we navigate the world.

Building Inclusive Products and Technologies

We’re gratified that customers are adopting our VIBE solutions, VIBE IndexTM and VIBE CentralTM, which contribute to our goal of empowering our customers through our innovations to measure and benchmark diversity and belonging in the workplace. 

Since we launched these solutions last September:

  • More than 700 customers have participated in free workshops offered by Workday and partners (including Alight, Collaborative Solutions, Deloitte, Huron, and Kainos) to support adoption of VIBE tools such as VIBE Central.

  • Three early adopters are live with VIBE Index, and two new customers have recently signed on.

  • VIBE Index was recognized as part of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards, highlighting businesses and organizations that are driving change in the world.

Strengthening Our Communities

We fulfilled our commitment to donate $10 million toward social justice initiatives, and we donated an additional $2 million to support organizations assisting the Asian American Pacific Islander community. Beyond our financial investment, we’ll continue to partner with the more than 30 organizations that help expand on our workforce development efforts to provide training, internships, and opportunities to job seekers from nontraditional backgrounds, and our internal volunteering initiative, Opportunity in Action. 

Highlights of our activities include the following:

  • A new sales training program in March, in partnership with nonprofit partner Dream Corps. Nearly 90% of the training cohort received offers to join Workday Sales. 

  • Our first apprenticeship cohort in Dublin, Ireland in partnership with Fasttrack into IT (FIT).

  • A pre-internship program with CodePath, with 25 college interns starting at Workday in early June. Students in the program will be eligible for a traditional internship in summer 2022.

  • The Workday VIBE Scholarship, providing up to $15,000 awards to students from historically underserved backgrounds who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees.  

I’m encouraged by the level of activism—across communities, generations, races, ethnicities, geographies, and organizations—but we need more of it.

Self-Reflection and Solidarity

As I reflect on the strides Workday has made in the last year, I’m proud of what we’ve been able to achieve and know that looking forward, we’ll need to work together to build on this great momentum. I’m encouraged by the level of activism—across communities, generations, races, ethnicities, geographies, and organizations—but we need more of it. At the corporate level, we’re more powerful together, collaborating, and sharing. 

At the individual level, a critical ingredient for change is understanding each of our own relationships with race and how that impacts the ways we navigate the world. We have to be comfortable with uncomfortable feedback that might open our eyes to behaviors we have been taught that may need to change or evolve. That honest self-evaluation is a critical part of the process of healing and moving forward.

Solidarity, compassion, empathy, and support for one another are the key ingredients needed to move in the right direction. As we come together and recognize the strides we’ve made, we also acknowledge the challenges we have to solve, the healing we need to do, and the long but important path ahead. At Workday, we remain committed to this journey.

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