The business case behind CA’s diversity and inclusion programs

CA has recently been extensively recognized for its efforts around diversity and inclusion. I’d like to reflect on how we have achieved this and what it means for us.

CA was selected by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Employers” for 2017. Fatherly named CA one of the 50 Best Places to Work for New Dads. Working Mother named CA one of the 2017 Best Companies for Multicultural Women. CA scored highest rank in Human Rights Campaign’s 2017 Corporate Equality Index. The Ethisphere Institute also named CA World’s Most Ethical Company.

While all these recognitions are great for our brand, the best thing about them is that they have taught us a lot. They’ve allowed us to benchmark other companies and understand how we can continue to improve. We’re working hard to bring diversity of thought and perspective to our company. CA’s goal is to let people unleash their strengths by providing an environment that values their uniqueness. In our recruitment campaign, we’re asking people to #bringwhatyoubring.

There’s a business case behind it. We operate in the fast-paced high tech industry. If we are to innovate and stay competitive, we need a lot of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. To attract people who bring great new ideas and different ways of thinking, we need a culture that supports what they bring. People should not have to pretend they’re like everybody else, because what they’re bringing is what is ultimately going to enable our company to be successful.

Diverse offerings for diverse needs

We recognize that all employees have different priorities, so we take that into account in our benefits and people-focused programs. One example is the new parental leave benefits we’ve recently rolled out. We’ve increased our family medical leave from six to 12 weeks in 2017.

Companies are required by law to provide up to 12 weeks off for employees to take care of things like the birth of a child or a sick family member. You need to provide time off, but not necessarily any pay. CA decided to take this one step further and now provides up to 12 weeks of pay for qualified family medical leaves. It’s not only available for new mothers, but also for fathers, adoptive parents and employees with sick family members. In addition, we have a short-term disability benefit that new mothers receive on top of the paid family medical leave.

Our perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index means that we are considered one of the best companies to work for LGBT employees. Our health plan has included coverage for transgender surgery for several years now. We were also one of the first companies to cover same sex domestic partners in our health insurance. Our EEO and harassment policies include not only sexual orientation, but also gender identity.

From a recruiting perspective we’ve made some strides in leveling the playing field for all people. We’re consciously trying to avoid bringing in a bunch of people who think the same way, because we know we need new perspectives and different ideas.

Our diverse candidate slate and interview practices focus on reducing bias in the recruitment process and managing against individual unconscious bias. The diverse candidate slate requires at least two candidates in every pool of candidates to qualify as diverse. Similarly, diverse interview panels ensure that we have diverse representation among the interviewers. We’ve also stopped asking candidates what they’re currently earning, because we want to pay people for the job they’re doing.

These efforts are beginning to work. Last year, 13% of our senior management hires were multicultural women. In the last two years, we have increased the representation of women in technical roles by 14%. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but we’re on the right track.

Creating a culture for innovation

Besides our leading edge recruiting practices, we want to have the right culture to support our people and help them reach their full potential. We’ve done a lot of work around our company’s mission to help align all of our people around their impact on our customers, regardless of whether they’re in a customer-facing role or not.

This work is now paying off. In our annual employee opinion survey we’ve seen an increase in the percentage of employees who feel like they understand our mission and DNA and how their job contributes to us achieving our strategy.

Why are we doing all this? Because it’s the right thing to do for our employees, customers and for our business. When employees have the support they need, they can focus on doing their best work. This is the only way we can achieve our mission of eliminating the barriers between ideas and outcomes.

Beth is the HR Leader at CA Technologies for the Americas. She innovates and improves…


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