In this episode, we hear from Vivian Greentree talk about her personal experience to uplift fellow veterans and how her experience helped her succeed in the financial services industry.
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Anita Ward 0:00
Welcome to Working On Wellbeing, where we share stories of purpose-driven people doing good in the world. We'll meet change agents, entrepreneurs, students, teachers, and big thinkers to learn about their wow moment, and how it got them to where they are today. This show is brought to you by Salary Finance. And I'm your host, Anita Ward, cultural anthropologist, and Chief Development Officer at Salary Finance.
So hi, everybody, welcome to our show, Working On Wellbeing. Today, we're live from Atlanta, Georgia, my hometown. Some might say, the moral compass of the country at least I would say that, but I was thinking about it this morning. And I am fortunate because I get to have these really insightful conversations with some of the most fascinating people. Today we have raised the bar with Dr. Vivian Greentree. I am so delighted, Vivian, you're here. Thank you so much for joining us.
Vivian Greentree 1:13
Oh, thanks for reaching out Anita. Finally, we can spend some time together one-on-one. So I'm really excited.
Anita Ward 1:20
Me too. Now I'm going to share with everybody a little bit about you. But if I were to share everything, it would take the entire episode. So I'm going to give the condensed version for everybody who's listening, Vivian's currently the president of Fiserv Cares Foundation, an amazing organization. I think she also holds the title at Fiserv as head of corporate global corporate citizenship. So you think about the foundation and corporate citizenship coming together. And you're gonna see right away where we're gonna take our conversation today. But if I read between the lines review, it means that you're overseeing all the Fiserv strategies for philanthropy and diversity, equity and inclusion, and community engagement, and employee engagement. So the idea of the foundation and corporate citizenship coming together, I applaud Fiserv. I think that's an incredible strategy. But I don't want to underplay all your awards and accolades, so I only picked a couple of them. So Vivian was one of Alexandria's 40 under 40.
Vivian Greentree 2:28
That was a while ago.
Anita Ward 2:31
I was gonna say that you got a long way till it's 40 over 40. Then there's the Washington Business Journal, which is my personal favorite because I come from a military family as well, but a veteran who means business, that's what the Washington Business Journal called her. So, when I think about your dedication to others, your service attitude, I can't help but mention that you're a Navy veteran, military spouse, and co-founder of Blue Star Families. Vivian, I believe you are still the largest National Military Family organization in the country.
Vivian Greentree 3:19
Anita Ward 3:20
Amazing organization. For those of you who don't know, there was an acquisition of First Data Corporation with Fiserv, but Vivian was part of First Data World. If you think about her military background and everything she was doing, you're not going to be surprised that she was heading the Military and Veterans Affairs for the state if I got that right. But that's not the big part. If I'm not mistaken, First Data is the largest employer for Military Times, which is under your leadership, right?
Vivian Greentree 3:49
In Military Times, that's right.
Anita Ward 3:53
And it wasn't just a year or two; it was like five years or something. So, I'm out of breath. But you are exceptional. So, thank you so much for today, and thank you, and most importantly, thank you for you and your family, and for your service to our country. It's much appreciated. My family is grateful. So, thank you for coming.
Vivian Greentree 4:16
No, I mean, we keep attending the same meeting. So, because like attracts like, I know our minds are in the same place in terms of using where we are to expand opportunities for everyone. And I believe that's where everything you've just said stems from, the desire to see success. Any determination, language, or definition of success must include service and service to others, I believe, and that is why we keep showing up at the same meeting, whether corporate community, nonprofit military, or public, and that is why we keep showing up at the same meeting.
