Forbes

mis­sion-Driven Fo­cus In­spires In­clu­sion at Dis­cover

-

Wanji Wal­cott has been part of the Dis­cover fam­ily for just over a year – Ex­ec­u­tive vice Pres­i­dent, Chief Le­gal Of­fi­cer, Gen­eral Coun­sel and mem­ber of the Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee – but she is no new­comer to build­ing a di­verse and in­clu­sive work en­vi­ron­ment.

“What drew me to dis­cover,” says Wal­cott, “is our mis­sion-driven fo­cus. We help our cus­tomers spend smarter, man­age debt bet­ter, and save more, so they achieve a brighter fi­nan­cial fu­ture.” di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion are key driv­ers of that cus­tomer-fo­cused mis­sion. this year’s Covid-19 and racial protests have sparked even more fo­cus and cre­ative prac­tices. through its eat it For­ward cam­paign on so­cial me­dia, dis­cover is giv­ing $5 mil­lion to Black-owned restau­rants across the united states. in terms of in­ter­nal and re­cruit­ment pro­grams, the di­ver­sity Ac­cel­er­a­tor Pro­gram en­cour­ages col­lege sopho­mores to make dis­cover in­tern­ships their “top choice.” the de­lib­er­ate Ad­vo­cacy train­ing pro­gram pre­pares a broad range of em­ploy­ees to be ef­fec­tive ad­vo­cates for d&i as they en­gage with lead­ers across the busi­ness. in ad­di­tion, dis­cover is a premier spon­sor at key na­tional di­ver­sity con­fer­ences in­clud­ing nsBe (na­tional so­ci­ety of Black en­gi­neers), sHPe (so­ci­ety of His­panic en­gi­neers) and Ani­taB.org’s grace Hop­per Cel­e­bra­tion. more per­ma­nent prac­tices are also in the works. A com­pany-wide lis­ten­ing ses­sion in June, co-hosted by Ceo roger Hochschild and Wal­cott, led to a d&i task Force with rep­re­sen­ta­tion from all lev­els in the or­ga­ni­za­tion. the task Force’s man­date is to de-bias sys­tems, in­crease rep­re­sen­ta­tion, ed­u­cate col­leagues, and give back to com­mu­ni­ties. “With a deeper un­der­stand­ing of the in­equities,” re­ports Wal­cott, “we can make sure we don’t have more of the same. “i’m es­pe­cially ex­cited about the data trans­parency Project we are set­ting up,” states Wal­cott. “our Hr de­part­ment has cre­ated a re­ally great dash­board so we can drive ac­count­abil­ity and progress. “our re­cent can­did con­ver­sa­tions about race in the work­place, they’re like noth­ing i’ve seen be­fore,” Wal­cott con­cludes. “We are fo­cused on keep­ing the mo­men­tum go­ing.”

“The Jour­nal is a new ve­hi­cle for shar­ing in­for­ma­tion that spot­lights the ex­pe­ri­ence of Black pro­fes­sion­als.”

The Ex­ec­u­tive Lead­er­ship Coun­cil Jour­nal: A Re­search Jour­nal for Black Pro­fes­sion­als de­buted in Fe­bru­ary 2020 to sup­port the eLC mis­sion by de­liv­er­ing re­search, thought lead­er­ship, best prac­tices, op-eds, and com­pelling sto­ries of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est to Black pro­fes­sion­als and oth­ers who wish to un­der­stand the Black pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence. “Pub­lish­ing our peer-re­viewed Jour­nal,” de­clares CEO Ashby, “con­tin­ues to so­lid­ify the eLC’s rep­u­ta­tion in the busi­ness com­mu­nity as the go-to and trusted source for in­for­ma­tion on and for Blacks in busi­ness.” “the Jour­nal is a new ve­hi­cle for shar­ing in­for­ma­tion that spot­lights the ex­pe­ri­ence of Black pro­fes­sion­als,” ex­plains Christo­pher butts, Ph.d, eLC vice pres­i­dent and Chief Learn­ing of­fi­cer. “each edi­tion will cover a va­ri­ety of work­place is­sues through their lens.” most im­por­tantly, the ar­ti­cles, a sam­pling listed at right, posit clear ac­tion steps to put in place en­dur­ing change. the sec­ond is­sue was pub­lished this fall. Both is­sues are avail­able on the eLC web­site. the in­sti­tute is also re­spon­si­ble for keep­ing a full pipe­line of Black pro­fes­sion­als ready to step into the shoes of to­day’s ex­ec­u­tives and board mem­bers. Lead­er­ship De­vel­op­ment Week (LdW), a se­ries of ses­sions of­fered for the last 20 years, has now had its con­tent up­dated, all able to be ef­fec­tively pre­sented in per­son or vir­tu­ally. All the pro­grams have been re­designed around a com­pe­tency- and re­search­based learn­ing model, and con­tent

 ??  ?? WANJI WAL­COtt ex­ec­u­tive vice Pres­i­dent, Chief Le­gal Of­fi­cer, Gen­eral Coun­sel and mem­ber of the ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee, dis­Cover di­ver­sitY
WANJI WAL­COtt ex­ec­u­tive vice Pres­i­dent, Chief Le­gal Of­fi­cer, Gen­eral Coun­sel and mem­ber of the ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee, dis­Cover di­ver­sitY

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA