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October/November 2009





Admiral in the White House
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Diversity In Action

Freddie Mac is hiring again, with open positions across the board

The IT pros Freddie Mac brings in will find many career development programs available, good benefits, and solid support for diverse backgrounds


Recruiting lead Michele Espada: “We expect hiring to continue strong.”Mortgage finance company Freddie Mac had to take a pause from hiring last fall, and then adopt a wait-and-see approach until the government acted on the lending crisis. Today, though, some 125 to 150 tech positions
are open as Freddie Mac ramps up to help prevent foreclosures for thousands of families across the country.

“We’re currently hiring for a variety of critical positions
to support the nation’s housing recovery,” says spokeswoman Jennifer Meyer. “IT professionals are part of our critical processes, and we can offer them dynamic and rewarding job opportunities.”

“We expect hiring to continue strong in the coming year,” adds recruiting lead Michele Espada. “I see us maintaining open positions across the board.”

Tujuanna Williams is senior director of diversity and inclusion. The IT pros Freddie Mac brings in will find many career development programs available, and solid support for diverse backgrounds.

Espada says some of the corporation’s IT needs include operational risk professionals, information security specialists and QA analysts as well as project managers and business analysts who lead development and testing efforts. Application architects are also in demand to design Freddie Mac’s infrastructure. Espada notes that most positions call for five to twelve years of relevant experience.

The corporation has a diverse workforce: 50 percent female and 43 percent African American, Hispanic and Asian. It has a strong relationship with BDPA, and attends thirteen career fairs a year including BDPA and the National Black MBA conference. October is a banner month for recruiters, who look for talent at the Out and Equal Summit, National Society of Hispanic MBAs and National Association of Women MBAs conferences.

The company also recruits at historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions. “We have a special interest in interns from Florida A&M,”says Tujuanna Williams, senior director of diversity and inclusion. “We are one of ten companies in an industry cluster that works with the school. We had five FA&M students as interns and three college hires last year, and did the same this year.” In all, Freddie Mac had about eighty interns and 100 new hires this year, most of them in IT.

Diversity training for new employees includes an online training module and a range of instructor-led classes. There’s also a monthly half-day session on diversity issues, and a popular program on “understanding your microtriggers,” the subtle behaviors that have big impacts in the workplace.

Freddie Mac provides employee network groups for women, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, people with disabilities, LGBT individuals and people taking care of parents and/or raising children.

A self-run group of employees with leadership aspirations meets regularly with an executive sponsor; anyone can participate. There are other mentoring initiatives, one for women and one corporate-wide, with more on the way.

Freddie Mac also conducts semi-annual performance reviews and a “leadership talent review process,” which is essentially a succession planning program.

Tuition assistance is available, as are “training dollars” for courses a techie might need. The employee network groups also provide professional development seminars, Espada notes.

Work/life balance is important at Freddie Mac. There’s an onsite wellness center as well as a gym with a variety of classes including pilates, cycling and weight lifting. Employees can access backup eldercare and childcare services. Another benefit is a partially-subsidized cafeteria with healthy menu items. There’s even an online concierge service that provides grocery pickup.

Employees appreciate the option of teleworking. “We piloted a flex program and now it’s being distributed to the rest of the company,” Williams says.

Employees can also participate in a variety of community service activities, including local Habitat for Humanity events, tutoring elementary school kids or helping to revitalize local communities. The company’s intranet carries announcements of the various projects.

D/C



Freddie Mac
www.freddiemac.com

Headquarters: McLean, VA
Employees: approx 5,000
Business: Mortgage finance

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