For Visa’s Chief Diversity Officer, Jolen V. Anderson, diversity and inclusion means more than just checking off a box. Here, she talks about her vision for Visa:
At Visa, we strive to build a culture where everyone feels welcome, that their opinions are valued and their voices are heard. Universal acceptance, interoperability on a global scale, everyone, everywhere — these are all principles of diversity and inclusion that have been key to Visa’s success.
We often talk about diversity and inclusion as the right thing to do—and we strongly believe that it is. From our support of marriage equality to our commitment to serving 500 million unbanked in developing countries, Visa has celebrated people from all walks of life in our workplace and around the world. But embracing diversity and supporting those who are underrepresented has become much more than a conversation about doing the right thing. Today, D&I has become a business imperative and the companies who get that are winning in the market.
First, it is important that we broaden our understanding of diversity to focus not only on the visible aspects, such as race, gender, age, and physical ability, but also diversity of thought. This means deriving value from people’s different perspectives on problems and different ways to address solutions. Diversity is the mix. Inclusion is making the mix work. Inclusion is ensuring that people feel valued, respected and supported. It’s about empowering individuals and creating the best conditions for each person to achieve his or her full potential. Only with that full potential achieved can our company experience true success.
Now we know that the global marketplace and workforce are changing faster than ever, which is reflected in the demands and expectations of our consumers, merchants, clients, and employees. Our workforce, therefore, must reflect that diversity of thinking in order to understand how to tailor our products and services to meet those demands and expectations.
With that mission in mind, Visa’s approach to D&I involves three key areas of focus:
- People First: Our goal at Visa is to attract, develop and retain a workforce that is reflective of the business and communities we support. We are looking for teams that bring diversity of thought, experience and backgrounds to the table at every level.
- Environment Is Key: We are focused on fostering an inclusive organizational environment that celebrates differences and encourages unique perspectives.
- Leaders Can Make a Difference: We are promoting cultural agility among all Visa leaders to maximize workforce engagement and ensure a more robust talent pipeline and leadership alignment and engagement.
These goals will help us harness the innovative potential of an inherently diverse workforce. At the same time, they will help drive our business initiatives. But it will continue to take each of us thinking consciously every day and working together to achieve these diversity and inclusion goals so that we continue to live up to our promise of being the brand for everyone, everywhere.
Living in a world where everyone is accepted for who they are and what they stand for—that is My Everywhere.