Our Guiding Principles for Belonging and Diversity at Workday

Our Chief Diversity Officer, Carin Taylor, outlines the four principles that will guide us in our efforts to drive greater belonging and diversity at Workday.

A few weeks ago I shared both my personal perspective and some of the conversations we’re having as a company—including initial efforts to stand in solidarity with our Black Community—and my outlook on how we can all unite for equality.

In that post, I also explained that while we’ve made progress in driving greater belonging and diversity within our own company, we know we can do better and are committed to improvement. To get there, we have kicked off a cross-organizational group—the Accelerator Team—to dive deep into this issue and determine the specifics. We will be sharing those details, but in the meantime, I wanted to highlight the principles that will guide us to drive lasting change:

Hiring and developing diverse talent. We have long believed that people are at the center of any successful business, and since day one, have made employees our number one core value. People—their experiences and perspectives—are what fuel our business, whether it’s supporting each other and our customers, driving innovation, or creating an inclusive culture that encourages each of us to bring our best selves to work. 

We firmly believe, and independent studies prove, that diverse workforces result in better business outcomes—and organizations with diverse workforces better serve the communities in which they operate. We know we’ve fallen short in recruiting members of underrepresented groups and are focused on improving our hiring practices as part of our commitment.

More broadly, as a society, we’ve created barriers that make it difficult for individuals with non-traditional backgrounds (such as those who don’t have four-year college degrees or strong professional networks) to earn thriving-wage jobs. In order to create opportunities for all, we need to create onramps for individuals with non-traditional backgrounds. This includes thinking more broadly about not just experience but potential, and investing in talent that can learn and grow as Workday continues to innovate and expand our efforts globally. In addition, as we think about removing barriers related to non-traditional backgrounds, we also know we need to remove barriers related to location, and explore new talent pools.

Looking ahead, we’re more committed than ever to being intentional about the career progression of our employees and creating equal access to development opportunities at Workday.

Cultivating a culture of belonging. We know that while finding diverse talent is a significant and important aspect of our commitment, cultivating a culture of belonging and inclusion is just as critical in creating brighter work days for all. 

A key element of our approach is VIBE™, where we value inclusion, belonging, and equity for all. We implement VIBE through a collective focus on the full employee lifecycle including hiring, development, promotion, and retention. We strive to operate equitably in all aspects of the employee experience.

We also have employee belonging councils (EBCs), which are internal employee groups with a goal to support a more diverse population and advance the professional development of their members. EBCs help strengthen an inclusive workplace environment that enables the maximum potential of employees’ talents, skills, and abilities, as well as provide new perspectives that enhance positive collaboration and communication across our organization. EBC participants, as active advocates and volunteers, also help us cultivate a diverse talent pipeline.

And, especially given the events of this year, we’ve been having meaningful conversations internally and creating a space for dialogue where our employees feel they can share their perspectives and be heard by their leadership and Workmates.  

Strengthening our communities. At Workday, we take our responsibility to support equality and create opportunities for all very seriously, which is why we’re committed to taking action to help close the opportunity gap and support incredible organizations that are driving positive change for people and their communities. We also know that being part of the solution and driving lasting change requires advocating for policies that help promote and protect equality for all. 

In addition to the $10 million in donations we’ve already committed to causes that support social justice, we’ll also be looking to increase our efforts with organizations that are focused on creating opportunities for all and supporting the communities where we live and operate, through education and other resources. 

For example, this week we're partnering with the PGA Tour to present the Workday Charity Open—a live golf event from Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio—that will benefit organizations we work closely with including Eat.Learn.Play and Year Up in addition to Nationwide Children's Hospital. Our continued partnership with these great organizations, as well as others like Opportunity@Work, are great avenues to help further efforts to match talent and skills with opportunity.

In addition, we’ll look for new ways to give back to our communities through volunteer efforts and meaningful engagement. This includes our role in education and working with schools to identify what training programs can help develop the next generation of talent. 

And finally, we'll continue to advocate for policies that will lead to greater workforce diversity. We have called for a skills-based approach to hiring that expands opportunity and focuses on what job candidates can do. Our commitments to ethical artificial intelligence (AI) commit us to mitigating bias in our machine learning technologies, and we are urging the U.S. government standard setting agency, National Institute of Standards and Technology, to launch a framework focused on AI trustworthiness. We have also consistently supported equality for all in key legal battles and in support for legislation such as the Equality Act.

Masked candidate screening is just one example in our continued investment and commitment to support our customers’ diversity efforts with actionable insights, real-time measurement, and the ability to mitigate bias.

Building inclusive products and technology. We pride ourselves on being an innovative company, and part of that is continuing to push the boundaries on how organizations—including our own—can better support their people with technology. We offer a number of tools and capabilities to help our customers cultivate belonging and diversity across their organizations as part of Workday Human Capital Management, related to gaining workforce insights, creating great employee experiences, and hiring and developing diverse talent. 

There’s more to come. In our fall release of Workday, we will support masked candidate screening. This will allow us to mask personal information on candidates' profiles during screening stages to help reduce unconscious bias during the hiring process. Masked candidate screening is just one example in our continued investment and commitment to support our customers’ diversity efforts with actionable insights, real-time measurement, and the ability to mitigate bias.

As I think about the future, I continue to be encouraged, grateful, and hopeful. We know we have a lot of opportunity and I look forward to working with our Accelerator Team. We’re committed to doing better and will be sharing more about our efforts over the coming months.

Workday Co-Founder and CEO Aneel Bhusri, Great Place to Work CEO and Workday Board Member Michael C. Bush, and Workday Chief Diversity Officer Carin Taylor came together on July 8 to discuss how companies, leaders, and organizations each play a role on the path to equality. Watch the replay, “Coming Together on the Path to Equality.”

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