"It is from this foundational ethos that we seek to shape inspirational leaders, create inclusive employee programmes, and design benefits that meet the needs of a diverse workforce," shares Amanda Gervay, SVP, People & Capability, APAC.
Mastercard’s purpose to connect and power an inclusive digital economy that connects everyone to priceless possibilities is one that reflects within. As a company, it believes in fostering an inclusive culture with the belief that diverse perspectives build stronger and innovative teams.
In that vein, Mastercard was lauded for one of its various diversity & inclusion initiatives at the 2023 HR Excellence Awards in Singapore, where it won the silver award for ‘Excellence in Women Empowerment Strategy’.
Following the win, we catch up with Amanda Gervay, Mastercard’s Senior Vice President, People & Capability, Asia Pacific, to learn about the strategies that drove this success, and how they tie in to the company’s culture, also known as 'The Mastercard Way'.
Q Congratulations on your top performance at the HR Excellence Awards! How has your HR and people strategy contributed to your success this year?
Mastercard focuses on creating an environment where everyone is welcome, regardless of beliefs, cultures, and backgrounds. We believe that our people are our greatest asset, and they are key to delivering our business strategy and fundamental to our success. Employee engagement, inclusion, and wellbeing lie at the heart of what we do. Mastercard leads the industry in employee benefits that cover financial, physical, and mental wellbeing.
Underpinning all of this is the statement ‘Doing well by doing good’ – being decent, inclusive, and a force for good – which is at the core of who we are as a company. It is from this foundational ethos that we seek to shape inspirational leaders, create inclusive employee programmes, and design benefits that meet the needs of a diverse workforce. All this and more because we want Mastercard to be an incredible place to work, no matter your position in the company or your background.
Q Looking back at your achievements, what aspect of your HR initiatives are you most proud of and why?
At Mastercard, we commit to be a company that shows up for people, enabled by a culture of belonging that is rooted in diversity, equity, and inclusion. We reflect the people and communities we serve and invest in our employees to build a workplace and culture that drives innovation, embraces diverse perspectives, and enables growth and opportunity.
For example, our Women’s Mentoring Programme provides facilitated mentor matching, curated conversation starters and regular events for female employees have reached 1,800 employees participating since 2020.
To accelerate the growth and development of female employees, Mastercard offers a variety of curated self-paced learning courses focusing on female leadership and women in technology.
Q During your HR journey, what were some significant obstacles you faced, and how did you overcome them to achieve excellence?
The ways of working have changed tremendously over the last few years. At Mastercard, we recognised the changing, diverse needs of our employees and have implemented a range of flexibility policies and options to support how, where, and when people work. For example, we introduced a four-week ‘work from elsewhere’ benefit which gives our employees the choice to work from any location.
Beyond providing workplace flexibility, we also adopted a principle-based and team-driven approach to required time in the office, with teams deciding through team agreements, when and how often they come together based on the type of work that needs to be done in support of our customers, company, and one another.
This is part of our broader focus on how we support our employees and create the best possible work experience, as we continue to invest in tools, technology, and experiences to create an optimal workspace.
Q How does your organisation measure the success and impact of your HR initiatives?
Mastercard adopts a data-based approach to measure the success and impact of our HR initiatives. We publish regular workforce metrics dashboards which provide a comprehensive suite of measurements covering key employee lifecycle programmes and allow us to track our progress against key HR metrics such as diversity, headcount growth trends, and more.
One of the tools we use is our annual employee experience (EX) Survey that helps us measure engagement scores, learn about employees’ experience at Mastercard, and understand what we are doing well and opportunities for improvement. In our 2023 EX Survey, 95% of our employee in Singapore said that they are proud to work for Mastercard, which is a testament to our continuous efforts to build a positive workplace culture.
Q In what direction do you see the HR/people function evolving in the future, considering the emerging trends?
How we work will continue to evolve. The future of work at Mastercard is about working smarter and better together while prioritising flexibility and wellbeing. We are investing in technology that helps our employees collaborate, learn and access opportunities wherever they are, to remain relevant and grow their careers.
Reimagining the future of work, Mastercard introduced 'Unlocked', an internal talent marketplace that allows employees to post and look for opportunities – including short-term projects, mentorships, and volunteering opportunities. With Unlocked, we can collaborate across regions and business units, uncover new ideas and push one another to think in bold new ways and unlock capacity across the organisation.
Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!
Lead image / Provided by Mastercard