The year 2020 has brought about tremendous change. COVID-19 has impacted our daily lives dramatically, and the systemic inequalities that directly affect our society, both in our professional and personal lives, have brought into the spotlight a critical conversation. In the past few months, Workday and many other organizations shaping the future of work have recognized our unique roles in making a positive impact in the movement toward creating equal opportunity, driving real change, and creating a better future for all.
In a recent fireside chat, "Coming Together on the Path to Equality – Part 2," Aneel Bhusri, co-founder and CEO at Workday, connected with Carin Taylor, chief diversity officer at Workday, and Michael C. Bush, CEO at Great Place to Work and a Workday board member. The three discussed equality, social justice, closing the opportunity gap, and the work company leaders must do to help ensure all employees feel a sense of value, inclusion, and belonging.
Evolving the Role of the Chief Diversity Officer
Early on in the conversation, Taylor discussed a shift that's happening not only in communities around the country, but also for leaders in diversity and inclusion roles. According to Taylor, “The recent activities around racism and injustice have awakened people. They care about what’s happening now, but they’re also facing the idea that they may have turned a blind eye to issues that have happened in the past.”
Now more than ever, said Taylor, there is “pressure on chief diversity officers to help companies think about addressing the issues at hand, including racism, inequities, and the emotional impact to our employees on top of COVID-19.”
But chief diversity officers can’t do this work alone. The change needs to happen across the company, with buy-in from the top of the organization. “We need to engage leaders, our employee belonging groups, and middle managers who play a critical role in the experiences that employees are having,” she explained.
To live the vision of valuing inclusion, belonging, and equity (VIBETM) spearheaded by Taylor, “All employees must play a part in owning the accountability for how they shift our culture to make sure that this is a place of inclusion and belonging for all people,” she said.