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Fostering Good Work Culture at DTCC

By Ivy Exec | 6 minute read | March 25, 2024

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) are top of mind for many businesses, both big and small, today. After all, it’s no secret that DE&I boosts morale, engagement and, ultimately, productivity – which impacts business’ bottom line for the better.

Most U.S. adults (56 percent) believe that intentional policies that promote DE&I at work are a good thing, according to a 2023 survey by the Pew Research Center. Even more (61 percent) say their companies implement these policies, and just over half (52 percent) have access to training and meetings on DE&I as part of these policies.

However, there’s still a lot of work to be done – as only 33 percent of the people surveyed work for companies with someone in charge of promoting DE&I, like Keisha Bell, who serves as the Managing Director and Head of Talent Management and DE&I at DTCC.

Related: Moving the Needle on DEI: QA with Keisha Bell

DTCC, which works to protect the security of the global financial system, has a keen focus on fairness. Supporting women and people of color is a top priority for Bell, who tells Ivy Exec that the first step to promoting DE&I is establishing clear policies and practices.

“These policies and practices should be assessed using a holistic approach,” she explains. “Once finalized, these policies should then be communicated effectively to employees, shareholders, clients, suppliers, board members and other stakeholders.”

To be successful, she adds that firms need to set goals and targets and then track and report their performance in these areas with regular reporting on progress to stakeholders.

“Employee engagement should be encouraged by creating opportunities for staff to provide feedback and suggestions for improving performance in these areas,” she says. “Further, collaboration with other companies, organizations and experts can also enable organizations to stay abreast of best practices and stay up to date with the latest developments in human resources, DE&I and ESG, which are all critical to continuing to advance in these areas.”

We caught up with Bell to talk more about what these policies, programs and performance metrics look like for DTCC, as well as her actionable advice for prioritizing diversity in recruiting, mentoring the next generation of leaders and creating a culture of inclusivity in the workplace. Here’s what she had to say.

How can companies prioritize diversity recruiting and adopt strategies that support women and people of color to create a more inclusive work environment?

Companies must evolve their approach to recruiting to ensure it does not stop at the early career phase; they must develop innovative methods to attract and retain their respective industries’ best. Creating a sense of belonging and providing flexibility in how we work are critical to fostering DE&I within an organization.

I have been proud of the work that we have done at DTCC to recruit women and people of color leveraging traditional and less traditional approaches. I get especially excited about our participation in and support of the Girls Who Code program. We have high school-level students come in and learn from employees across DTCC with a curriculum driven by our technology area for two weeks each year. It’s quite moving to see the younger generation in the workplace providing us with their ideas and their thoughts while learning from established professionals at DTCC.

We also offer additional training and mentoring opportunities to these outstanding young people through the DTCC FutureStars program, through which we stay in touch with them during their high school and college years to provide further development opportunities.

For women returning to the workforce after a break in their careers, DTCC offers a program called Re-Emerge. Through this initiative, women participate in a 12-week internship, after which they can re-enter the workforce at a level consummate to their demonstrated proficiency with the updated experience to account for their time out of the traditional workforce. Programs like this speak directly to many women’s experiences of being downgraded by two or three levels in their careers when trying to re-enter the workforce after taking time off.

To further cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment, companies must implement DE&I training for its leadership. At DTCC, we offer Men Advocating for Real Change (MARC), a yearly leadership diversity training program offered by an organization called Catalyst that immerses leaders and individuals in recognizing gender and racial biases and how they show up in the workplace.

Related: Learn More About Our Diversity & Inclusion Program Offerings

In your opinion, what specific initiatives or programs can organizations implement to accelerate the representation of women in leadership roles?

As mentioned, focusing on retaining and nurturing female talent in the middle of women’s careers, and bringing qualified applicants to the table as promotions and new positions open, plays a significant role in creating greater gender equity at the leadership level.

At DTCC, we are proud of our Emerging Women Leaders and Advancing Women Leaders initiatives, programs that help women advance in their careers – moving from individual contributors to people managers, and from people managers to executives. These programs equip participants for future leadership roles, enhancing their career management efforts by providing networking opportunities while expanding their leadership skills and organizational savvy.

How do you see mentorship playing a larger role in career development for women in the years ahead?

Mentorship plays a significant role in fostering a culture of growth within any organization and is especially helpful to women and underrepresented people of color in their career development. Formal and informal targeted mentoring programs, combined with a focus on inclusion in promotion decisions, must continue to be a priority for firms in 2024 and beyond.

Retention is key to developing women leaders in the workplace. After the recruitment phase, the responsibility of nurturing their career growth begins. Again, this is an area where intentional firm-wide mentoring initiatives can move the needle for women. Mentoring programs provide the knowledge, tools and relationships to help not only women, but also all people at different levels of the organization to develop professionally. This is the piece of the puzzle that connects future leaders with resources to help them grow within their organizations.

Through a focus on nurturing women’s growth in the middle of their careers and bringing qualified applicants to the table as promotions and new positions open, we continue to see greater progress toward gender equity in our field. Looking ahead, the women who we support one, five or 10 years into their careers may become the future leaders who will drive change in their respective firms.

What are some actionable steps that organizations can take to ensure that women-owned and run startups receive adequate support and investment opportunities?

As an essential component of a good business, vendors should also be figured into a company’s DE&I calculations. Companies should aim to include small and diverse enterprises, run by not only women but all underrepresented groups, in their procurement processes and continuously endeavor to increase the growth of qualifying diverse enterprises.

For example, at DTCC we have publicly laid out the steps we’re taking to support the future growth of our diverse suppliers:

  • Integrating supplier diversity processes and policies within our procurement strategy to build an inclusive supply chain
  • Teaming with advocacy organizations to build relationships and increase engagement with our DTCC professionals
  • Developing mentoring and/or acceleration programs to develop and grow our diverse-owned enterprises
  • Setting metrics and KPIs to track the impact on diverse suppliers and DTCC

Taking these steps can help hold an organization accountable – working to ensure action.

This article was originally published to Ivy Exec on March 13, 2024.

Keisha Bell
Keisha Bell

DTCC Managing Director, Head of Talent Management and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)