Broader perspectives, better outcomes
Diverse teams create more innovative solutions. At this year’s World Economic Forum I’m calling on my fellow corporate leaders to join me in driving diversity.
If you want to innovate and invent, your organization needs diverse thinking. One person conjures a notion; others challenge it and introduce shape; additional and varying opinions expand and fine-tune the concept still more; and the process perpetuates until a fully conceived product or plan is born. The broader the thinking and the more perspectives brought to bear create a stronger and more universal outcome.
Behind many of our products and strategies at CA Technologies is a group of diverse minds —a team of individuals from a variety of backgrounds that collectively examines and challenges from every possible angle to arrive at the best solutions. When diversity of thought comes together, we push ourselves and discover new things. Better things.
To help shape how we think about diversity, CA fosters a number of relationships focused on workplace equality, including the National Association of Female Executives, The Anita Borg Institute and Catalyst. I am pleased that earlier this year, we added The Female Quotient (TFQ) to our roster of partners.
Founded by Shelley Zalis, TFQ is an organization dedicated to advancing equality in the workplace. TFQ is of particular interest to CA because, like us, TFQ is focused not only in sparking dialogue about the importance of diversity, but also in identifying practical ways to drive actual change.
CA Technologies and TFQ will be co-hosting a series of events at this year’s World Economic Forum which convenes leaders from around the world. Through our partnership, we are also sponsoring the TFQ lounge which will serve as a destination for conversations on the topic of diversity. Together, we will seek to engage this influential audience and get at the heart of the issues and impediments to progress. And from those learnings, we will look to plant the seeds for actionable solutions.
There are several commitments we have in place in CA that are already helping to drive diversity, and I would call on other leaders to consider these practices because they are working.
CA is proud of our historical focus on equality and to pay parity specifically. We constantly seek opportunities to continue forward momentum and we are particularly proud of our most recent proactive step.
Late last year, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed “equal pay for equal work” legislation that will bar employers in the state from asking any job applicant about previous salary levels. The law, which is intended to eliminate gender bias in pay, goes into effect in July 2018. Earlier this month, CA voluntarily adopted the precepts of the legislation and implemented a policy across the United States, Canada and Latin America that prohibits discussion of previous salary levels during the application or hiring process.
This simple and important shift will allow us to focus on the areas that matter most in determining a compensation package: knowledge, skills and abilities — rather than gender or previous existing pay disparity.
We are also committed to diverse candidate slates and interview practices when hiring. To help manage against unconscious bias, the diverse candidate slate seeks to ensure that at least one candidate in every pool of applicants qualifies as diverse. Similarly, the diverse interview panel is meant to ensure diverse representation among the interviewers.
It may sound like a small effort, but we know these programs work. For instance, of our senior-management hires in 2016, 13% were multicultural women, which was 44% higher than the industry average of 9%. And in the last two years, we have increased the representation of women in technical roles by 14%. It’s a good start, and we are enthusiastic about building on this momentum.
Clearly, the collective work we have in front of us to drive diversity is not easy, and sometimes progress is frustratingly slow. But it is important.
As CEO, I have the privilege of helping shape this environment of diversity and inclusion and I hope that my fellow corporate leaders will join me. Every step we take, the big ones and the small ones, drives fairness and works to level the playing field. Words are important, but only thoughtful and sustained action will produce the result we want: achieving true diversity.