The recent events spotlighting the legacy of injustice and racism and horrific death of George Floyd, and so many before him, has been on my mind constantly. While there are no perfect words to use to discuss this topic, I wanted to share with you today what I’m hearing, and what we are doing at Teradata to affect change.
I’ve spoken to many of our employees in our black community whose personal stories represent that change is needed. Not little change. Rather, the kind of urgent change that mobilizes real progress in eradicating racism. Our employees are asking for us to be better, and we are listening and acting.
- First, we are declaring our intent to be an active, anti-racist company. To do this, Teradata will identify, challenge, and extinguish any system, value, behavior or organized process that inadvertently perpetuates racism within our organization.
- Second, we are launching an anti-racism advisory board. This employee-led team will serve as continued advisors to the organization to provide insights on improvements and help us determine better paths forward.
- Third, we will launch our Eradicate Racism (ER) Program. This Emergency Response program will focus on improving the processes used for how we attract, develop and retain diverse talent and includes assessing and fixing anything that may inadvertently perpetuate systemic racism within our organization.
- Fourth, we will launch a long-term series titled “Diversity Dialogues.” This series is intentionally designed to ensure we keep learning from each other and serves as a platform of education for us all.
- Fifth, we support and stand in solidarity with the black community, our customers and our colleagues, including those in TABE, the Teradata Alliance of Black Employees Inclusion Community, and will recognize Juneteenth as a holiday for our U.S. employees. This holiday commemorates June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger came to Texas, the last confederate state in the U.S. to emancipate slaves, to announce the end of the Civil War and black slavery. We encourage reflection, connection and continued dialogue as we celebrate black culture and achievement on this day.
- Sixth, we are supporting a matching gift program to contribute to organizations working for civil rights and fighting injustice. Organizations supported include:
These items represent the beginning and are only the start of the important work we will do here. I want to acknowledge that while many of these items are specific to our U.S. population, I believe that our entire global employee population will benefit from the good work that we accomplish in this area. I personally do not have all the answers to the best way forward. We acknowledge that we need the help and commitment of our employees to join with us in this journey. I encourage all to stand up and speak up when you see that we can do better, when you see something missing and when you have new ideas on what we can do to affect change.
We know that change can happen. There is evidence in this week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to ban all workplace discrimination in support of LGBTQ+ rights. The timing of this decision, during Pride month, couldn’t be better and we celebrate this win in support of and with our Teradata Pride Inclusion Community.
Our Teradata team is committed to doing the work needed to support equity for all. We must continue to talk about discrimination and injustice because dialogue—and action—is the path to a better future.
Kathy Cullen-Cote is Teradata’s Chief Human Resources Officer. In this role, she is responsible for the corporation’s talent strategies and programs and leads a global team of human resource professionals responsible for talent acquisition, compensation, benefits, equity programs, employee engagement and retention, and employee relations. Additionally, she oversees Teradata’s talent management as well as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program.
View all posts by Kathy Cullen-Cote
With more than 30 years of experience in all facets of human resources, Kathy is a skilled leader in building a robust and caring culture of employee engagement, creating and guiding execution of human resources programs that focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and enhance the employee experience.
Kathy joined Teradata from PTC, a Boston-based software company, where she was serving as EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer. At PTC, she served in HR roles of increasing responsibility as she guided the organization’s growth through cultural transformation programs, global employee engagement initiatives, diversity, equity and inclusion, and the implementation and adoption of cutting-edge HR systems. Prior to PTC, she served in HR leadership roles at Johnson and Johnson, Raytheon, Imark Communications and Barry Controls. Kathy was awarded the 2018 Bob Gatti HR Leadership Excellence Award.