Anita Ward 4:55
I think we could do an entire podcast just on a new definition of civic leaders. But maybe I'll leave that for another time. And maybe we can restructure that here in Atlanta together because it's a soapbox of mine and yours as well. But I was thinking about how we could take a conversation in a variety of directions. I think I'll start a little differently because your story is so intriguing. And I frequently tell people how my life changed when I went to work for McDonald's. That manager leaned in close to me and taught me about financial literacy. My family was experiencing homelessness, so he assisted us in ways other than simply teaching me. And that was an awe-inspiring experience for me. Vivian, at a time when my life changed and my trajectory changed, and put me on a different path in many ways. I was wondering if you've ever had one of those "wow" moments where you think it changed you in some ways, and I thought maybe we could start there with a little bit of that.
Vivian Greentree 6:04
Yes, a "wow" moment was most likely joining the Navy or my Navy experience. Although, true to form, you don't really appreciate it while you're doing it. But my military experience, both in uniform and as a military spouse (my husband retired last year after serving for 20 years), has enriched and enlarged in ways that are truly unfathomable because you stretch yourself - you think you can't go another edge and then you find it in yourself. I discovered that resiliency is learned and it's a gained competence. According to the Navy, boats are safe in the harbor, but that's not why we build them, and it's not why we keep them there. You can't gain competence in calm waters, and that's not how you act as an experienced sailor. I quickly learned that even if you don't know much and can't control much, you can always show up with attitude, effort, and kindness, and that humility to know that you don't know everything, but you can show up early, not on time, but early, and you can show up with effort and a good attitude, and that will get you so far.
Anita Ward 7:41
I believe that the concept of kindness is something we don't often discuss, but I believe that is the "wow" moment because, in my case, the guy guided me because he was kind. So, I believe that leading with love rather than leaning in around kindness is a great lesson for all of us at that time.
Vivian Greentree 8:01
In the military, your first game may not appear to be satisfactory. Isn't that a perilous situation? But your teammates are, and I believe it's a recognition that you're only as strong as your weakest link, and that is a lesson that I believe goes hand in hand with kindness, even if it doesn't appear to be kindness at the time from your military leadership. From my time in the military and then later as a military advocate or military family member, diversity is a fact. The world is diverse. However, inclusion is a choice, and when you choose inclusion, whether it's a government entity, a community, an organization, a company, or a school, when you set up processes, policies, partnerships, and structures that allow for inclusion to recognize differences, celebrate differences, and value them, that's when you get inclusion in the military.
Anita Ward 9:07
This could be a mistaken perception, but it could also be correct. I have the impression that the military is far ahead of us when it comes to DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), and this is something that occurs, but in many ways, the challenges are the same or different in the military. Is my perception correct?
Vivian Greentree 9:26
They're definitely two things that come to mind when we think of meritocracy transparency and pay equity. Certainly, the military is ahead there are pay scales and everybody knows what they're going to make and we make equal based on gender and then you leave the military and all of a sudden like [got cut off]
Anita Ward 9:41
Oh my gosh, what happened?
Vivian Greentree 9:43
Like, did I work a different hour or was my hour reduced?
Anita Ward 9:47
You had a different chromosome.
