Taking Action to Build Belonging, Diversity, and Inclusion

As Chief Diversity Officer at Workday, a big part of my role is networking and sharing industry best practices with others. This includes participating in events, and this month is a great example of this—it’ll be one for the books. First, I joined my Workmates Cristina Goldt and Erin Yang at the 2019 Women in HR Technology Summit in Las Vegas, where together we hosted a keynote on using data to enable better employee experiences. From there, I headed to Orlando to join one of our customers at the Grace Hopper Celebration for a panel discussion on the maturing diversity model. And looking to next week, I have the honor of joining two more Workday customers at Workday Rising in Orlando for a fireside chat on valuing inclusion for all and a panel discussion on understanding the evolution of diversity.

Collectively across these events, I will have had the privilege of joining more than 43,000 people to share my experiences and learn and hear from others. As for what we’re doing in the areas of belonging, diversity, and inclusion at Workday, I feel inspired and proud of where we’re at as a company, and I’m excited for the opportunities for us and our customers as we wrap up the next few months and head into next year. 

Belonging Becomes a Bigger Focus

What excites me most about diversity is that the conversation keeps getting bigger. This couldn’t be more true today with discussions taking place not just within companies, but across the nation and the world at large.

Given where we’re at as a society, I see Workday and other companies putting even more of a focus on the concept of belonging, which takes diversity way beyond the numbers. Belonging is about creating a workplace where people not only feel included but also psychologically safe to be their most authentic selves. 

Here’s how we are doubling down on belonging, diversity, and inclusion at Workday:

Measuring Our Progress. Diversity dashboards are an integral part of Workday Human Capital Management, as they can help monitor things like pay equity, time-to-promotion, turnover, and more. All Workday executives have access to diversity dashboards, and they’re available to our customers too. Looking ahead, we plan to add new features to our diversity dashboards and related scorecards. The diversity scorecards will include diversity goals for managers to execute against, in real-time, and provide data on their progress. This will enable us—and our customers—to take more direct and timely action related to hiring, training, and promotions to address gaps in our workplaces. 

Additionally, we are expanding our measurement capabilities around the Best Workday Survey to focus on belonging. This weekly survey already includes several questions pertaining to belonging—people are treated as a full member here regardless of their position—but what’s new is that the survey data alerts managers to how well they’re doing on fostering belonging.

VIBE. VIBE stands for “value inclusion, belonging, and equity for all.” It is at the heart of Workday’s culture, and its goal is to inspire employees to actively participate in building inclusion. This past June, we hosted VIBE Week, an internal, diversity-focused event that included 160 sessions across 34 global Workday locations. Resulting from the event, we found that 91 percent of employees that attended one or more VIBE sessions said Workday “is a psychologically and emotionally healthy place to work.” VIBE Week attendees were also more likely to express feelings of belonging and said they were more able to be their authentic selves. In the coming year, we will continue to support VIBE through activities like inclusive behaviors trainings, launching new Employee Belonging Councils, and more.

Learning. Continuous learning is part of the Workday experience, and we believe that workplaces with higher levels of belonging invite authentic discussions. We want a workplace where people feel comfortable having tough conversations on topics including power and privilege, intersectionality, and what bias looks and feels like. To support this, we plan to create new Workday Learning content to help our employees understand and build on their diversity practices, such as an “Inclusive Mindset” course to support discussions around unconscious bias and appreciating differences. 

A Rolling Thunder of Comfort

People spend much of their waking hours at work, and we want to create a rolling thunder of comfort to encourage people to increasingly talk about issues of diversity in honest and respectful conversations. We know that diverse and inclusive workplaces are more successful. 

We also know that our work to boost diversity, inclusion, and belonging is an ongoing journey. Our recent and upcoming events, as well as our broad efforts, indicate that we are on the right path, but there is always more work to be done. Together with our employees, customers, and industry peers, we can make the workplace, and the world, a better place for all.

Workday employees at the Grace Hopper Celebration in Orlando.