Every amazing company traces its success to the collaborative efforts of exceptional people pursuing ambitious goals. As a result, it’s critical that we create a work environment where all people can thrive. Doing so fosters a workplace which allows space for tough conversations, introspection, reflection and optimization, and a willingness to listen and learn from one another. And this philosophy isn’t just a hollow platitude! There are myriad studies that demonstrate the business benefits of diversity. For example, a McKinsey & Company study revealed that diverse companies are better able to attract top talent and boost their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, innovation, and decision making, and all that leads to increasing returns. In addition, we believe that LiveRamp being a place where all people can thrive is simply the right thing to do.
As I mentioned in a recent town hall, I recently joined 1,000 CEOs of the world’s leading companies and organizations to sign the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The pledge outlines a specific set of actions signatory CEOs will take to cultivate a trusting environment where all ideas are welcomed, and where employees feel comfortable and empowered to have discussions about diversity and inclusion.
In the spirit of transparency, the following are four core actions I am committing to uphold as a member of this pledge:
1. Continue to cultivate a workplace that supports open dialogue on complex—and sometimes difficult—conversations about diversity and inclusion.
We will create and maintain environments, platforms, and forums where our people feel comfortable reaching out to their colleagues to gain greater awareness of each other’s experiences and perspectives. By encouraging an ongoing dialogue and not tolerating incongruence with these values of openness, we are building trust, encouraging compassion and open-mindedness, and reinforcing our commitment to a culture of inclusivity.
2. Implement and expand unconscious bias education.
Experts tell us that we all have unconscious biases–that is human nature. Unconscious bias education enables individuals to begin recognizing, acknowledging, and therefore minimizing blind spots he/she/they might have. Here at LiveRamp, we are committed to expanding unconscious bias education in the form that best fits our specific culture and business. By helping LiveRampers recognize and minimize their blind spots—and better appreciate histories and experiences across lines of difference—we aim to facilitate more open and honest conversations.
3. Share best—and unsuccessful—practices.
We have already begun establishing programs and initiatives around diversity and inclusion, yet we know that many companies are still developing their strategies. We commit to helping other companies evolve and enhance their current diversity strategies and encourage them, in turn, to be transparent about their successes and challenges with others.
4. Create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with our board of directors.
LiveRamp’s leadership team will work with our board of directors through the development and evaluation of concrete, strategic action plans to prioritize and drive accountability around diversity and inclusion. Given the shared responsibility for driving strategies that help companies thrive, boards and CEOs play an important role in driving action together to cultivate inclusive culture and talent.
While I’m hopeful that good ideas will emerge from many of the other companies that have taken the pledge, I’m encouraged by the actions already underway at LiveRamp. We have established seven employee-resource-groups (ERGs); we are funding incremental education for ERG leaders so they too can benefit from the best practices created outside our walls; welcomed our Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Kham Ward; and are actively evaluating and removing non-inclusive terminology within our product and engineering workflows.
LiveRamp prides itself on an unwavering commitment to business performance. Fueling our emphasis on nailing the Authenticated Traffic Solution (ATS), revitalizing our core subscription business, landing the global potential of Safe Haven, and getting our house in order requires amazing people and a culture of diversity, inclusion, and belonging. By ensuring we maintain an emphasis on creating a work environment where all are welcome and can thrive, we’ll surely catalyze our progress towards being the exceptional company to which we all aspire.