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June 11, 2021

Five minutes on Equity with Noémie Heuland, Chief Financial Officer

Our Way is the set of values that are core to Ceridian’s culture and our thinking. In part two of our blog series, Noémie Heuland, Chief Financial Officer, shares what Equity means to her, and how it helps create a diverse and inclusive workplace.

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As a strong advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and a frequent speaker on the role of women in tech, Noémie Heuland, Ceridian's Chief Financial Officer, shares her perspectives on what equity in the workplace means to her personally. She also discusses the importance of identifying barriers to an equitable workplace and how transparency can build greater company accountability. 

What does Equity mean to you personally?

Equity is a term that everyone seems to understand at some visceral level, but few people share the same definition. To me, Equity is about having access for what is needed to succeed, regardless of gender, background, age, race, sexual orientation, or religious belief. It means access to opportunity, networks, resources, and supports so we can achieve what is important to us.

What does Equity look like for our teams?

When we hear the word “equity,” it typically comes up in conversations about pay. While compensation is certainly one component of an equitable workplace, it shouldn’t only be about pay.

It is about having the right people in the right places, doing the right things. Members of high-performing teams complement each other, and when that happens, engagement begins. How can we achieve that balance? By asking and listening, by understanding our people, what their strengths are, what they love to do, what drives them and what matters to them.

What does Equity look like for our customers? Our partners?

Equity stems from diverse and inclusive workplaces. These environments find and nurture the best talent, increase employee engagement, and improve customer’ willingness to buy.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion should be at the center of a company’s pursuit of sustainable competitive advantage. This is because the best innovations can only come if our people reflect the world’s full diversity of individuals, opinions, and approaches. A diverse design group is more likely to create products and services that work for a diverse customer base, avoiding biased assumptions, generalizations, or shortcuts. And when a company has an enterprise-wide DEI strategy, leaders can use it to guide the selection of like-minded ecosystem partners.

One of the behaviors for Equity is about challenging practices, programs, and policies that are inconsistent with our values. What does this mean to you?

What I always come back to is: approach diversity, equity, and inclusion as you would any other business challenge. That starts with measurement. Take a look at where the gaps exist, and dig into where barriers are emerging.

On a more personal level, I make a point to listen to everyone and seek opinions from the quiet people in the room to make some space for all voices to be heard. This, I believe, is even more important when decisions are made in a Zoom meeting with many attendees.

In your view, how does the Equity value resonate with our shareholders?

Workplaces that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion nurture the best talent, and increase the chances of delivering products and services that serve the needs of a large pool of customers. These are obvious sources of increased value for our shareholders.

I also believe transparency is paramount. It holds us accountable. We recently published a comprehensive sustainability report that includes data about our diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, our workforce composition, and the many initiatives of our Employee Resource Groups. If you look at our report, you will see that we have accomplished a lot. But achieving our goals is not just a numbers game. It is about making sure everyone feels safe, connected, and valued for their contributions.

Read next: Five minutes on Customer Focus with Chris Armstrong, head of GCO 

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