AMEX’s longstanding commitment to building an inclusive culture that values every voice
American Express International Inc won the Bronze Award for “Excellence in Women’s Empowerment Strategy” at the 2021 HR Excellence Award, Singapore.
Editor of American Express Women’s Interest Networktalks to us about the three strategic pillars that help deliver a great day-to-day collaboration experience at American Express.
Q What is your organization’s winning HR strategy and what steps have you taken along the way?
At American Express (AMEX), we’ve long been committed to building an inclusive culture that values every voice, rewards teamwork, celebrates different points of view, and reflects the diversity of the communities in which we live and work. Our vision is to provide a great experience for our colleagues every day, and we have three strategic pillars to guide us:
- Provide a great co-worker experience,
- Developing top talent, and
- Develop new ways of working to unlock business value.
Additionally, AMEX’s 14 “Colleague Networks” work closely with our “Colleague Experience Group (CEG)” (formerly known as HR) to provide opportunities to support personal and professional development, skills and career growth of all colleagues. Our Singapore Women’s Interest Network (WIN) brings together colleagues from different business units to seek career development and education, support and mentorship. We work actively to ensure that our female colleagues have the tools, resources and sponsorship necessary to succeed.
We have achieved 100% pay equity globally, provide best-in-class programs and benefits that promote flexibility and well-being at every stage of their career and life, including well-being physical, mental and financial, and provide personalized learning opportunities to support women’s skills development. and progression to leadership roles.
Q How has this strategy helped you achieve your HR priorities, and what role has management played in helping to make this initiative a reality?
We make a point of actively listening to our colleagues – to hear their questions and feedback at town halls and events, and through our annual Colleague Experience Survey. This allows us to have open dialogues on various issues that affect the lives of our colleagues and to keep our finger on the pulse of what matters most to our employees.
Q Unexpected roadblocks are an integral part of executing any initiative. What were some of the obstacles you and your team encountered during the deployment, and how did you manage to overcome them?
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have responded quickly to provide the flexibility, resources and support our colleagues need to stay safe, healthy and productive. We have introduced a range of virtually delivered offerings, including personal counselling, wellness coaching, meditation classes and exercise programs to help colleagues cope with the unprecedented challenges and stress brought on by the pandemic.
Some of our main highlights were our celebrations of International Women’s Day. In 2021, over 8,000 colleagues united virtually across the globe to actively engage in a dialogue on ambition on International Women’s Day. Locally, WIN hosted a regional webinar on “Allyship”. We also held internal workshops and continued to run our WIN mentorship program, helping our colleagues grow professionally and personally.
Q As evidenced by the victory, this initiative has clearly produced amazing results. What was your game plan for measuring ROI? What achievements can you share with us on this front?
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) is an ongoing business priority and is reinforced in “American Express Blue Box Values” and “Leadership Behaviors”.
Our corporate dashboard, which is used to measure our performance and progress on our business priorities, also features a comprehensive set of global talent metrics, which include progress on our DE&I initiatives. We establish our scorecard indicators annually and regularly review our progress against them to hold ourselves accountable.
As previously mentioned, we remain committed to maintaining 100% global pay equity. Our goal is to enable women to build stronger and more meaningful relationships within the company, thereby driving sponsorship, retention and progression to leadership positions.
Currently, 52% of our global workforce and 37% of our Executive Committee are women.
Photo / Provided by American Express International Inc.
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