MReport September 2018

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24 | TH E M R EP O RT COVER STORY include diversity at every level of management. Eshoo states that this promotes a healthy work environment that values every- one's contributions and creates a fluid team. "The message has been con- sistent that I will promote from within and I encourage growth and expansion of responsibili- ties," Eshoo said. "Women hold more than 50 percent of my management team positions. More companies need to moti- vate and champion their women employees. Hire women, promote women, rally around women, and bring their strength and talent to the workplace." Committing to D&I A ttitudes that favor diversity and inclusion lead to the creation and support of D&I entities that are instrumental in companies' efforts to effect full integration. COO Aydelotte not- ed that Credit Risk Solutions has "a robust Diversity and Inclusion program that runs throughout the organization." "This year, we've made great progress by working across busi- ness units to collaborate on our D&I initiatives," Aydelotte added. "Since this year's International Women's Day and Women's History Month in March, we have built an expanding network of women with a lot of ideas and energy. I'm excited about what we'll accomplish in the next year as enthusiasm continues to grow." Sarah Guber, Talent Lead at Blend, a Silicon Valley tech company involved in consumer lending, explained that Blend assesses "the number of underrep - resented minorities in leadership" via company-wide Objectives and Key Results, or OKRs. Guber told MReport that these assessments help Blend "understand how we are growing but also help inform how we're investing in the talent that we have at Blend. The goal is to create balance throughout all levels of the organization." Though Guber stated that Blend does not have particular policies for diversity and inclu - sion, "We have programs in place that assist different members of the community to ensure that their voices can be heard and that they can be equally represented." Deborah Jones serves as SVP, Director of Secondary Marketing for Home Mortgage at Citizens Bank, a financial institution offer - ing retail and commercial banking products. "At Citizens, we know diversity and inclusion is an essential element of everyone's success," Jones said. "Whether internally with our colleagues, or externally with our customers and communities, it all serves the same mission—to make everyone feel valued, respected, and heard." Building Better Resource Groups G uber was eager to spot- light one of her organiza- tion's employee resource groups (ERGs), Women-at-Blend. Guber said the group provides "a strong community within the company. Women can connect, engage, and find support, both professionally and personally." Guber added, "At our monthly meetings, we often have different women at Blend share their experiences about navigating the workplace. Topics like negotiating salary or giving difficult feedback have been in - credibly powerful to discuss as a group. By having the willingness to talk about what's difficult, our community continues to grow even stronger." Guber further explained that Blend's ERGs have rotating chairs who lead the groups for six months, giving their employees "the opportunity to grow their leadership skills." Sara Millard is EVP and General Counsel of mortgage insurance provider Arch MI. She told MReport that Arch MI currently has six ERGs that offer chances "for networking and de - velopment within the workplace and in the community." The Women & Allies ERG at Arch MI "specifically focuses on the needs and interests of women within the workplace," explained Millard. "It hosts career- strategy workshops and assists the Women's Resource Center of Greensboro through volunteering and contributions." Jones praised her company's Business Resource Groups (BRGs), saying, "BRGs, which are part of our D&I programming, are one of the ways the bank shows support for the advancement of various employee segments. Today, we have a women's interest group, a multicultural group, an LGBTQ group, and a veterans' group. The BRGs are championed by execu- tive sponsors and chaired by se- nior leaders from across the bank to demonstrate commitment at all levels to developing our employ- ees, providing opportunities for networking and engagement on topics and issues that matter most to them, and recognizing that our employees are people first." Mentoring Matters M entoring, both formal and informal, is popular among women seeking enhanced inte- gration, as are career develop- ment and recognition programs. Aydelotte studied management philosophies and techniques, which strengthened her approach to mentoring. "I dove deep into the writings and research of Dr. Edward Demming and Peter Drucker and was able to apply much of it, from a process me - chanics approach, to the mortgage process," said Aydelotte. Mentorship is available "across the company and throughout the employee lifecycle," said Guber. While onboarding, new employees are matched with another team member, reducing "employee ramp- up time" and increasing "employee experience and engagement." Career development is para - mount at Blend, Guber said. "We invest heavily in both development and recognition. We have a bian- nual 360 review process, develop- ment conversations, and both a quarterly and annual recognition program. We also have a company- wide Slack channel called '#grati- tude' where employees can publicly acknowledge and thank each other for going above and beyond." Millard explained that her com- pany's mentoring program appeals to those interested in being either a mentor or a mentee. "The pro- gram matches 'best-fit' pairs and is structured to incorporate both informal and formal mentoring opportunities," Millard said. "As an example, our Seasoned Professionals and Young Professionals ERGs recently host - ed a discussion panel of company "Microinvalidations can potentially be the most damaging type of discrimination because they directly and deceptively undermine and dismiss the individual's self-worth and value." —Debora Aydelotte, COO, Credit Risk Solutions

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