I had the pleasure of speaking with Martin Mackay, President, Asia Pacific & Japan, CA Technologies, one of the main sponsors and keynote speakers at Women in Tech, Singapore. CA Technologies’ consistent commitment to Diversity in the workplace, may offer companies a way to walk the talk.

Why does CA Technologies believe in diversity?

Recent research shows that when a tech company has a higher level of gender diversity, it will yield yearly returns that are higher than their peers. Tech companies operate in a fast-paced, dynamic environment so for CA Technologies to innovate and stay competitive, we will need a lot of creativity and out of the box thinking.

We want to lead that change. According to many recent studies, women make up at most 30% of leadership roles in tech companies and less than 27% of technical roles.

How did CA make Diversity Recruitment a mandate?

Within our ‘hiring smart’ policy training, there is a key focus in raising the awareness of the potential for ‘unconscious bias’. It is too easy and way too common for managers to hire in their own likeness. We simply interview more women, train hiring managers for better awareness and use a diverse selection panel.  

Our talent acquisition team in APJ is required to ensure that at least 2 women are shortlisted for at least 75% of our roles. These procedures will help us hire more multicultural women and increase the representation of women in technical roles. The intent overall is to create a more level playing field and ensure everyone – regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability – has the opportunity to earn fair compensation for comparable work, and advance in an inclusive environment where our people can thrive.

Does it work? I asked a CA Women on Top in Tech

“CA places great emphasis on recognition and rewards for talent and contributions. I’ve not encountered any gender bias. The opportunities for growth, development, and learning are available to everyone. In my six years with CA, I’ve been promoted twice. It is empowering to work in a company with a culture that embraces inclusiveness and collaboration. It is in our DNA.” Carol Pang, Senior Director, Field Marketing, ASEAN, CA Technologies

It’s not Carol who testifies to CA Technologies’ success. They were named one of the Best Companies for Multicultural Women for three consecutive years and one of the Top 10 IT companies for Women in 2017.

What is CA Technologies doing to promote diversity in the workplace and in future generations?

In Hyderabad, CA has coding programmes for their female staff and the local population. It has structured executive meetings to coach women to become tech leaders and tech careers. CA is not a supporter of positive discrimination. Their talent has to come to the fore. However, there is a conscious effort to reduce any form of bias which could limit the talent pool.  

“CA truly believes not only in removing barriers for its customers, it is equally passionate about doing it for its employees. As a mother of a 10-year-old, when I first joined CA, I was given flexi work hours option so I could maintain my work-life balance. With this kind of flexibility and understanding  work environment, I knew straight away that I was going to grow and thrive in my new job.” Leena Pandya, IT Program Director, CA Technologies

What does a Conscious Leader need to do to build cohesion in so much diversity?

We can’t be certain what we doing is always right, but we must always be clear about what we do. Ambiguity is the enemy of accountability.  

We set clear objectives and we get our employees to be self-aware and measure where they are on the scale.  We also design systems to reinforce that.

We have our CA DNA – influencing a new ecosystem. The CA DNA is Results oriented and Resilient and incredibly collaborative. We encourage our employees to be humble and open to learning and leave their Egos at the door. We also want our employees to be hungry.

This means we have enthusiasm and drive, relentless energy without breaching integrity. We’d rather lose a deal than win it dishonestly. Our CA DNA is also about being smart with people from different perspectives and background. There will be things more important than software. We have stories where we tell staff to stop everything and go worry about family issues if needed.

So while we are a diverse workforce, our CA DNA and a standard set of behaviors and norms align us all.