Jacqueline M. Welch
Senior Vice President–HRDI; and Chief Diversity Officer
Headquarters: McLean, VA
Business: Financial Services
Freddie Mac gets diversity right. As a minority majority company, almost half of its employees are women. However, the organization believes that a more inclusive workplace is a must if it is to attract and retain diverse talent, foster innovation, and drive business outcomes.
In 2018, Freddie Mac launched a new board-approved diversity and inclusion strategic plan, defining three pillars to focus its D&I efforts:
The organization worked to develop and sustain a pipeline of diverse applicants, while promoting an inclusive culture that enables employees to bring their whole selves to work. Much of the work is driven by employee resource groups (ERGs) and division-specific D&I committees. More than 2,500 employees are active members of ERGs.
Freddie Mac took specific steps to address the potential of pay inequity. Studies show that women and minorities may be disadvantaged by having to report salary history, and the organization has done away with the practice of asking for salary history across the enterprise. Further, while HR knows the salary history of internal candidates, that information is not shared with hiring managers.
Finally, Freddie Mac piloted its first-ever sponsorship program to help high-potential women and women of color navigate the corporate landscape and be positioned for success and growth. This program is the first step toward creating a culture of sponsorship for career development, while increasing the readiness of underrepresented high-potential leaders.
Freddie Mac developed qualified diverse suppliers through its Vendor Academy program and by ensuring diverse suppliers are included in the bidding process, which has ultimately increased its diverse spend—18.9 percent of total enterprise spend was with diverse suppliers in 2018.
The financial transactions pillar, unique to those in the financial services industry, is focused on promoting the use of diverse firms in capital markets transactions. Freddie Mac continues to make progress in providing minority-, women-, and disabled-owned businesses with opportunities to support financial transactions.