Why is Vanguard one of the Best Places to Work in IT?
A company like Vanguard doesn’t function or flourish without the expertise and support of our IT crew. But it’s not just about technical skills – supportive mentors and peers, challenging work, autonomy, these are all part of the culture of our tech teams. Technology is growing faster than almost any other industry and Vanguard’s IT crew are the investigators, problem-solvers, leaders, and experts who help keep us on the forefront of the ever-changing technical landscape. And these dedicated crew are the driving force behind why Vanguard was recognized as one of Computerworld’s top ten Best Places to Work in IT. In these blogs, our IT crew share their professional development story, the impact they’ve had on technology, and their internship experience.
“During my time here, I’ve seen Vanguard support a different type of investing – investing in their crew.” In this blog, IT Developer Elijah A. writes about how Vanguard has supported his professional development.
In my last blog, I discussed Vanguard’s high score on The HRC Corporate Equality Index survey. This score reflects our dedication to creating a welcoming and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies. But these endeavors extend beyond just creating an inclusive workplace – they can alleviate challenges in our personal lives as well.
“I specifically asked whether Vanguard provided same-sex domestic partner benefits before I joined in November 2011. My partner, Julie, and I had just gotten married in August and I had covered Julie under my benefits plan at my previous employer. At the time, I knew that Pennsylvania and the Federal government would not recognize our marriage. However, because I could cover Julie under the Vanguard health and welfare plans, I knew we would be okay.” – Kathleen R.
“When I came out to my parents, one of the things they were concerned with was the possibility of losing my job because I am gay. A few months later when I joined Vanguard, I could point to Vanguard’s non-discrimination policy to reassure them that members of the LGBT community were valued here. Years later, there was a time when my husband’s company was going through bankruptcy. We weren’t sure the company would survive and he could have been out of work. It was a comfort to know Vanguard offered domestic partner benefits, which we could take advantage of if necessary. Luckily, things worked out fine and it wasn’t necessary, but it was good to know we had it if we needed it.” – Mark O.
“I am extremely thankful for the ability to enroll my partner Jon in Vanguard’s medical plan coverage. In fact, he works for a health insurance company, and our plan is more comprehensive than the one his employer offers!” – Brian F.
As for me, I began my Vanguard career in the fall of 1999, and I had not come out to anyone during the recruiting stage or onboarding process. This was a purposeful decision. I wanted time to acclimate to my new job, and to learn more about Vanguard’s culture. After six months, I felt very comfortable with my team, and completely aligned to Vanguard’s mission. So I made the decision to come out to my leader and colleagues at work in early 2000. My manager and leadership team were fully supportive, and they treated me with the same level of respect, encouragement, and inclusiveness as everyone else. The way they treated me was a welcomed change, as my experience with leadership at another employer was hesitant and timid, at best.
I’m now in my 19th year at Vanguard, and in many respects, this is home for me. My experiences and professional connections at Vanguard have been similar to my personal relationships with my family – welcoming, nurturing, and supportive. At Vanguard I am empowered to focus on meaningful work and career development without the burdens of guardedness and discretion that many in the LGBTQ+ community often confront. For this I feel most blessed, and so very grateful, and I am inspired to help ensure that all crew members feel just as welcomed.
Consider learning more about the 2018 Corporate Equality Index – the report is free and available to anyone. (Vanguard is mentioned on pages 54, 89, and 98 of the report.)
If you’re looking for a role where you can be empowered to learn, grow, and make a difference, check out our opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
Companies that attain the maximum 100 total points earn the coveted title, “Best Place To Work For LGBTQ Equality”.
The survey criteria is both robust and challenging, and HRC has continued to raise the bar for companies striving to attain the “Best Place…” accolade. Vanguard has participated in the survey for 5 consecutive years, and will continue to engage because it is the global standard for LGBTQ+ awareness and inclusion in the workplace. The survey is just one of the avenues Vanguard uses to benchmark our practices for continued improvement. We also participate in the survey because of you! When any potential crew member (Vanguard employee) learns about our score, they get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a crew member.
Recognition of workplace achievements always feels great, however the awards don’t provide insight into how we are personally impacted. So as I prepared to write this blog, I decided to pulse a few of my LGBTQ+ friends to share what was most relevant to each of them. I am humbled to admit that I did not foresee the large number of examples in their responses! So much so, that my blog evolved into blogs…with a Part I and a Part II. Here are a few of their thoughts:
“Part of the reason I joined Vanguard back in 1998 is that Vanguard had explicit protections for LGBT crew spelled out in their diversity statement even way back then. I was only out to few people at the bank I worked at previously, and there was no mention of LGBTQ+ in their diversity statement. That made me nervous about prospects for advancement if I came out, and that explicit statement was one of the reasons I chose to leave the bank and join Vanguard. Even so, coming out at work was a slow and deliberate process. But, once I got to know Vanguard and saw firsthand how “out” leaders were just as respected and successful, I became more comfortable being my true self.” – Mark O.
“There is so much that has made an impact on me regarding LGBTQ+ inclusion at Vanguard. For example, as an OPEN (Out Professional Engagement Network) Ally Workshop facilitator, I get to share my personal experience as an LGBT crew member with supportive allies. After each session I’m newly energized by the caliber of people that we call crew members. I always make several new connections through these workshops that have proven to be lasting and valuable! Speakers such as Ash Beckham, Amita Gupta, and JoDee Winterhoff have made a lasting impact by bringing LGBTQ+ issues outside the walls of Vanguard to life, and help crew members connect and relate to each other. Finally, the support from Senior Leadership – seeing our former CEO sign a letter voicing opposition to exclusive legislation and “walking the talk” when it comes to inclusion and support was comforting in a challenging time for the community.” – Laura T.
“Two events that I found particularly inspiring (albeit for different reasons) at Vanguard over the past couple of years were when Matthew Shepard’s mother was brought in for OPEN’s guest speaker event, and a Vanguard Day Of Caring community volunteer event that I attended in Philadelphia. I was impressed that Vanguard took the time to bring in such an impactful speaker and by the level of participation at the event – both by LGBT and ally crew. I found her presentation to be moving and inspiring. As a Philly resident, I had never been to the William Way Center, the LGBT community organization that provides service, recreational, educational, and cultural programming. The Day Of Caring event allowed me to understand their mission and feel as though I was making a contribution to the community. As with other volunteer events, I was really impressed by the numbers of both LGBT and ally crew that donated their time.” – Chris D.
As for me, one thing I think is really impressive is our Transgender Guide, which serves as an internal resource for open dialogue and further understanding of transgender issues in the workplace. The intended audience is a broad range of crew, including transgender crew members, their leaders and peers, Human Resources specialists, and client-facing crew. Topics include common terminology, overviews of gender identity and sexual orientation, guidance and tips for managers and allies, and thoughtful considerations for transgender crew members. How cool is that?
(Pictured are members of Vanguard’s 2017 OPEN Crew Resource Group Leadership team)