Here at HireRight, our teams work hard to build the future of screening services while striving to put the customer first. But what is it like to work here? And who are the employees behind our background screening and workforce solutions?
We are committed to building a workplace that is free of stereotypes, discrimination, and gender bias. Our employee-led affinity groups like Pride and BLM have taken big steps within the organization to unify our team members to share and learn, together. March 8 is International Women’s Day, and to celebrate we are talking to Teresa Fitzgibbons, HireRight’s Sr. Director, Global Field Marketing, and President of the WorldWideWomen (WWW) employee affinity group at HireRight. Teresa shares with us how the group started, what they are doing this month for International Women’s Day (IWD), and her career experiences.
Share with us a little more about the WWW group and how it got started.
We had some small pockets of activity happening locally in our global offices, but little was shared or known beyond those groups. With more team members working from home around the world, we recognized that we needed to do more as an organization to keep people connected in general. We also wanted to try to motivate and inspire our team members around the world, which is when we really started to expand our existing diversity activity and seek a more global objective for the group.
How has the group’s focus shifted over time?
Although not solely gender-driven, in many cases women have had to take on the added pressure of more caring responsibilities in their personal lives over the past couple of years. This could be through home schooling or looking after relatives while working at home, which has put additional stress on them in the workplace. As a starting point, we wanted to give them a space where they can share experiences and seek advice from others. Then, we started to focus on networking, health, and wellbeing for our teams throughout the world as the pandemic progressed. Finally, as we settled into a remote work routine, we concentrated on leadership and strategic alignment, focusing on how the WWW group could add value to the company more broadly.
I was delighted, if a little daunted at the prospect of taking on the role of president of the network. We are still learning and growing but it’s been a fantastic journey so far, working with our incredible women and being truly impressed with the level of interest and interaction of allies.
Why did you feel it was important to create an affinity group around women?
My first experience of company-led diversity groups was probably nearly 20 years ago. I was lucky enough to be part of a large financial services company in London that embraced the need for a new direction. I was inspired by events where I could sit and listen to senior women in their field talk about the journey they had been on; the challenges and successes, the self-doubt, and the euphoria of breaking through.
Fast forward to today: Great progress has been made in many areas of the world, but we’re not there yet. Some countries and regions have regressed around gender equality. The need for progressive diversity has never been greater and there is still much to be done.
What are you doing to celebrate International Women’s Day this year?
We formally re-launched the group in March of 2021 to coincide with International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. As part of the re-launch, we celebrated some of our inspiring women at HireRight with internal video interviews, whether their story was career-led or personal. The honesty, openness, and passion with which they told their stories left me both emotional and proud to work alongside them. I smiled all the way through every video we made and was truly inspired.
This year we are working on a series of activities throughout March both through coffee morning well-being events and developmental events. We are working on getting as many people involved as we can, sharing resources and experience…and still celebrating our inspirational women.
Let’s learn a little more about you! How long have you worked at HireRight, and what is your role?
In February I celebrated my seventh anniversary at HireRight. I joined on a short-term basis to cover a maternity leave and liked it so much I stayed and began to expand my role.
First, I managed our regional marketing strategy in Europe, then APAC. Last year, I transitioned to the Sr. Director of Global Field Marketing, responsible for generating new business opportunities and helping our current customers find out more about our products and solutions.
What does inclusion and belonging mean to you? And why is diversity, equity, and inclusion important for organizations?
It’s important to recognize that having a diverse workforce doesn’t necessarily mean that it is an inclusive one. The latter being where everyone has the same opportunity, voice, and support regardless of any of their characteristics.
To me, it’s plain commonsense to have a diverse range of people, views, and opinions all being listened to and supported to create a productive and happy workforce. But popular research also suggests that a diverse and inclusive workplace equals higher revenue growth and improved retention.
How do you feel that the WWW affinity group is making a difference here at HireRight?
It’s not just the WWW affinity group making a difference. I’ve seen all our affinity groups grow over the past couple of years. Our regular coffee break meetings around the world have given our team members the opportunity to meet new people, connect on key topics, and give each other a channel to just talk. We’re growing and learning more about each other every day. But it’s getting broader, we’re moving on to activities that will have a lasting impact such as policies, opportunity, and development.
It’s been fantastic to see the growth of our allies, and the passion with which people are taking part and evolving the groups. All the groups are aligned and working together to have the greatest impact.
What do you hope to see in the future for the WWW group?
We’re trying to keep the group evolving in line with what the women of HireRight want. We have recently asked ourselves the question – are we doing the right thing for as many people as we can? WWW has a mixture of ages, roles, and countries around the world, and with that, varying definitions of what success means. We’re building on the basics of listening and community – continuing to create community and understanding through listening and learning. From there we will learn more about priorities for the group and build out activities where we can make the biggest impact, while still giving people a safe space to share their thoughts and experiences.
The more we can support our people through giving them an outlet for expression and an opportunity for development, the happier and more successful they will be, which can only have a positive impact on the future success of HireRight.
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