“It was an opportunity for both men and women to join the conversation and reflect on the importance of the work we’re all doing throughout the year to support diversity and inclusion,” said Jolen Anderson, Visa’s Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer.
Throughout the month, employees were inspired by guest speakers and panel discussions focusing on a variety of interesting and relevant business and workplace topics. In Foster City, Carla Harris, Vice Chairman at Morgan Stanley, author and motivational speaker, drew a standing ovation from a live and virtual audience when she spoke about her extensive experience in banking and management, giving employees insight into how to take ownership of their careers, stay true to themselves and take strategic risks in leadership. A group of male and female leaders also participated in a half-day workshop conducted by the Institute for Gender Partnerships, focused on creating a more inclusive workplace by deepening partnerships between men and women in the workplace to strengthen workplace culture and create value for everyone.
In other parts of the globe, the Mumbai office hosted an event featuring Revathi Roy, CEO of Hey Deedee and entrepreneur who has spent the last decade training thousands of women from diverse backgrounds on how to drive their careers and become financially independent. In Brazil, Visa invited renowned web designer and gender equality activist Alda Rosha to speak about how she built her professional career while overcoming obstacles, and speech therapist Luciana Lourenço shared her insights on the voice of modern women. This and many more events happened every week in various offices, including London, Russia, Dubai, Singapore and others.
Social media channels exploded with the hashtag #beboldforchange as Visa employees tailored the global slogan to their own career aspirations. Bhavna Kumar, Director, Merchant & Acquirer Processing for Visa in Bangalore, said: “International Women’s Day for me is a time to celebrate the strides we’ve made thus far—and also to pause and reflect on the road ahead.”
From raising awareness to taking concrete actions, the internal and external programs reinforced the importance of ongoing company initiatives. Visa is bringing women entrepreneurs all over the world into the formal financial fold through strategic inclusion programs, including a recent announcement made with Gap Inc.’s signature P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement) program. The Unconscious Bias Training program focused on VP+ leaders helps participants identify and eliminate hidden stereotypes and biases. Lean-In circles meet regularly to support career achievement, Talking Cranes provides ongoing professional development, and the Executive Edge program invests in the upward trajectory of key female leaders to eliminate the corporate leadership gap.
“While our many initiatives and programs are important, fostering a culture that supports inclusion and welcomes candid conversations about real issues is what really helps drive positive change,” said Anderson.