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.
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.
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.
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, generalisations, 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.
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.
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.
Noémie Heuland is Chief Financial Officer at Ceridian. She is responsible for the full scope of global finance functions, including investor relations, global financial strategy, financial planning, reporting and analysis, tax, treasury, and purchasing. Noémie is a Certified Public Accountant, and has a Masters in Management from Nantes School of Management. In addition, Noémie is a strong advocate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, having chaired the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for SAP in Latin America.View Collection