The Advantages of Diversity and Inclusion

By Libby Chambers

As a far-flung global company, it’s no surprise that our workforce worldwide is as diverse as the customers we serve.

Last week, I spoke on a panel at SIBOS, a conference that brings together senior members of the global financial services community, there were 8000 attendees from nearly every country we might name.  Fellow panel members were from Amazon, State Street and CIBC, both leading global banks, and the Indian banking association.

We explored how surviving “disruption” in our industry can be enabled by embracing diversity:  of viewpoints, of gender, of culture, and of experience. The conversation was designed to get a really wide set of views into the room and we certainly did that!

For WU, it’s simple:  Our commitment to diversity runs deep because it helps us to know and serve customers’ needs better, build better products, services and channels, and be a better place to work.

Western Union’s customers are many times women, they’re millennials, and they’re global citizens. Money transfer is to a large degree in the hands of women. Women start businesses, enabled by digital and access to finance. Women are crossing borders in ever-greater numbers to get better educations and open-up better opportunities for themselves and their families. Women are the key financial drivers in households around the world, and they are increasingly the economic force of the economy, according to data from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). This data shows that remittances (what we do) are a high-volume driver for women’s financial inclusion, especially when accessed through digital channels (what we are driving).

I believe that one of the best things about having so many senior women leaders at WU in marketing, communications, product development, technology and compliance, is that we can walk in our customers’ shoes and see our services through their eyes, everywhere we operate. This is also true in our front-line customer-facing roles. The majority of our employees at our customer care centers – including in Mexico, Lithuania and Costa Rica, among others – are women and millennials.

This means that as a company, we can authentically ask ourselves, “How can we make their lives better?”

In fact, the same principle holds true for all the leaders we have who hail from every corner of the world.  At WU, we have the ability to truly “get” our customers’ needs in a way that is rare in business, and a very clear strength we can build upon.

In addition to bringing our own perspectives, we are spending more and more time gathering and analyzing customer insights and infusing them into all we do. Women make different choices, so we must pay attention to how female customers use WU® products and services.

WU has for almost two centuries continued to re-invent its business by staying current and moving ahead.  This is truly diversity and inclusion IN ACTION.

 

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