Can you share more about your journey to Workday?
In year 19 at Microsoft, I moved into yet another new role focused on AI ethics. It was a great opportunity, but I thought, if I’m going to start from scratch again and spend the next year ramping up in a new role, maybe it’s time to do that someplace else? While I valued my time at Microsoft, I decided to explore outside opportunities. I tapped into my network, and that’s when Workday popped up.
I knew a bit about Workday, and what I knew was good. I did my research, and as I saw article after article about the exceptional Workday company culture, my interest grew. Then what sealed it for me was the people. I had a chance during my interviews to meet most of the executive leadership team and some members of the Workday board. Without exception, I came away from each encounter thinking, “Wow, that person was super impressive, incredibly smart, down to earth, and genuinely humble—I would love to work alongside them!” That’s when I decided to join Workday.
As I reflect back on the interview process and what I perceived Workday’s culture to be, I’m happy to report that Workday walks the talk, including commitment to core values and philosophy that happy employees equal happy customers.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received, and what leadership qualities do you appreciate in your colleagues?
Early in my career, I went from being an individual contributor to leading a team of more than 50, so I relied on guidance from my people leader who said, “hire great people, create a climate of trust where employees can be their best selves, and trust them to do the job you hired them to do.” Since then, I’ve viewed trust as the key ingredient for creating high-impact teams.
I like to think of trust as the grease that makes all the gears move much more easily. For example, information freely flows, silos fall away, difficult conversations are easier to have if you’ve created an environment where people trust each other, have each other’s backs, and operate as one team.
The challenges of the pandemic have confirmed the importance of creating a foundation of trust and an empowered working environment. We went from a team dynamic where many of us were in the office every day, to an environment where none of us were in the office for over two years. It’s been challenging and, not surprisingly, harder to build trusted relationships in a remote working environment, but it’s still possible.
Now as the pandemic subsides, we’ll bring people back together for what we’re calling “moments that matter.” I’m looking forward to reaccelerating our trust-building efforts with in-person gatherings, and more opportunities for people to get to know each other, open up, be transparent, and be even a little vulnerable with each other as we take on a hybrid work environment.
How does the work of the legal, compliance, and corporate affairs team fit within the broader mission of Workday?
When I think about my team and our contributions to Workday’s success, the opportunities ahead for us feel unbounded. From inception, Workday has earned customers’ trust by making ironclad commitments to secure their data and protect their privacy. That remains as true today as it was 17 years ago.
Today, the world has become more complicated and the regulatory environment is experiencing rapid changes and expansive regulation that cuts across nearly every facet of my team’s work: privacy, cybersecurity, competition law, environmental-social-governance, trade and export controls, AI/ML [machine learning] regulation, and accessibility. Fortunately, my team is an amazing group of professionals who work to understand these regulations, forecast and shape where they are going, and advise Workday on not just what we must do to comply, but on what Workday can create to help our customers meet their own compliance obligations.