March is Women’s History Month and March 8 was International Women’s Day. At UKG, we celebrate the successes of our amazing female U Krewers all year long, but this month we are pulling out all the stops. Our employee resource group FIRE (Female Inclusion, Resilience, and Excellence) Up has some incredible programming to elevate and empower our U Krewers in March — including multiple guest speakers, a roundtable with UKG leaders, an event for female vets in the tech space, and events focusing on women’s health and financial wellness, to name a few.
We’re also excited to share a Q&A with our Group Vice President of Relationship Management, Jane G. Jane is a member of three of our eight ERGs, including FIRE Up, BUILD (Black Upcoming Individuals in Leadership and Development), and ADAPT (Accessibility and Disability Allies Partner Together).
Tell us about yourself and your role at UKG.
I joined UKG in 2017. My wife and I live near the beach in Charleston and enjoy Friday morning surf sessions and dinner outside at any one of the Island staples near the beach. We have several rescue animals and I am on the board of directors of our local animal society. At UKG, I lead a global team of about 350 people focused on the retention and long-term success of our customers.
What career advice would you give to your younger self?
Ask leaders you respect — especially if they manage a different part of the business than you — if you can join their team meetings. Make time to do it, so you can learn from their leadership styles and learn about other parts of the business. Be curious about all aspects of the company and build your network while you learn.
What challenges, if any, have you faced as a woman in the workplace and how have you overcome them?
I have been fortunate in both the places I’ve worked and the generation I am a part of, being on the more progressive side of this issue. That said, I once had a senior executive at a different company ask me privately during a female leadership panel whether I thought there was “actually a wage gap” between men and women. I was in my early 20s at the time and I felt as though I couldn’t respond truthfully for fear of disagreeing with what I assume was a position that women don’t really get paid any less than men.
What has surprised you most about working at UKG?
Even after several years at the company, I am still surprised by just how much collaboration is valued over competition, no matter where you operate in the ranks. In many companies, competitiveness and politics are parts of the culture. At UKG, people are rewarded for helping others or their team achieve success more than (in my opinion) they are rewarded for achieving their own individual success. This breeds an environment of mutual celebration and support that is unique and surprises me every day.
What makes you feel supported at UKG?
I was recently leaving a meeting when one of our C-level executives stopped me to talk. He was asking my advice about an upcoming company event and wanted my opinion about inclusivity at the event. Then he asked if it was ok if he asked me some questions about my experience being a part of the LGBTQ+ community at UKG. I was touched by the sincere and genuine interest this senior executive expressed — he was asking so that he could continue to foster a culture at all levels where people feel supported and included. UKG is truly a special place to work and it comes from the top.
Is there a UKG program that has impacted you, or that you find motivating/encouraging?
I have so many more programs to explore, but one that comes to mind was my participation as a mentor in our BUILD mentorship circle. I spent a couple hours a month for eight months with four other BUILD members, following a mentorship curriculum that allowed us to share our unique experiences in work and life, learn about our aspirations, and help each other with advice and support. I am a more thoughtful leader — and a little smarter — because of the opportunity to have those months of interesting conversations with colleagues I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
Interested in joining the U Krew? Explore careers at UKG.
It’s an ongoing priority at UKG to recruit a wide range of talented people to join the organization and better reflect the makeup of our communities. As such, last fall, UKG’s Director of Belonging, Diversity, and Equity (BD&E), Derek V., identified an opportunity to expand the pool of candidates by casting a wider net. Derek and his team strategically partnered with specific colleges and universities to build relationships, including Clark Atlanta University and Georgia State University.
Here, we spotlight two new U Krewers who are a result of those partnerships.
Jazmiyne, Solutions Consultant
Clark Atlanta University is one of more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States and U.S. Virgin Islands. After receiving her MBA at Clark Atlanta University in May 2021, Jazmiyne B. was hired into the Elevate program, a training program at UKG where exceptional individuals early in their careers are immersed in the latest workforce management and human capital management technology. As someone who loves to network and experience new cultures, Jazmiyne was excited about the opportunity to join a company that allows her to work with people across the globe.
