Women in HR Technology Summit

October 4th, 2019
Chelsea Kilpack, Corporate Marketing Manager, HireVue
Room of women

HireVue is proud to have sponsored HR Tech’s 2019 Women in HR Technology Summit on October 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The summit provides professionals across organizations actionable insights to build a culture of inclusion with policies that support employees in various stages of their lives — something HireVue is passionate about.

Summit breakouts featured decision-makers in some of human capital management’s most significant organizations. Sessions covered using data and analytics for diversity, dealing with harassment in the workplace, and talent mobility in the digital age. If you weren’t able to attend, enjoy these recaps of three of the sessions I found most inspiring along with an overview of some of the most powerful takeaways.

In Data We Trust

Cristina Goldt, Vice President, HCM Product, Workday Carin Taylor, Chief Diversity Officer, Workday Erin Yang, Vice President, Platform Technology Product and Strategy, Workday

In this session, three women leaders from Workday shared stories and strategies about working with data to build a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Highlights include a reassuring message from Erin Yang where she shared that at the beginning of her career she was really just “winging it” and trying to figure out how to be a proficient manager. Erin shared that as an Asian woman in tech, millennial, and mother of two, she has a perspective and experience that are different from the other two women on stage — a reminder for business leaders that employees live at the intersection of various identities and often have more than one prevailing need for the company to consider as they craft policies.

Cristina Goldt talked about her career path and explained how the traditional career ladder is no more. The average career path looks much more like a winding mountain with lateral moves, reskilling, and breaks for life events. She extolled the ability of data to “help people navigate where they could go or where they should go in their careers” and reminded us all that our tools should be used to help employees know which skills to develop and where they can go next in their careers.

Carin Taylor brought the session to a close by sharing Workday’s innovative system of measurement, the “Belonging Index,” which it uses to ensure that people across gender, generation, level, location, and ethnicity feel they belong at work. She used the analogy of the school dance to illustrate the difference between inclusion and belonging: inclusion is being invited to homecoming, belonging is being comfortable enough to dance.

The Belonging Index asks employees the following questions:

  • My manager shows appreciation for good work and extra effort
  • My manager avoids playing favorites
  • Promotions go to those who best deserve them
  • People avoid politicking and undermining others as ways to get things done
  • This is a psychologically and emotionally healthy place to work
  • I am treated as a full member here regardless of my position

HireVue is a proud Workday integration partner and is delighted to see Workday’s emphasis on inclusion and belonging. HireVue also takes pride in fostering diversity in our organization and in helping customers do so with their recruiting processes.

Gender Equity: Practical Strategies

Kate Bischoff, Attorney and HR Consultant, tHRive Law Heather Bussing, Employment Lawyer, Bussing Law

Kate Bischoff and Heather Bussing led a powerful session on harassment in the workplace, with a call to organizations to make sure that equity is for everyone and a stark reminder that harassment is a health and safety issue, not one of compliance.

Some key takeaways to share with your organization:

  • "We have inadvertently placed the burden on the targets of harassment to do something, and the law doesn't even require that. The burden is on the organization — not on the recipient,” says Kate Bischoff. Owning the burden of harassment prevention at your company includes offering clear and accessible reporting structures, continuous training on harassment, and building a culture that doesn’t tolerate harassment of any kind, even if it doesn’t yet meet the legal standard.
  • Gender-based harassment is different from sexual harassment but just as intolerable. This type of harassment includes explicit comments and jokes that include gender-based stereotypes, as well as pay inequality, and “he-peating,” which Kate described as ignoring a woman’s suggestion in a meeting, but applauding the exact same statement when it comes from a male participant.
  • Heather Bussing reminded the room that it “starts with you.” She encouraged attendees to stop believing:
    • That men have all the power
    • That the positions for women are scarce
    • That we have to outman the men
    • That we have to do it all
    • That we are stuck with the current situation

Learn more from Heather Bussing and Kate Bischoff on their respective websites, where they share practical legal information for employers and employees.

Talent Mobility: Right Place, Right Time

Sharlyn Lauby, President, ITM Group, Inc. — moderator Gretchen Alarcon, Group Vice President, Human Capital Management Strategy, Oracle Zoe Harte, SVP of HR and Talent Innovation, Upwork Elisa Steele, Board Chair, Namely

This session covered a spectrum of topics related to talent mobility, including the traditional career ladder and whether it’s still relevant, parental leave policies, and the significance of mentorship at work.

Is the Traditional “Career Ladder” Still Relevant?

The panelists went back and forth as to whether or not the ladder was still a relevant analogy.

Gretchen contends that you can have a whole career inside one company as long as you’re willing to jump at opportunities to try new things. She asserts that relevance is possible if you’re always asking the question, “Where can I be the most successful?”

Elise, on the other hand, believes that the “career ladder days are over” because “a ladder means you’re alone.” She recommends instead that you build a pyramid with a strong foundation that includes a robust network and experience in several roles so you have a deeper understanding of business overall.

Zoe Harte didn’t give preference to either ladder or pyramid, but she did acknowledge that for HR leaders there is immense credibility that comes from experience in roles outside of the human resources department. She also recommended pushing your comfort zone for growth, “If it feels terrifying, you should probably, definitely do it.”

Parental Leave Policies

Parental leave has a significant impact on careers, and the U.S. ranks dead last in offering paid leave. What can organizations do to help employees in light of these facts?

Zoe Harte made it clear that poor parental leave policies and a failure to recognize the ongoing transition of adjusting to parenthood impact the bottom line of businesses. Zoe stated that close to 25% of people have considered not returning to work because of childcare, which is a preventable outcome if the right policies and cultures are in place.

Elisa Steele shared how her first maternity leave barely registers in her memory because she stayed connected the entire time. Since that realization, she makes it a point to sit down with soon-to-be parents before they take leave and reassure them that they are valued and that their jobs are safe. Simply having a leave policy alone isn’t enough — it needs to be clear to your employees that policies exist to be used and they won’t be punished for it.

The Importance of Mentorship

Gretchen reminded every people leader in the room that sometimes all it takes is a little extra time to build relationships and show employees that you care. For instance, dedicate five minutes at the end of your one-on-one to ask about life outside of work. Ask your team members, “What’s going on with you right now?” She encouraged us all to open the door for vulnerability, but also to remember that some people aren’t comfortable sharing their personal details at work, and that’s okay, too.

When it comes to organizations, Elise pointed out that they’re living things, and that the only way to identify changes in them after you’ve been away for any significant period of time is to have a mentor, coach, or a support person who can give you strategic input on what’s been happening while you’ve been away. This relates to the conversation around parental leave, but also to other life transitions like taking time to work remotely while caring for an ailing parent, or moving from one department to another.

Lastly, Zoe encouraged us all to seek out not just mentors, but work allies who can speak to our power when we’re not in the room.

HireVue Proud to Sponsor The HR Tech Women in HR Technology Summit

HireVue is proud to have been a sponsor for The Women in HR Technology Summit. It was a great opportunity for a diverse group of leaders and innovators to share strategies and perspectives on diversity and inclusion.  HireVue is also thrilled to have sent team members to gather information to bring back to our organization to use to continue building the award-winning culture that helped HireVue be named one of Inc’s Best Places to Work in 2018.

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