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The Bridge to Equality - Unit4’s Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion and Growth

from  June 22, 2020 | 3 min read

I’ve been incredibly blessed to have lived in many countries throughout my life and to have met people in the communities I called home who have helped to shape the person I am today. The theme throughout my journey has been diversity. To me, diversity includes thought, economic background, culture, race, sexual orientation, and religious belief. Each interaction, be it with someone I’ve met at a business meeting, at a sporting event or a schoolmate who became a life-long friend, has helped me to grow, to embrace change, to challenge my own thinking and to be a better father, husband and leader.

As I’ve shared through my recent blog “Ubuntu - my thoughts on recent events”, in one-to-one conversations or in group settings like Unit4's internal Town Hall, last week has tremendous personal meaning to me. In both my birth country, South Africa, and the place I now call home, the U.S., they are celebrating “Youth Day” and “Juneteenth”, respectively. Both of these days honor major milestones in the fight for change, freedom, and respect for its Black citizens. We know this journey for equality did not end on those important dates, but they were key in signaling change and in taking action.

At Unit4, our core values are in our DNA, and they are what makes us unique. And they underscore how we think, act and do as a “people” business:

  • People First – Everything else will follow
  • Choose Curiosity – Embrace challenges
  • Make an Impact – Be proud
  • Be Genuine – Be true to yourself

It’s with this in mind that I wanted to share what we are doing to impact change both in the world and at Unit4 for our employees, their families and in the communities in which they live.

Diversity 4U. Helping our people thrive starts with a safe and inclusive work environment. We recently launched our Diversity4U program that builds on our “be genuine” value. Through Diversity4U, we help our employees to become more aware of biases and to further grow our inclusive culture. We also celebrate our diverse workforce every quarter by recognizing those who live and breathe our values.

Education fosters growth. Creating a safe and inclusive workplace cannot be done without investments in personal and professional growth. Through education, we help our people to learn how to create tighter and more meaningful bonds with our customers during these uncertain times, help managers to become better leaders, support individuals in their effort to stay mentally and physically fit, and to be inspired and empathetic through podcasts featuring various thought leaders.

Corporate Social Responsibility. Our commitment to our employees isn’t limited to the confines of the workplace, it extends to their communities as well. Recently, we launched Growth4Good, Unit4’s global social responsibility program. As part of this program, Unit4 commits 1% of an employee’s time for volunteering. We want to make sure they are able to “give back” to the communities that they call home as well nonprofits that are meaningful to them.

A Day of Reflection. In remembrance of those days in which various countries around the world commemorate emancipation and freedom of their black citizens, Unit4's people, in alignment with its Work/Life Balance Policy, will be designating a day in which our people can spend time with their family in private or public celebration, engage in community service or to learn more about building bridges and supporting diversity initiatives in your own communities. To offer them the greatest flexibility, they have the option to take either Friday, 10 July or Monday, 13 July as their day to celebrate and reflect. This will become an annual holiday.

Our time has come to move from words to action. Racial inequality is a problem – a societal one, a political one, and firstly a human rights one. I am proud of the steps the Unit4 family is taking to help bring this important change into the workplace, at home and in the communities in which we live.

We are what we are because of who we all are – Ubuntu!

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Mike Ettling - Chief Executive Officer at Unit4

Mike Ettling

Unit4 Chief Executive Officer

I’m a CEO, Investor, builder of world class teams, champion of diversity and continuous learner, and I’m passionate about people. From my first leadership role in the Boy Scouts, to exec positions in the tech industry, my career has revolved around elevating, engaging and enabling people. I joined Unit4 to get the market as excited in our unique approach to enterprise tech as I am. We’re building systems that change how people experience work, and the impact will be huge.

Outside of work I’m a proud father, Liverpool supporter and South African.