I took on the exciting challenge of leading Symantec’s global corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability department eight years ago. Overseeing the CR efforts for a global company such as Symantec is demanding yet very rewarding, and never more so than now. When Symantec’s CEO, Steve Bennett, introduced our new company strategy, Symantec 4.0, earlier this year, he announced a renewed commitment to CR and the desire to lead in three key areas: Our People, Your Information and The World. He reaffirmed what I’ve always believed: CR is at the heart of who we are as a company that strives to protect and manage information, working to ensure that everyone can be free to focus on achieving their goals. Our very business goals are tied to a greater social purpose, making CR inherent to our business and built into our priorities and values. Corporate responsibility isn’t just something we do; it’s becoming an authentic part of who we are.
Fueled by Symantec 4.0, we lead the industry with our cyber awareness efforts, sharing research and partnering with organizations such as Common Sense Media and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to develop an online safety curriculum. In FY13, we made significant commitments to supporting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); cyber awareness; and literacy education around the world, particularly in ways that can benefit girls and women and contribute to equal opportunity for them. It’s a companywide goal to strengthen gender equity and diversity.
In my role, I drive the global implementation of community investment efforts, lead Symantec’s executive diversity steering committee, and oversee the company’s CR strategy and activities. Symantec is committed to prioritizing and expanding its CR program, beginning by merging its CR and diversity and inclusion efforts into one program, overseen by me in my new role as vice president of Corporate Responsibility. In this newly created role, I will continue to lead Symantec's global CR and sustainability department, and will also serve as the company’s Chief Diversity Officer, managing Symantec’s Diversity and Inclusion Program. A globally diverse, inclusive and engaged workforce will stimulate Symantec’s success in this 4.0 transformation and deliver value for our customers.
With this change, I will be responsible for delivering a global diversity, inclusion and accessibility management strategy. This change not only represents an exciting development in Symantec CR; it also signifies that Symantec as a whole is recognizing the importance of CR to its business, therein setting a precedent for companies everywhere. It further illustrates that CR is not a passing trend, but an integral part of how companies should practice their business.
It was my dad who used to tell me to keep pushing forward, to always keep pushing the boundaries. This advice is so relevant for CR work, because all of us who work in this field are continually trying to move our companies and society along. As a company working to further its CR initiatives, Symantec has come such a long way. But we’re just getting started. We have so many barriers left to push against, so much progress left to make, and we’ll get there – together.
For more information on our CR work and to view our complete 2013 Corporate Responsibility report, please click here.
Cecily Joseph is Symantec's Vice President, Corporate Responsibility.