Symantec: dedicated to cybersecurity and equality
Symantec encourages employees to participate in an open, flexible and supportive environment that helps bring the best ideas to light
Symantec is dedicated to cybersecurity and a level playing field, says Cecily Joseph, VP of corporate responsibility and chief diversity officer. With employees in fifty countries, Symantec provides security, storage and systems management solutions.
“We are continually looking for talent to fill cybersecurity-related roles,” Joseph reports. “We need analysts and engineers with global information assurance certification and certified information systems security professional credentials, as well as penetration testers, reverse engineers and forensic experts.”
IT pros with cloud and big data expertise are needed to research and prototype new technologies and systems, she says. “These new technologies will build on existing infrastructure and solutions to ensure that Symantec maintains superior visibility into the threat landscape. Our investment in growth areas such as mobile, virtualization and cloud will help reduce costs and complexity for our customers.”
Diversity starts at the top
Recently, Symantec revisited its operating values and added “respecting individual differences” to the list. Symantec’s CEO understands the advantages diversity brings to Symantec’s workforce, culture and business. “By making diversity one of our values, Symantec has made the leadership team accountable for creating and fostering a work environment that removes artificial barriers to employee and company performance,” Joseph says. “This commitment ensures that Symantec’s business success is tied to its success in diversity. For Symantec, diversity is not just talk; it is internal and external execution.”
Diversity in the recruitment process
Symantec has a broad outreach strategy to build diverse candidate pools for technical jobs. This includes online promotion of career opportunities and outreach through events, associations and networks. One event is the Anita Borg Institute’s (ABI) Grace Hopper Women in Computing conference series. Symantec is an ABI corporate partner.
“University graduates are a vital source of talent as well. We employ a multifaceted outreach strategy consisting of online advertising and campus-focused events and activities,” she adds.
“Symantec embraces diversity of many kinds, including culture, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and gender. We believe diversity also encompasses respect, openmindedness and a commitment to professional and personal growth,” she says. “It’s what allows us to innovate, solve problems and succeed. By embracing diversity we make the most of our abilities.”
Programs enrich the company culture
Many programs spotlight the importance of diversity for Symantec employees. New employees receive diversity training as part of their orientation, and all employees have access to the Globe Smart online tool that raises awareness of cultural differences.
Symantec hosts an annual diversity week, during which employees across the world attend webinars as well as in-person trainings.
“Employee resource groups (ERGs) are vibrant contributors to Symantec’s communities of operation,” Joseph says. Five particularly active ERGs focus on women, blacks, Hispanics, LGBT employees and Asians.
“Our women’s network has fourteen global chapters,” she says. “To develop a pipeline of women interested in technology, members attend conferences and present webinars for girls on leadership and technology.”
The LGBT ERG is active within and outside the workplace, says Joseph. Members of the community connect virtually, host live seminars with guest speakers, and sponsor booths at local pride events.
Symantec recently achieved a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index for the sixth consecutive year. HRC also recognized Symantec as a best place to work for LGBT equality. “The coveted distinction acknowledges Symantec’s commitment to equality and represents the many efforts dedicated to assuring Symantec is a great place to work,” Joseph says.
Closing the gender gap
Symantec devotes particular attention to gender equality and the advancement of women in technology. “With the widespread underrepresentation of female students in math, science and other technical disciplines, the IT industry is male-dominated, a limiting trend that Symantec is working to address,” Joseph says.
Symantec added Anita M. Sands and Suzanne Vautrinot to its board of directors in 2013. They joined Geraldine B. Laybourne, who has been on the board since 2008. Now women comprise 30 percent of the board membership. “This change was deliberate. The board of directors felt it was imperative to have more diversity,” she explains.
In the past fiscal year, Symantec saw the percentage of women leaders increase globally from 25 percent to 27 percent, matching the 27 percent of overall employees who are women, according to a recent Symantec Corporate Responsibility Report. This is a milestone for the company, Joseph notes.
Symantec employees hold quarterly events for women to network and candidly address topics that impact their careers, including balancing a career with life and family. Senior leaders have spoken at past events. “Our focus on a healthy work-life balance and flexible working environment sets us apart from most companies,” Joseph says. “Symantec recognizes circumstances may create a need for a flexible work arrangement or telecommuting.”
In addition, the company has an employee assistance program (EAP) that offers free counseling services to employees and family members at no cost. Through these services, employees also have access to daycare facility referrals, adoption assistance, backup childcare, and more. Symantec also offers free EAP care kits for employees who are welcoming a new baby and a survival guide for parents of teenagers.
Giving to the larger community
In FY 2013, Symantec employees volunteered more than 25,800 hours to charitable and community efforts, increasing the number of employee volunteer hours by 41 percent compared with the previous year. “Our Dollars for Doers and matching gift programs give employees a chance to have a real impact on their communities,” she adds.
Volunteer opportunities include NPower, in which employees give technical consulting and IT support to nonprofits, and Science Buddies, through which employees create hands-on science projects with step-by-step instructions for K-12 students.
Students visit Symantec offices through programs like TechBridge, a nonprofit that introduces middle and high school girls to technical professions.
“Diversity is a vital part of the Symantec culture,” she adds. “Symantec encourages its employees to contribute to and participate in an open, flexible and supportive environment that helps bring the best ideas to light.”
||Mountain View, CA
||$6.9 billion (FY 2013)
||Security, backup and