“Everyone was so welcoming,” she says. “We were provided with mentors throughout the process and the management team was always available and supportive. It’s a program that really prepares you for personal skills growth, working with customers, consulting skills, and training.”
After completing the Elevate program in December 2021, Jazmiyne was hired as a solutions consultant, helping our customers implement UKG Pro. She has already been assigned and is working with her first customer organization.
Francis, Technology Consultant
Not far from Clark Atlanta University, the UKG Belonging, Diversity, and Equity Team turned its attention to Georgia State University. Francis I. graduated from Georgia State in 2020 with a degree in computer information systems. He was recruited into the Elevate program and joined UKG in September 2021.
“I can honestly say my experience in the Elevate program was one of the best trainings and the managers are some of the best people that I’ve come across,” says Francis.
In January 2022, Francis was hired as a technology consultant and began shadowing his mentors, collaborating with other team members, and attending customer meetings.
“The talent attraction efforts utilized to find great people, such as Jazmiyne and Francis, shows our commitment to help UKG expand our sourcing pools to find the best and brightest across multiple diverse intersections,” says Derek. “Our team believes strongly in the business imperative of BD&E as the world is changing around us due to more generational, gender, and ethnic and cultural diversity. It has been proven that organizations that embrace the business imperative of BD&E drive superior business outcomes for all and are viewed as some of the best-run companies.”
With the success of this pilot program, UKG is looking to expand its partnerships with Clark Atlanta University and Georgia State University, as well as with additional institutions the company hasn’t engaged with yet. The focus on recruiting efforts is just one way in which the BD&E team is dedicated to ensuring all employees feel safe and welcome to bring their whole selves to an equitable workplace where they can innovate, grow, and reach their maximum potential.
Interested in joining the U Krew? Explore careers at UKG.
What Diverse Talent Want in 2022
Diversity at work has never been more measured or discussed. But how can you create an environment where diverse talent can succeed?
As a company that is focused on creating opportunities for underrepresented talent, we wanted to provide companies with data-based, practical strategies to help them find, retain, and uplift diverse talent. Using our findings will help you ensure that the diverse talent already on your team wants to stay, and show diverse talent looking for new opportunities that your company is the one they should join.
To come up with those strategies, we went right to the source and conducted a survey with 490 diverse professionals across industries and career stages.
Keep reading for the four things that companies can do to improve their ability to keep their current talent and to appeal to new talent, too.
The Top 4 Things You Can Do to Attract and Retain Employees in 2022
- Be generous with compensation and learning and development offerings. 76% of diverse talent would be “very likely” to leave their job for a role that paid more, and 73% would leave for a job that offered more opportunities to learn new skills.
- Level up your DEI commitment. 69% of respondents wish their current companies would become more diverse.
- Commit to long-term flexible work. 55% of respondents wouldn’t consider staying at or accepting a job that didn’t let them work remotely at least part-time. Surprisingly, more respondents wanted to be able to flexibly schedule their 40-hour weeks than wanted a set 32-hour workweek.
- Consider intersectionality. Don’t look at employee experiences as if all employees were the same. For example, less than half as many Black respondents are happy with their company’s DEI training compared to white respondents.
Want to learn more? Read the entire What Diverse Talent Wants in 2022 report by downloading it for free here.
6 Tips for Companies & 5 Tips for Individuals from Indeed's Group VP of ESG, LaFawn Davis
Earlier this month, LaFawn Davis, Indeed's Group Vice President of Environmental, Social, & Governance, joined us as part of our Diversity Reboot Summit to talk about the 'shecession' experienced by many women, and especially women of color, as a result of COVID-19.
LaFawn shared some great tips for companies and individuals looking to be part of "the great rehiring." If you're looking to find a new role, or to ensure that you help bring back diverse talent displaced by COVID, check out her advice below, and catch her complete talk here or by clicking the video above!