Vivian Greentree 9:50
Then there was segregation, and military schools were established specifically because they saw what was happening with segregation and wanted to provide their military families with equitable access to education. So there's a lot ahead of us, and there's still a lot of work to be done on the military front. But I believe there are many lessons to be learned that can be applied to the corporate sector and beyond in terms of how we achieve high-performing teams and operational effectiveness. And part of that is psychological trust - it's creating inclusion rather than just diversity, because they do have high performing teams that are doing very specific operations and missions, and they couldn't do it if they didn't rely on each other with their very lives.Anita Ward:
Yes, but a lot of that can be attributed to a higher purpose, right? So I think about purpose-driven organizations a lot, and I wish we could all understand what that really means. And I'm fascinated by your Navy background. And the idea that purpose drives success, that purpose drives high performance, that purpose drives culture, that purpose drives diversity, and that purpose drives all of the things that we struggle with. At some point, I realize, oh my goodness, this is so simple. Companies only require a reason to exist, right? But I understand how difficult that is. So perhaps you could tell us a little bit about Fiserv because it is a company with a mission. And in many ways, we don't get to see it because you operate mostly on the inside, right? And they're similar to banks and all of your customers, which we get to see, but there's a model within a model. And Fiserv can do some pretty amazing things. So, maybe share a little bit about Fiserv with us, so that everyone can learn about your organization and why I think it's so unique.Vivian Greentree:
Sure, and I enjoy your conversation on purpose as well. So we'll return to it. Fiserv is a global leader in payments and financial technology, as well as the original FinTech Overlay and financial services on technology. And we really run the gamut from Digital banking solutions, card processing, network services, payments, e-commerce. Long story short, we're really commerce at the point of thought because it's also mobile banking, omnichannel if you're in your car, and this year if you're at Chick-fil-A or Panera, we're behind the systems that people use to engage in commerce. Then there are our point-of-sale devices, or clover devices, which are extremely beneficial to small, and medium-sized businesses all over the world.Anita Ward:
So, when you think about purpose, it's sometimes difficult to see it because it's channeled out through your network, whether it's that clever network you mentioned earlier or your larger enterprise network. So, what is the overall goal of fast serve? And how exactly does it manifest itself in terms of values and even market propositions?Vivian Greentree:
So, we're one of the biggest, and we'd like to think the best, FinTech companies on the planet, and we have a special commitment and awareness because it's sports season, right? It's always sports season, and it's football season.Vivian Greentree:
But, since it is football season, we are the football field on which all the teams play. Our networks, partnerships with financial institutions, and global footprint with small businesses create an incredible network that we can leverage to move money in a way that truly moves the world forward. And we know that we are definitely technology-driven, but ultimately People Powered, and we want to ensure that our purpose is built into our mission for financial inclusion as we build back better from COVID and the systems that we've disrupted over the last year and are creating new systems that are inherently more inclusive because of the way that we're building them back, so for example, with our $50 million investment back into small businesses.Anita Ward:
So amazing, by the way.Vivian Greentree:
Thank you very much. It's a group effort, there are companies and partnering public-private partnerships, nonprofit academic institutions, coming together to say we'll all be better off and we know that Main Street does drive Wall Street and the success of mom and pop shops are going to, help us get through COVID together and then come back stronger because everybody now has or more people have equitable access to resources and networks and because we know that your net worth is really what you make of it.Anita Ward:
If you ever feel like I have to keep up with you because every other word is this amazing soundbite about your net worth is your network, you're right. So, if I sound like a deer in the headlights, it's because so much of what you say is so simple, yet so effective. As a result, thank you. Salary Finance is a FinTech. In many ways, we stand on the shoulders of organizations such as Fiserv, so I am extremely grateful for the opportunity. And you have unquestionably paved the way in this regard. But I believe one of the other initiatives you've spearheaded is the Fiserv Cares Foundation. So I think about how Fiserv lives this whole for purpose, stakeholder capitalism side every day. But Fiserv Cares Foundation also has an empathetic community to uplift the social responsibility side. So, could you please elaborate on what the foundation is? Is it for the same reason? Is it for a different reason, and how does it all fit together?Vivian Greentree:
So, when we think of corporate culture as a strategy, it really pulls the thread from being an employer of choice to total employer value brand proposition, whether you're recruiting people to work with you, people to be your clients or community partners that really create the ecosystem so that we can all thrive together. That is the driving force behind our thinking about how to source, recruit, and retain the best talent.Anita Ward:
I adore your pathways. You and I are the same, and who knows where that path will lead us. It's beautiful.Vivian Greentree:
But even from the previous conversations, that culture of belonging that for you derive the benefits of innovation and trust so that people can be vulnerable to do their best work because they know that if they're wrong, they can bring their whole selves to work, they can be wrong, and be safe, and have the trust of their teams. And then, to get back to the question you asked, the thread on that isn't how to engage, but how do you engage that workforce, that very purpose-driven and it is through Community Investment, volunteerism, the ability to pursue both profit and purpose without being forced to choose between them. And so that's where we get to where we really think about how we engage with communities, and it's in the areas of entrepreneurship is certainly one Social Innovation thing where we can overlay our subject matter expertise and create opportunity, access, or exposure for groups that might be marginalized or underserved, and might not see themselves reflected in the current, FinTech offerings, or chambers of commerce, and just really to use our space in place to expand the horizons. Because, in the end, it makes us better at what we do. And then there's the community piece, which is that it's more than the return on investment, it's a return on inclusion, it's when you talk about even sustainability, there's environmental sustainability, but then there's the sustainability of talent pipelines or just workforce development, and that's another kind of best and sustainability that I think more companies are seeing value in - to create an economic return that goes way beyond gesture revenue.Anita Ward:
Yes, I believe that S is more significant. Don't send letters and complaints to everyone who is an environmentalist, but I believe that if you get the social part right, the environmental and governance parts will follow. So, for me, the S is always a capitalized letter in the ESG, acronym, although it could also be some anthropologist. So, people, I admit my bias, which is not an unconscious bias but is very conscious and intentional. But you didn't get anything from DC. Speaking of sports, I can't believe you and I are having a conversation and are going to discuss baseball and football at the same time, which is so uncharacteristic.Anita Ward:
But what were you doing in DC?Vivian Greentree:
It was Fiserv's first time sponsoring the congressional baseball game. In addition, as part of that sponsorship, and [got cut off]Anita Ward:
I should know who won the game.Vivian Greentree:
The American people won.Anita Ward:
There we go. Excellent political answer.Vivian Greentree:
Three small businesses really won because we overlaid our support for that and used that wonderful audience of bipartisanship in our nation's capital baseball game to launch our back-to-business campaign in the DMV. So, in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Gate Buy, we launched the grant application for our $10,000 Small Business grants to small minority-owned businesses, awarding three of them to deserving small businesses in Maryland, Virginia, and DC. As a result, everyone won.Anita Ward:
I'm glad they won as well. And I remember when I first saw this and saw the grant piece, and I thought about the fact that it was Mrs. Jos petite eats and it had the Los Amigos Latin market, and knowing how what a beating Food Services has taken over the last 18 months, and I met with the National Restaurant Association, this week, and knowing how tough that's been, kudos to you and Fiserv for actually starting to uplift that because, to I think it's crucial to acknowledge that, so thank you for doing so.Vivian Greentree:
Yes, and it's the investment in the Community Investment Partners that we've made with chat and their access to chambers and coaching and our technology and information resources that we've been able to connect them to in advance, as they've joined the Fiserv family, that has allowed them to thrive. So that's kind of the excitement, isn't it? It was survival, and a lot of it last year was just survival. And now that we are at that point of growth, how can we thrive? Then, when it comes to Main Street sustainability, we know that minority-owned businesses were disproportionately impacted by COVID for a variety of reasons. And we have where we have the ability to leverage our space in place, have given the grants, have connected them to Community Investment Partners, even with our financial institution, partners, helped with PPP, looked at our partnerships with minority deposit institutions. And that's what we do for clients every day. So that's why I think we have that special commitment to using our space in place in a way that moves money.Anita Ward:
