Belonging: What Oracle LAD's D&I program is about
“The launch of Diversity Committee, where everyone can work by their selves in the thematic pillars, and where they can propose ideas and make real actions, made the transformation more significant for all employees.” (Colombian employee, Internal Survey, 2019).
Diversity and Inclusion is one of the hottest trends in HR management and we are deeply committed with that at Oracle LAD. Nevertheless, what we can see in the employee´s testimonial above is about not only D&I itself, but it is about BELONGING. Belonging is a feeling and therefore a far more powerful force than any D&I strategy could ever be. It is a fundamental human need, a word that translates across any language or culture, and a feeling that every human is wired to want.
However, to promote the best employee experience and make them feeling that they belong to Oracle, HR team in LAD has been developing a full strategy focused on Diversity and Inclusion programs, since June 2018. Collaborating closely with Traci Wade´s team, OWL Communities and OPEN chapters and, supported by EVP LAD Luiz Meisler, HR LAD has started to walk a journey to promote more equal opportunities for all at Oracle LAD.
The first stage was focused on define the five pillars of D&I to promote employee engagement, especially for minorities groups and allies. The five pillars are Women, LGBTQ+, People with Disabilities, Race/Ethnicity and Generations. Strategic and action plans were designed to get employees, leaders and external stakeholders committed to our inclusion efforts. The whole communication plan had been based on the motto “Our Differences Transform” and the main arguments to support the business case of D&I at Oracle LAD are: innovation increasing, attracting talented people and improving the understanding of our customer’s needs. All of these points tight connected to our business goals.
An important date’s calendar meaningful for employees and leaders was created for the whole region. Thus, we launched nine diversity committees in eight different counties, led by two volunteer employees, one HR partner and on Diversity Champion. The aim of these committees was offering a safe and supportive environment for sharing personal experiences between participants. Each committee composed by volunteer members, two leaders, one HR professional and one Diversity Champion, who is a senior Oracle executive who serves as ambassador/influencer about diversity and inclusion within other leaders. After 18 months since we started, the committees are counting with more than 250 voluntary members, who hold monthly meetings to raise awareness through campaigns, training and interactive actions.
The main objectives of these actions are to promote integration and share knowledge about respect, tolerance and how to work with diverse teams. We already had Soccer Championship for Female employees in Brazil, Quiz contest about LGBTQ concepts in Colombia, Generation´s Band in Argentina, Multicultural Flag Contest in Chile, National Culture Celebration in Peru, Book and Cine Clubs about D&I topics in Mexico, Foosball Championship for People with Disabilities in Brazil and more. All actions worked as an invitation for employees to join the conversation about different themes.
Every time one of these activities happened, they were followed by content exposure (a lecture, a panel, a workshop) to promote employee-learning experiences. During the actions, we try to develop a connection between employee from minorities groups and allies, willing to put all people in the same page, working together for the same goal: Inclusion. And it´s important to highlight that all projects are carried on in a collaborative way, partnering with different areas such as Recruiting, Real State and Facilities, OWL communities, OPEN chapters and more.
Regarding leaders, we developed a customized mandatory diversity training for all LAD managers and started a People Analytics´ s project to identify improvement opportunities in D&I for each LOB/country. After look at the data, we started a strongly partnership with the HR business partners to design and implement tailored action plans of diversity for each team. For example, if we have LOBs with low representativeness of women, we decide to put our efforts in recruiting fairs and events for women in tech.
One of the stories that we are proud to share is from Gabriela Marquese, a new hired Business Analyst in Brazil. Last September, Oracle sponsored Programaria Summit, where more than 250 women attended a day full of tech content. During the event, we could being volunteer in a speed mentoring activity where nine female Oracle employees from different areas, could share their professional experience and inspire the mentees. In this activity, Gabriela Marquese was a mentee and could know one of our female leaders. She got so inspired by our director´s trajectory that she decided to apply to a position at Oracle Brasil. In her first day, she met that director who inspired her and now they can inspire more women to come to Oracle.
Another project called “Challenging the statistics”, whom mainly goal is to promote inclusion of more AfroBrazilians employees in Oracle, is running in Brazil. The project has started after Oracle sponsored a conference called “Together” in the last November, which 500 AfroBrazilians composed the attendance. After the event, we decided to do more than one day of self-awareness and inclusive employer branding. Therefore, we started to invite all the participants to join Oracle XP, which is a 5-hour long event that takes place in our office in São Paulo, where the AFroBrazilian participants can know better Oracle products, technologies, executives, recruitment process and being inspired by our AfroBrazilian employees. After two editions of Oracle XP within 60 participants, we already have three AfroBrazilian new hires working at Oracle.
Our projects are being recognized even outside Oracle and many companies (including customers) are inviting us to share our D&I Best practices. We have been holding events and communications to influence our customers, marketplace, partners and external stakeholders about the importance of D & I. We are proud to be award as a Great Place to Work for All, Love4all Award and recognized by HRC (Human Rights Campaign) as one of the best companies for LGBTQ employees work in Mexico.
We truly believe that in a culture where people feel psychologically safe they will feel confident enough to put an idea on the table and it will certainly improve our business performance. Belonging creates the trust that has needed people to share their best thinking and do the best that they can for the company.