Q: What would your advice be to companies that are looking to step up their diverse hiring in 2021?
My advice: Good intentions are no longer good enough. Nobody wants to hear what you meant to do, wish you could have do, intended to do. Nobody wants to hear that you can't find Black Women or any other dimension of diversity. We're obviously out here.
My squad and I have a saying "Impact over intentions." So, if 2020 was the year of good diversity and inclusion intentions, let's make 2021 the year of actions and impact.
So, now that we got that out of the way. If you're looking to step up your diverse hiring. Stop and get your house in order. Because you shouldn't just want to hire a diverse workforce, you should want to grow and keep them too. So there are 5 things, ready?
1. Focus on long-term systemic change.
There's a lot of momentum — and need — for change right now. It's not just about a message of support or donating to a cause one time. Take a look at your own systems. How do you hire and grow employees? Do your succession planning, talent reviews, recruiting and other processes have built-in biases? Is equality part of your core values? Are you actively working toward change? Recognize that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. Above all, hold yourself accountable for the way things are, then work to improve.
2. Take a close look at your data.
Share it internally to be transparent with employees of where you are now. When possible, share it externally to be visible and accountable (I'm happy to announce that Indeed will be releasing its own diversity data this summer). Use it as a baseline for comparison against what you hope to achieve.
3. Change behavior.
Focus on behavioral changes throughout the company with an emphasis on coaching, training, and having crucial conversations with managers. Leaders and managers set an example for the entire workforce. If employees see the behavior of managers or leaders in a negative light, a true sense of belonging is difficult to achieve.
4. Representation matters.
If leadership roles are perceived as exclusive to many members of the workforce, then a broader sense of belonging will continue to elude many employees. People in leadership roles should reflect the diversity of a company's workforce. Observing someone "like me" in a leadership role helps attract and retain talent and motivates workers to pursue roles with greater responsibility.
5. Create Policies And Procedures Reflective Of The Entire Workforce.
As you work through new or existing policies and procedures, be aware of barriers experienced by different populations. Take, for example, the case of caregivers. More scheduling flexibility for calls can go a long way for employees who share their home workspace with others and must tend to family responsibilities while working remotely.
Q: Do you have advice for individuals that are looking for new career opportunities, especially women of color who might have lost their previous jobs during the pandemic?
Adaptability has always been an important part of an individual's career progression - even before COVID-19, it is especially important now.
It is important to show a potential new employer how your abilities adapt to a new role or a new industry. Focus on skills more than just experiences because skills can be applied in so many different ways. So… I'll give you 6 things for this one.
1. Perform a professional audit. Taking some time to understand your qualities, qualifications and values can help focus your career transition and narrow down your career path options if you haven't already. Doing so can also help you understand how you might position yourself during the job search.
2. Identify your hard and soft skills. Soft skills are often the most transferable, so identifying them early can help you understand the ways you might bring value to a new role or industry. Taking inventory of your hard skills will help you identify if there are certain industries that might be easier to transition into.
3. Highlight your biggest career wins. Communicating the impact you've made throughout your career can help employers quickly understand the value you'll bring to their organization, even if you come from another role or industry.
4. Utilize online job search to your advantage. Pay close attention to the requirements and duties of jobs so you can evaluate whether the career would align with your skills, interests and values.
5. You just need to meet "most" of the qualifications. Try to focus on positions for which you meet at least 60% of the qualifications with your transferable skills. Meeting 60% of the qualifications isn't a hard rule, but it's a good general guideline to help you determine whether it's worth applying for.
6. Get a sense of the company. Before interviews, do some research to learn how inclusive a company is. Peruse the organization's core values, its social media accounts, and any recent statements in support of marginalized groups. Pay attention to the interviewers themselves. Is the panel diverse or are you likely to be an early "diversity hire"? If the interviewers seem to be emphasizing "cultural fit," ask what that means. Basically, be an active participant in the hiring process. You are also interviewing the company, as much as they are interviewing you.