Synchrony Convenes Employees for Three-Day Global Diversity Experience

The company’s eighth annual event advances culture of equity, diversity, inclusion and well-being for all

Hundreds of employees volunteer time and talent, give back to local communities 

Synchrony launched its three-day Global Diversity Experience, an annual event for all employees, leaders and members of Synchrony’s Board of Directors to deepen understanding and make measurable progress on equity, diversity and inclusion goals while advancing a culture of belonging and well-being for all. Employees will hear from thought-provoking guest speakers who represent perspectives of the company’s diverse workforce, engage in honest conversations through interactive workshops and participate in service initiatives to support their local communities.

The global event, which is hybrid for the first time, supports the company’s new way of working, allowing employees to participate in-person at a forum in the Washington, DC region; at a Synchrony hub location in one of seven cities, including its Stamford, CT headquarters; or virtually.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion has always been and will continue to be a strategic imperative for us. It is core to our values and DNA. We’re proud to have cultivated one of the most diverse workplaces in our industry,” said Brian Doubles, Synchrony President and CEO. “But we also know that there is more work to do. This Global Diversity Experience – where we encourage all employees to participate – is an opportunity to pause, reflect, listen and together deliver meaningful action across our organization and within the communities we serve.”

Congressional Black Caucus Chair and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) and Synchrony Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Corporate Responsibility Officer Michael Matthews kicked off the event on Monday, welcoming employees who participated in a meaningful learning experience focused on tackling equity issues to better understand the deep-rooted causes of outcome disparities.

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Following the discussion, hundreds of employees volunteered in a hands-on community service initiative called “Synchrony’s Great Giveback” in collaboration with Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) and nonprofit Volunteer Fairfax, assembling 10,000 empowerment backpacks with school supplies for underserved elementary students. These school essentials will be distributed next month at PGCPS’ “Back 2 School Drive & Dash” event for students and their families. Synchrony Foundation President Denise Yap also presented PGCPS Associate Superintendent of Student Services Dr. Elizabeth Faison with a $10,000 grant to support local schools.

“At Synchrony, our dedication to inclusion has led us to create a diverse culture that is anchored in equity and inclusion. Together we have embraced – and challenged – our way of thinking, held ourselves accountable and gained new perspectives,” said Michael Matthews, Synchrony Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Corporate Responsibility Officer. “Through it all, we have welcomed change and created safe spaces for employees to show up authentically, make their voices heard and make a difference.”

Synchrony’s Global Diversity Experience

This year’s event theme, Reflect Forward – Beyond All Boundaries, emphasizes that understanding the past is critical to think differently and to continue to advance equity, diversity and inclusion.

During the Global Diversity Experience, Synchrony employees across all levels from the call center to the Board of Directors will hear several keynote and panel discussions, including conversations with Brian Doubles, Synchrony Chief Human Resources Officer DJ Casto, Ariel Investments President and Co-CEO Mellody Hobson, CNN “This is Life” Executive Producer and Host Lisa Ling and CEO of Reimagine Gender Lisa Kenney, along with diverse Synchrony leaders.

Workshop activities include:

  • Factuality, The Game: An interactive experiential learning session that simulates real-life experiences of structural inequality, played with diverse characters who encounter a series of fact-based advantages and limitations based on the intersection of their race, class, gender, sexual orientation, faith, ability and age.
  • Unleashing Neurodiverse Superpowers: An immersive simulation that allows participants to experience firsthand the strengths and challenges of the most common neurodiversities, using real business scenarios. The program is designed to help employees support the many ways people learn, think and interact and support a culture of mental wellness.
  • Reimagining Gender: A deep dive into the gender spectrum and related prejudice, assumptions, and privilege. This session will explore the fast-changing gender landscape and provide practical tools to encourage inclusivity.

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Advancing a culture of inclusion and well-being for all

To continue to drive progress over the long term, Synchrony treats equity, diversity and inclusion as a strategic business imperative, starting with support from Synchrony’s executive leadership team, Board members and employee engagement at all levels of the company.

  • Synchrony has deepened measures to develop and advance diverse talent, focused on increasing Black and Hispanic employee representation at all levels and, in particular, at the vice president level and above through a data-driven approach. The company has created diverse candidate slates for senior roles and included diversity improvements among the metrics used to determine bonus funding for Synchrony leaders. Through the Synchrony Advancing Diverse Talent Leadership Institute, the company has redesigned its leadership development programs so that diverse employees can gain executive coaching, sponsorship and mentorships with senior vice presidents and executive leaders.
  • Synchrony’s culture has been and continues to be based on belonging. To bring honest conversations to the forefront and ensure everyone’s voices and ideas are heard, Synchrony has made active listening a more intentional, ongoing and consistent part of how the company operates, adapting its programs and benefits based on input across its eight Diversity Networks+, to which 60 percent of its workforce (more than 10,000 employees) belong. Synchrony included the “+” to its Diversity Networks to encourage all employees to partner as an ally and “be the plus.”
  • The company provides mental health resources and well-being coaches to help families navigate complex issues and reduce the stigma around mental health issues. Based on input from its Diversity Networks+, the company expanded its roster of diverse well-being coaches to better support employees’ needs.
  • Synchrony and the Synchrony Foundation’s $50 million, five-year initiative (Education as an Equalizer) increases access to higher education, skills training in high-growth fields, and financial empowerment for underserved communities and its own workforce.

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