A Look Ahead to 2021: Responding with Urgency to the Need for True Equity

January 13, 2021 | By Randall Tucker

2020 brought great challenges and stunning change. At Mastercard, we embrace diversity and inclusion as a guiding force – and as a business and moral imperative. Our efforts to create a culture of belonging became even more paramount while working remotely because we know it’s what makes us better as colleagues, as a company and as citizens of the world.

This past year, our inclusion efforts and our commitment to our employees, our partners and the communities we serve came into sharper focus. By taking a stance on gender equity and closing our gender pay gap, furthering our LGBTQ support with the True Name card and creating a level playing field for all new parents with universal 16-week parental leave, Mastercard invested strongly in equity and inclusion.

Importantly, we also launched In Solidarity, a companywide, long-term initiative that activates the full breadth of our company’s resources to combat racism and create equal opportunities for all. And we made clear our belief that racism is against everything we stand for as a company and as individuals who work to make our world a better place. Reflecting on the past year, we have made some strides against our commitments set in June:

  • Committed to investing $500 million in Black communities through technology, products, insights, grants and supplier spending over the next five years, to help close the racial wealth and opportunity gap. Through our City Possible platform, which offers unique solutions to solve big urban problems, we will initially focus on seven cities across the United States.
  • Rolled out global conscious inclusion training to all 20,000-plus Mastercard employees.
  • Launched an evolved recruitment strategy to attract and hire Black candidates at college, experienced and senior levels. This includes expanding reach to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other schools with diverse talent and instituting a new candidate referral process to ensure a bias-free process. As part of this, we joined the HBCU Partnership Challenge and expanded our relationship with Howard University.
  • Debuted new training, mentorship and development programs to advance inclusion at all levels, including the Racial Justice Pro Bono Program, which matches the skills and expertise of our people to the needs of nonprofits across the U.S. for short-term projects.
  • Forged a multipronged partnership with Black-owned fintech MoCaFi. Among other offerings, we partnered to expand the functionalities of the Angeleno card, which has initially distributed more than $36 million to help more than 100,000 Los Angeles residents hardest hit by the pandemic.
  • Doubled down on our Girls4Tech program to continue to reach girls in underserved communities with key technology concepts in person — and now online — building on our global partnerships with Discovery Education, Scholastic and NFTE.
  • Announced support in September for the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project, a national training and support initiative focused on helping U.S. law enforcement agencies build a culture of peer intervention that prevents harm.

This is just the beginning. We have a tremendous opportunity in 2021 to make our voices even louder, our actions even more impactful.

We recognize there’s an urgency to realize true equity. Getting this right will take time, and we’re investing to ensure we get it right. We can promise that we will be transparent about our actions and hold ourselves accountable to the goals we’ve set.

As we head into 2021, we will continue to focus on becoming a better team enhanced by our differences, taking what we’ve learned from In Solidarity and applying it to other aspects of our inclusion journey. We will be advancing and recruiting diverse talent, reporting more widely on pay gap figures, extending broader inclusion and diversity measurement, and acting with transparency and accountability. We will be auditing our inclusion and diversity efforts and strategy to ensure no group or community is left behind — because all perspectives and voices matter.

Our employees are a powerful force for good in the communities where we live and do business, so we are also creating new opportunities for employees to volunteer and give back to our local communities around the world. At the same time, we will expand our In Solidarity efforts beyond the initial seven cities and execute on our regional action plans to ensure all the great inclusion and diversity work is expanded globally and aligned with regional priorities.

I welcome 2021 and all that it will bring. I’m privileged to walk alongside my colleagues at Mastercard in our journey to create a culture of inclusion and belonging, where the best people want to be.

Photo of Randall Tucker
Randall Tucker, Chief Inclusion Officer, Mastercard