Jul 05 2022

Lessons learned building an inclusive workforce for the future

By Meta Careers
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Editor’s note: The following post was written by Colin Graham, VP of International Compensation and Benefits. In his own words, he shares four principles for building diverse and inclusive teams.

When I joined Meta 12 years ago, I was inspired by the unique opportunity to build something that could scale globally. But I never could have imagined how much my role would evolve, and how our work would help shape industry standards around the world.
While most of my career has been in tech, I was in the financial services industry for a couple of years before I came to Meta. I missed the cognitive and cultural diversity you often find at tech companies, which inspires me every day. Today, I’m delighted to collaborate with an incredibly smart group of forward-thinking and empathetic people who are dedicated to driving impact through our work on compensation and benefits. When I reflect on my time at Meta and what we’ve learned, I see how building diverse and inclusive teams comes down to four key principles.

1. Ensure your compensation and benefits programs support people from all walks of life

I had been at Meta for a few years when we reached an inflection point. We wanted to ensure we were building compensation and benefits programs to support not only our team at the time, but a future global workforce as well. This led to an exercise in examining how our benefits supported people from underrepresented groups.
“If you want to build diverse teams, you have to make sure you can support them.”
One of the first steps we took was to provide paid leave to non-birth parents. As a father of three, I know how invaluable those first few months are for both the baby and the parents. By providing paid leave for non-birth parents, we made it easier for them to be present, supporting women who often carry the burden of providing childcare. A big positive of our approach is that it also led other companies to follow suit. Similarly, we’ve developed family building benefit programs that support adoption, surrogacy and infertility. Today that work and focus is still a work in progress. When it comes to compensation, we take a formulaic approach that is focused on ensuring consistent outcomes supporting our strong focus on pay equity across the globe.
Colin and his family enjoying a sunny day in Disneyland together.
Colin and his family enjoying a day at Disneyland together.

2. Educate yourself and listen

Applying a lens of diversity, equity and inclusion to the work we do with compensation and benefits requires a continuous investment in learning. For example, I participated in a three-day workshop called "Leading for Inclusion" where we explored the roots of racism, sexism and xenophobia. We also discussed the power structures that exist across society today underpinned by privilege. Having a deeper level of understanding enables us to design programs that support people and combat these challenges.
“If you don’t take the time to listen, you risk missing the mark on developing programs that effectively serve the needs of a community.”
Our team also focuses on listening. We conduct regular surveys and pay close attention to feedback team members share in Workplace, Meta’s internal communication channel. We also actively participate in Meta’s employee resource groups. One initiative the team supported that I’m particularly proud of came directly out of the Women@ Meta employee resource group, and was focused on providing financial education to women across several EMEA locations. Supporting these initiatives, listening to the challenges, asking questions and gathering feedback helps ensure we continue to build programs that resonate with women and make a tangible impact.

3. Become an ally and take action

Having the opportunity to learn from others is one thing, but taking what you learned and turning it into action is another. If we don’t do anything to change the inequities that exist in society, we become part of the societal constructs that perpetuate the problem.
“It’s on each of us to ask ourselves, ‘How can I use my privilege to support those who are facing barriers for being who they are?'”
My journey to becoming a stronger ally began when I got involved with Women@ Meta as a male ally, following the design for inclusion program. Over two years ago I also took on the executive sponsor role for Disability@ Meta in Ireland. My goal is to not only educate our team members and leaders about the challenges people are navigating, but to also elevate the incredible work taking place in these communities. Participating in these groups also gives me a stronger sense of which benefit programs and support systems we may be able to offer to empower team members.
A collage of four different photos of Colin wearing a Meta Quest headset indoors at the office.
Colin taking a break to enjoy his Meta Quest headset at the office.

4. Embrace change

Over the last decade, Meta has evolved in ways I couldn’t have dreamed. Being part of this growth reminds me that to drive positive change, we need to be forward-thinking and always remain open to doing things differently. For example, with a shift to remote work amidst the pandemic, we’ve had the opportunity to hire people who wouldn’t ordinarily be prepared to move to a major city. As a result, the talent pool has widened with more cognitive and cultural diversity and we need to reevaluate how we can best support our team members in the future or work.
There’s still a lot of work we need to do to ensure we equally support everyone’s experience, both internally at Meta and externally from a legislative and infrastructure perspective. If we want to build an inclusive future, we can’t think about what we can achieve in a year—we need to think about what we can achieve in six to 10 years. When we listen, take action and work together, we can make a meaningful difference.

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