Cecily Joseph has run Symantec’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) program for the past 13 years. This week she’s moving on to a new chapter in her life and is passing the reigns to Jaime Barclay, who is now filling the role of Director of Corporate Responsibility at Symantec. Jaime has extensive experience in philanthropy and CR, and has been a dedicated Symantec employee for more than a decade. The team will report into Symantec Vice President Carrie Flynn who currently leads Litigation and the Office of Ethics and Compliance.
We asked Cecily and Jaime to interview each other – to give us a look into their past work together as well what we can expect to see next. Here’s what we learned:
JB: Part of me can’t believe you’re actually leaving, but putting that aside, let’s go with the big question first. When you look back over 13 years what are you most proud of?
CJ: You know, I’m most proud of what we’ve built together – as a team and a company. When I joined Symantec in 2005, CR was really only about community relations and software donations. I’ve seen a huge shift internally over my time at Symantec. Having CR as a Board-level priority has been a constant and the Board supported our efforts to take a leadership position on key CR issues like reporting, climate change, and diversity.
We were one of the first software companies to publish a CR report, to publish a GRI-aligned CR report, to go through a materiality analysis, and to publicly promote a low-carbon economy by setting science-based GHG goals (we are currently working towards our third GHG goal of my tenure). We’ve truly come a long way.
JB:Outside of Symantec, how has working in CR changed for you and why?
CJ:Being a CR professional in 2005, no matter what industry you were in, meant constantly trying to justify your existence and leading with the business case. But today I look around and we’ve really moved from ‘Will a company have a CR program?’ to ‘Howwill a company implement their CR program’ and I’m really proud of all of us for that.
Employees, investors, and other stakeholders now expect companies to be responsible and we have data supporting the value of CR in attracting and retaining employees, in reducing risk, and in strengthening our brands. We’ve made a ton of progress in getting our leadership to recognize the value of CR.
JB:Moving on to the fun stuff - what were some of your favorite initiatives to work on as head of Symantec’s CR program?
CJ: I’m personally proud of how we’ve embraced gender equality. We supported the Calvert Women’s Principles, the UN’s Women’s Empowerment Principles, helped create a gender equality tool for companies to do their own gender analysis, empowered female leaders through the Women on Board initiative, and set public-facing goals to increase the diversity of Symantec’s workforce by 15 percent.
We were also an early and strong voice for marriage equality, created a pathway for underrepresented young adults to enter into the cyber security field through the Symantec Cyber Career Connection (Symantec C3), and pushed for data transparency with our work in privacy. It’s been really exciting, and personally fulfilling, to be able to work on these deeply important societal issues.
JB: What’s one issue area where I’ll need to keep pushing for change?
CJ: Well there are of course a few things I wish we could have done better – and I know you will continue these efforts at Symantec. I wish I saw us actually move the needle on our diversity numbers both at Symantec and in the tech industry. This issue is not going away, and I have to believe we will see progress in the future from today’s efforts.
CJ: Ok my turn. You’ve been instrumental in developing, managing and expanding Symantec’s citizenship efforts and community partnership across the globe. What’s one thing you are excited to focus on as the new head of Symantec’s CR team?
JB:Not so fast. First, you are leaving big shoes to fill and honestly it’s going to take me some time to fill them. You’re the person Forbes reaches out to when they need insight on What to Expect in CR in 2019. The person GreenBiz asks to speak on the main stage at their annual conference on the role of the C-Suite in driving diversity and inclusion. The person we chose to brief congress members on Symantec’s commitment to keep communities safe. And the person that played an essential role in building Symantec as a company, as a brand, as a Corporate Responsibility leader, and as a community partner.
So no pressure to do all that right away, right?!
To be serious though, up first is continuing to build upon the foundation you built. I’m really excited to continue to create shared value by using our philanthropic dollars strategically. I also want to work to provide even more opportunities for our employees to integrate CR into their day-to-day roles.
CJ:I think that’s a great area to focus on. Tell me more about your plans.
JB:In FY20 we’ll be aligning our quarterly employee volunteer efforts with our four philanthropic focus areas and our signature programs. That means more employee opportunities to get involved with foster youth to support our Fostering a Secure Tomorrow (FAST) CR initiative. We launched FAST in 2018 to help foster youth between the ages of 16-21 restore their identities and curb the heightened risks of identity theft.
We’ll also be providing more opportunities to get involved with workforce readiness and diversity and inclusion efforts. As you mentioned, we are growing our Symantec C3 program and providing more opportunities for Symantec employees to volunteer as mentors, to run mock-interviews, and even to host an intern.
I’ve heard from a lot of our employees that they want to volunteer but don’t know the tangible ways to get involved and that’s one thing I’ll be working to address right away.
CJ:I know you’ve already moved our numbers on employee volunteerism. You organized a very successful third annual Global Service Week (GSW). Give me some of those numbers, tell us more about what GSW is, and why you feel employee volunteering is important.
JB: While I do think corporate responsibility is the right thing to do, studies also show that it’s directly linked to employee retention, productivity, and overall engagement. And it’s my job to give employees opportunities to get involved in CR. Global Service Week is a full week of service where Symantec employees are encouraged to commit to at least one hour of community service with a nonprofit or charitable project of their choice.
This year, employees logged almost 10,000volunteer hours at 138 team events across 19 countries in just one week. I’m really proud that we’ve more than doubled employee volunteer hours in just three years. I still watch our GSW video probably once a month so shameless plug to see what I’m talking about by watching that video here.
CJ:I’ve seen you build relationships with our employees and leaders, partners, and the community,
JB:I feel really fortunate that I’ve gotten to work on creating strategic partnerships with nonprofits, which has allowed us to maximize our community impact. When we align our community efforts to both our business and societal needs everyone wins.
Take STEM education as an example. There are plenty of high-paying, stable jobs if you know computer science, and our industry is only expanding. We know we need more women and underrepresented minority workers in tech, which means we need to increase access to STEM education for girls and children of color.
At the same time, there is a huge deficit in skilled cyber security workers – last I checked we’re looking at 1.8 million open cyber jobs by 2022. By funding high-impact STEM programs and teaching 10 year olds what cyber security is, we’re filling a pipeline of tomorrow’s potential cyber leaders. These kids are also vulnerable to internet crime at a much younger age, and by providing digital safety education we’re helping to keep them safe. Basically it’s all connected which is one reason I love working in this space.
JB:Ok, Cecily, leave us with some inspiring last words (so I stop crying into my coffee mug).
CJ:Leaving an impact job behind is different than leaving other jobs. Will the causes you care about still be funded? Will the environmental progress you’ve helped make continue? But, I feel good about leaving. I know that corporate responsibility is thoroughly integrated throughout Symantec’s business. I know that our CR efforts have helped to strengthen Symantec’s reputation and supported, and even driven, the company to fulfill our mission to keep the world safe.
And, I know that I leave behind a team of community and climate all-stars. I’m so proud of the impact that Symantec’s CR team members have already made happen and know they you will all continue to carry on this important work. I am grateful for all the progress we’ve made together and look forward to collaborating to push for change in new ways in the future.
Ok great, now I’m crying into my coffee mug too.
Cecily Joseph has been a consummate advocate for corporate responsibility, diversity and climate impacts during her tenure, always representing Symantec with class, professionalism and an unwavering dedication for the initiatives she believes in. She will continue to serve as Vice Chair of the Board at Net Impact and will be greatly missed.
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