How Global Companies Can Keep ‘DEI at the Forefront’ of Their Culture With ERGs, Benefits, and More

Sponsored by Donnelley Financial Solutions

Courtney Jorgensen, Kim Dudley, Donna Garabo, Stefanie Hageman, and Michelle Nacker. Photos courtesy of Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN) .

Courtney Jorgensen, Kim Dudley, Donna Garabo, Stefanie Hageman, and Michelle Nacker. Photos courtesy of Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN) .

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May 20, 2024 at 3:42AM UTC

A global workforce that’s 39% women and a U.S. leadership group that is 50% women and People of Color in roles at the supervisor level and above.

These are the current diversity stats of Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN), the leading provider of innovative software and technology-enabled financial regulatory and compliance solutions. Of course, these numbers didn’t just happen by chance. As Courtney Jorgensen, the Senior Vice President of Talent, Diversity & Inclusion at DFIN notes, the company is focused on “keeping DEI at the forefront of our culture.”

“By including DEI as one of our company’s strategic priorities, we can measure our progress — because what gets measured, gets managed. As a result, we’ve increased the diversity representation for Director and above roles by 13% in the last three years.” This is the culmination of efforts such as  providing training to remove bias in hiring and promotional decision making, offering leadership development programs (specifically for senior female leaders), and supporting DFIN’s employee-led employee resource groups (ERGs).

“Employee resource groups, specifically the Women’s Impact Network (WIN), create the connection needed to support our employees across the organization,” Jorgensen tells us.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at what makes this ERG so successful at DFIN by speaking with Jorgensen and the four chairpeople who formed and lead WIN:

  • Kim Dudley – Director of Product

  • Donna Garabo – Vice President of Product 

  • Stefanie Hageman – Director of Global Digital Channel Strategy

  • Michelle Nacker – Director of Product

How the WIN ERG helps women at DFIN excel.

ERGs are an important part of a thriving DEI strategy within your organization — and they can provide a  range of benefits. 

For example, through WIN, women across DFIN are gaining leadership experience. As Dudley tells us, “it’s fulfilling to see people step outside their comfort zone to lead sub-groups, even when they didn’t intend to.” Women can then utilize this ERG experience to grow into leadership roles at DFIN, further improving the diversity at the company.

ERG groups also provide an opportunity for networking across management levels and departments. “It’s great to see women who are building internal networks and are open to having conversations on topics like imposter syndrome,” says Nacker. “The resulting vulnerability is helping to build supportive relationships.” 

Hageman agrees that the ability to build relationships is one of the key benefits of ERGs like WIN. “I’m proud to see that women are creating bonds and forming connections over shared interests and hobbies,” Hageman notes.

Stefanie Hageman. Photo courtesy of DFIN.

Another key benefit that WIN has to offer are helpful and motivational events. Recently, the group held a virtual event in which women leaders discussed  imposter syndrome, work-life balance, and career paths. Garabo says that “events like this are opportunities for us to get together. In a fully flexible environment where much of our workforce is remote, it is great to foster a strong sense of community and open dialogue.”

Advice from these ERG leaders on how they support other women.

At their simplest, ERGs give your existing leaders a dedicated space to promote other women. As Nacker puts it, “through increased exposure to more women, there is an innate interest in supporting other women. There is also more openness to collaborating and connecting to support women.”

Dudley has also found this to be true. “Through WIN, we are meeting many people across the organization, and this has naturally led to pairing people on my team with other women to help support their career growth and development through informal mentorship,” says Dudley. “Residually, this has created a sense of ownership and pride in helping other women succeed in the organization, and it creates the visibility to promote others.”

Kim Dudley. Photo courtesy of DFIN.

Supporting other women doesn’t stop within the ERG either. Each of these leaders makes sure to dedicate time to supporting other women in their day-to-day roles as well. For instance, Hageman supports her team of mostly women by “giving them an opportunity to speak up in meetings and helping them shape career development plans for the next two-to-five years based on their interests and skills.” 

Garabo, meanwhile, notes that she aims to be mindful of what the women around her are going through so that she can help them when possible. “I try to support and mentor women,” says Garabo, “and I look for opportunities to help them thrive and take those next steps.”

Other ways DFIN fosters a supportive, diverse, and inclusive environment for all.

ERGs are just one facet of DFIN’s commitment to DEI. There are other programs, initiatives, and commitments to improving DEI. As a baseline, their annual incentive is tied to diversity, “which makes supporting women at DFIN a priority,” Hageman tells us.

One way this goal is actualized is through DFIN’s hiring practices. “We are casting a wider net to create a pipeline of diverse talent specifically for women, for instance with our partnership with Fairygodboss,” Nacker tells us.

DFIN is also focusing on listening to what employees really value to ensure that they are truly creating a welcoming environment. In fact, addressing employee sentiment is what led DFIN to move to a fully flexible workplace model. “This flexibility affords all employees the opportunity for more work-life meaning,” Jorgensen explains. “We also continue to expand our benefit offerings with increased parental leave to create time for the moments that matter.”

Other benefits and initiatives that DFIN has that showcase their impressive focus on DEI are:

  • A series of “Candid Conversations,” during which employees shared their perspectives and feelings on race and inclusion. As a result of these talks, DFIN formed a DEI Task Force, which led to a permanent Council. It was in partnership with this council that Jorgensen came into her current role.

  • A commitment to reporting workplace demographics in their 10k and publishing demographics to the company website for the first time.

  • Options in their HR Information Systems Platform for self-identification of gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, and disability. 

  • Recognizing Juneteenth as a paid national holiday 

  • Adding a new board member, which brought the diversity composition for the board of directors to 44%.

And these are just the beginning — DFIN is constantly advancing its DEI efforts. As Garabo states, “I have seen a lot of change in 32 years here, which has accelerated in the last six years.” This is because DFIN has really made DEI and promoting women a priority. “Our evolving policies continue to prove that point,” emphasizes Garabo. “We have many women in leadership across the organization and are advancing every day. The fact that we have female leaders on our Board and on our Executive Team gives us great examples of the path ahead.”

Donna Garabo. Photo courtesy of DFIN.

Interested in joining DFIN and helping them in their industry-leading efforts to constantly improve DEI? They’re hiring! Click the link below to browse current opportunities.

Fairygodboss is proud to partner with Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN). Find a job there today!

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