Our Corporate Members continue to support our efforts to increase Asian American and minority business representation in their vendor diversity outreach.
Although I was not able to stay for the full conference - I met several business owners and leaders who gave very positive feedback on the conference and the various panels. Some companies I met have reached out to me and I made the introduction to those in our company who may be able to help them. You and your team again did a fantastic job.
Vice President of Supply Chain Management, PG & E
As you know, San Diego was my 4th USPAACC national conference; each conference was exponentially better that the preceding one. San Diego is nostalgic for me because of the robust Nationwide presence and my barometer for success is the feedback from my two executive who attended. They both were thoroughly satisfied with the logistics, content, energy and above all the business value we got out of it. San Diego was a very successful experience.
Supplier Diversity Consultant, Nationwide
How did your background (Marriott, etc.) prepare you for Freddie Mac? How is Freddie different? How is it the same?
I spent nearly 10 years at Marriott International in various marketing, sales, change management and diversity roles. In my last role as Senior Director, Global Supplier Diversity and Sustainability for Global Operations, I led efforts that elevated supplier diversity performance, which simultaneously resulted in the company receiving global recognition. I was empowered, able to make a difference and focused on continuing to drive success. And then the unexpected call came. There was this intriguing opportunity at Freddie Mac.
Even though Marriott and Freddie Mac are in completely different industries, I was intrigued by Freddie Mac’s commitment to inclusion and diversity (I&D), their vision for the future and the opportunity to lead all of I&D. With my background and experience, I knew I could play an integral role in helping them bring their vision to fruition.
While I greatly admired Marriott (and still do), my transition was smooth because both companies believe that a commitment to I&D is beyond the right thing to do, rather, it’s a business imperative.
How has Freddie Mac changed since you’ve been in your role? What did you bring to the table?
In my first few months, I hit the ground running. I partnered closely with Jacqueline Welch, our Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Diversity Officer, my team and others across the company to develop our first Board-approved inclusion and diversity strategic plan. The plan consists of three target pillars: workforce diversity, supplier diversity and financial transactions. Each of these pillars has associated goals that are tracked throughout the year. We provide regular updates on our progress to our regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency; our board; our senior leadership team and our workforce.
In addition to these pillars, we folded our community engagement efforts under the umbrella of inclusion and diversity. We recognized that by working together to serve our diverse communities, we can create inclusive, collaborative environments for our people to learn more about one another while making a sustainable impact in the communities in which we live and work.
We gained buy-in from our employees through the launch of our first-ever company-wide I&D learning module, which had a 100 percent completion rate.
Now, more than a year into this role, I am evolving our platform with an increased emphasis on inclusion.
How long has Freddie Mac been on this Inclusion journey?
Since our creation by Congress in 1970, we’ve been delivering on our mission of making homeownership and rental housing more accessible and affordable for diverse homebuyers, homeowners and renters nationwide. I&D has always been a part of our DNA.
As we continue our I&D journey, we plan to focus on the concept of inclusive engagement which encourages people to retain open mindsets to establish meaningful connections with people unlike themselves. The outcomes of which include a more welcoming work environment where people feel empowered to bring their whole selves to work, along with their innovative ideas to tackle some of the toughest challenges in our industry.
What is your short-term goal and long-term goal for Freddie Mac?
While there’s always opportunity to improve, we generally get the “D” in I&D right. We are a minority majority company and women make up nearly half of our workforce. We develop diverse suppliers through our Vendor Academy, delivering a customized curriculum to better equip them for success and connecting them directly with applicable decision makers for consideration with business opportunities. And, unique to us in the financial services industry, we develop diverse firms and promote their use in our capital markets transactions.
While we get a lot right and are proud of what we’ve accomplished, we have an opportunity to improve upon the “I” in I&D.
In 2018, we hosted our first ever Inclusion Summit, bringing together a mix of employees, diverse suppliers and community partners to discuss our inclusion and diversity strategy and how we can realize our I&D ambitions. Based on that collaboration and other work we are doing, we reorganized our office and re-branded ourselves as the Office of Inclusive Engagement.
What is a specific value USPAACC corporate membership brings to Freddie Mac in addition to providing access to Pan Asian American businesses across the country?
As a minority majority company, we actively engage all employees. One way is through our business resource groups such as ASIAN made up of people that identify as Asian including Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Korean, etc. Partnerships with affinity organizations such as USPAACC help provide subject matter expertise on Pan Asian American culture, history of immigration and experiences, and business practices and expectations.