I believe that the best part of what you do is not just capital, but the relationship capital that sits behind all of it, which I believe contributes to its sustainability. Because, as you mentioned, you tap into your home network, you tap into the chambers, you tap into your chat, you tap into all of these pieces, and you're really creating a safe space for vulnerability. So, whether it's your employees who are vulnerable, and you've created a space for them or your small business ecosystem, and you're creating a space in a variety of ways. Fiserv is securing people in a variety of times and capital types, including people capital, technology capital, natural capital, social capital, and capital itself.Vivian Greentree:
Social capital for the anthropologists.Anita Ward:
Yes, anthropologists are conscious capitalists. So, thank you for taking the initiative on that. It occurs to me that I have heard you say somewhere that organizations, like everything else, are powered by people. Human Capital Management is the key to a society's engagement. Is that how you see Fiserv in general? Is that Vivian's thought? Is it okay for me to ask that question? I believe it's Fiserv, but I'd love for it to be you as well.Vivian Greentree:
It's definitely our CHF, and everyone from our CHRO to our CEO Frank has said it's an obligation given our size and scope, but it's also an opportunity, given our size and scope, to have an impact that far outnumbers the monetary impact that we can have. I think I'm very fortunate to be in the position that I am because I feel responsibility commensurate to the opportunities I've been given to really use my space and place to expand opportunities for others because, as you mentioned earlier, I'm able to be where I am because someone took a chance on me, I wouldn't have necessarily seen myself at a Fortune 500 company when I was in high school didn't know that.Anita Ward:
I didn't know either one of them, Vivian. So you're right.Vivian Greentree:
And certainly, having served in the Navy and worked on military transition, I know that when a veteran successfully transitions into the private sector after service and finds their way to the corporate world, you really want to turn around and help the next person to ease that transition. And you could use that for women, minorities, or any group that has seen themselves on the outside, to be part of the corporate structure and say, Wow, we really can make a difference, make a profit, and have an impact that outlasts anything we do right now, and you just want to share that with everyone. I believe that Fiserv, as a top-down enterprise, looks at the positions that I hold as a way to create financial inclusion because we know that the more people who participate in the systems, the better the systems will be.Anita Ward:
Frank is a fantastic leader, and the empathy he casts in his wake is quite compelling. So I want to return to your military experience, but we haven't really given the listeners an opportunity to hear your journey. You said you were in high school, and I know you're in Georgia, but you had a journey that took you out of Georgia, and then brought you back to Tucker, which is also where you started, right? So, do you want to share some of them? Maybe?Vivian Greentree:
I do, indeed. I actually live about 14 miles from my parents right now, which Yes, we were traveling through the Navy for several years, about 20 years. So I went to high school in Tucker, Georgia, and then went to the University of Georgia on the HOPE Scholarship, which I think also plays into my kind of worldview on, you kind of earn your space in place by opening opportunities for others because that's what got me to where I am now. So I went to the University of Georgia, joined the Navy, married a Navy guy, and then we followed each other, and then he retired last year, after 20 years, and we were able to decide where to live for the first time in 20 years without the help of a Navy detailer. Of course, we chose Atlanta because Georgia has so much to offer in terms of industry. I mean, FinTech is here, but we also have agriculture and film. The metro Atlanta chamber of commerce would say that people come for the culture and stay for the hustle or vice versa.Anita Ward:
Yes, I'm not sure which direction it is. But either way, it sounds fantastic. I'm sure the mayor will call you, and I'll get a native to help you get it straight. But what I do know is that it's not hot in Atlanta, or whatever that is. That part I figured out, but I'm really intrigued by your Navy history because you skipped over it a bit, but why did you choose that? I mean it, and then my father was in the military, but I don't have many of my friends, particularly female friends, who said yes, I'm going to join the Navy in particular, so how did that happen?Vivian Greentree:
So my family comes from public servants, either I was going to be a police officer or sailor.Anita Ward:
The pants were cuter with those buttons on them as sailors the outfit.Vivian Greentree:
Yes, and I thought if I joined the Navy, it would get me out of Georgia which is why it's so funny.Anita Ward:
So funny that you're back there by choice.Vivian Greentree:
By choice, yes. We've lived in several places and wanted to return to Georgia because I believe families here have a lot to look forward to finally having our children in one school that they know they'll finish. In our post-service lives, this is where we want to build a state and a city where other military families, and anyone, can come and either start a business or continue on in their careers, start their families, and make it a better place.Anita Ward:
