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Protiviti is a global consulting firm that helps its clients confidently face the future. Through its efforts for diversity and inclusion in the workforce, Protiviti has reduced inequality and has formed a diverse and valuable talent pool that allows the business to thrive.
It was a pleasure to speak with Ms. Katelyn Sypher about Protiviti's innovative initiative, one that is becoming evidently important in today's business world. It is not a product, but rather a part of their business operation. They have incorporated a set of initiatives within their company for diversity and inclusion through internal communities called employee network groups. They are local "grass-roots" groups that organise in-person and online to focus on promoting diversity initiatives within the company. At the moment, there are six employee network groups; iGROWW, Experienced Hire Network, Protiviti Parents Network, ProLGBTA, US. Veterans Networking Group, and the Multicultural Employee Network.
iGROWW is a unified internal women's network group that focuses on the recruiting, mentoring, growth, and retention of women at work. They host forums, networking events, and community service projects such as the Dress for Success initiative, where members collect clothes for women going into professional environments who cannot afford them, and the iGROWW Annual Dinner where Protiviti's offices around the globe meet to discuss women's professional concerns relevant to each location. Ms. Sypher is a member of the group, and shared with me how great it feels to talk to managing directors locally, and around the world. "It makes me feel empowered...seeing the people that I recruit from campuses looking up to them and joining the employee network groups...they are empowered to ask questions and to help out, and they realize the difference of feeling pride versus the feeling of being able to lead on the team."
The Experienced Hire Network is a network for experienced employees to mentor and help new employees transition into Protiviti, providing them with resources for a successful start into the firm. The Parents Network is a community for working parents at the company. Ms. Sypher stated that, "Through the network, we empower working parents to share successes, exchange information, support transitions, and tackle challenges together." The ProLGBTA is a national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Alliance network. It is open to all employees, and they regularly create newsletters focusing on advice for an inclusive workforce for employees, as well as engaging in forums with other members.
The Veteran Employee Network's purpose is to have a positive impact on careers of employees with prior and ongoing military service, while also seeking to improve Protiviti's ability to attract and retain a unique talent pool. It offers an excellent program for employees who are on reserve because they have an opportunity to serve their country and continue to be a part of Protiviti when they return. Lastly, there is the Multicultural Employee Network Group, which was founded within the past year.
Many of these initiatives have been established since Protiviti's beginnings, and they have continued to develop, along with the emergence of new ones over the years. Most of the network groups started out as ideas that were brought up by employees to HR and to recruiting. As Ms. Sypher said: "Our people that work at Protiviti are spearheading these initiatives, which I think is great because they have a passion for it."
Ms. Sypher expressed Protiviti's diversity initiatives and their relation to a sense of purpose: "Everyone comes from a different background and culture, and it's very important for employees to share their values and their concerns with others. At the end of the day, there is a purpose for them to spread their word, to get together and share their thoughts and suggestions with one another." According to her, these initiatives are essentially part of Protiviti's essence, and "...without these initiatives, we [Protiviti] wouldn't be who we are."
The diversity efforts were encouraged by a few motivators, starting with the concept of 'Protiviti is family'; many people in the office have built friendships with one another, and they have created a sense of family. Ms. Sypher also said that Protiviti's employees felt that any concerns that they valued outside of work should also be valued inside of work. Another motivator that drove the efforts were the reasons why some employees have moved away from Protiviti in the past, such as a lack of work-life balance. Protiviti recognized that its employees needed internal support and connections for their individual concerns, and as a result, the network groups were born.
As a consulting firm, Protiviti takes pride in going above and beyond. They are, as they call it 'Getting to Exceptional', providing support to their people and their clients. Their internal initiatives have certainly created a positive impact on the company. Protiviti strives to complement the diverse solutions they bring into the marketplace with high-performing professionals from a variety of backgrounds. They consider themselves a team-based organisation, and that it is essential to their success that all employees feel that they are part of the team, and that their ideas will contribute to the problem-solving work that they perform.
The impact of Protiviti's diversity initiatives have brought nothing but positive results for their business. As previously mentioned, having a diverse talent pool has allowed contributions to solutions from employees who come from a variety of backgrounds. Protiviti has also taken their initiatives such as the employee network groups and relayed them to their clients, who may or may have not been familiar with them previously.
Service to the community is equally as important as business at Protiviti, and inclusion efforts in themselves have been highly regarded as a way of giving back. The work that the employee network groups are involved in, additionally, have produced incredible results that have positively impacted the community. Through the network groups, especially ProLGBTA, Protiviti has contributed to the AIDS walk, raising money for this organisation and participating in multiple walks. The groups have also engaged in a project that incorporates the company's offices in multiple locations called IonHunger; through this effort, over three million meals have been provided to those in need around the globe.
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Katelyn Sypher, East Region Campus Recruiting Senior Specialist