You just mentioned military personnel transitioning and how great they can be. What was your experience like? Was it a difficult transition? I mean, I'm familiar with the Blue Star Families. So you had someone to talk to, but I imagine it was a difficult transition for you.Vivian Greentree:
That's why, when I was transitioning off active duty, my husband was still on active duty, which was one of the impetuses for helping to co-found Blue Star Families. So I still had health insurance, and we had money. And even though we were in the midst of starting and starting our own family, I had that safety net there. And a lot of veterans don't, so I'm well aware of that. I think the thing for me was the loss of kind of self or purpose because I had always been a part of that, I had always been able to be part of this organization that was bigger than myself, I had a sense of purpose and service, and then you kind of switch that, or, that's kind of taken, not taken from you, but it's a transition, and so I was very lucky, though, that I had a stable safety net, and I had kind of helped me. My older son needed speech therapy and occupational therapy at the time, and the school system wasn't as helpful as I thought it would be; perhaps we needed the assistance to access resources. I'd been told by some military spouses, and they really seem like they'd wait military families out because they know you're so transient that they can just kind of wait you out. So I was trying to take data, collect data, and then give it to military leaders and elected officials to say, "Hey, this is an issue." And then it turned out that we weren't actually residents of that state, because if you're active duty or recently transitioning, you can keep your state of residence and then, so I met other military families who were also just, and by then, we'd been at war for five years. I mean, just the deployments after 9/11 were a different service. There were repeated deployments on families, and the deployments were longer and more frequent. As a result, there was a complete shift in lifestyle and garden reservists. This is a complete shift in lifestyle. And there was definitely some strain on military families. And I was attempting to develop a kind of cohesive, consolidated survey that would allow military families to provide data points to elected officials and military leadership, regardless of branch, geography, or officer and enlisted status, but simply the actual experience in military families, so that we could truly create a sustainable all-volunteer force. And it really paved the way for a lot of what came after it. Even in the way that we look at nurturing public service, as you mentioned, it's a very small population that serves, and then it tends to be the families of those who have already served, which is part of the reason why I joined and I would - even knowing the cost of service, which is very real, and I think even this, the past year has shown that and this past month has really been an inflection point for some military families, I would still recommend service to my boys and I think I hope more families doAnita Ward:
So we talk about having that "wow" moment all the time on the show, right? That moment that kind of pivots you and I feel like I just heard about five different wow moments in that story that you just told me around mental health, financial health, identity health, and purpose and so was all of this maybe people don't know the story of Blue Star Families but what did all of this lead to Blue Star Families and talk a bit about what that is because I think your wow moment took you to your next phase in your life, right? And so it shifted you from feeling marginalized after leaving active duty to struggling a little before defining your own identity. Vivian, my friend, that takes courage, and I love you all the more for it, but is that the story behind Blue Star Families?Vivian Greentree:
Yes, I believe so. Your questions are so direct. But I believe that yes, your Yes, all of that does imply that every sailor requires a North Star.Anita Ward:
There's another wonderful gem of wisdom there.Vivian Greentree:
Every year, we all have our North Star, whether it's the Sistine Chapel or landing on the moon. I believe we will say North Star for the Navy, as well as my military service, but also being part of a military family and loving someone who does serve, as well as the sacrifices associated with that and your relationships. I know you mentioned financial wellness, and it's always difficult when you feel like it's affecting your relationships or children, which is why we started Blue Star Families. It was to create a support network, to connect and empower military families to have a voice, to advocate for themselves, to have a feedback mechanism, and to enjoy the ride. When you have the support and feel like you've received recognition from resources and support pillars throughout the community, and everyone has contributed, that's where we get that sustainable follow volunteer force that we really rely on as a country for national defense. And that did, without a doubt, enlarge your military affiliation, which, in turn, enlarges your life because you realize, for that wow moment, how small you are in comparison to the totality, but that you still matter. Yes, and it's very similar to Neil deGrasse Tyson saying, "When I look at the stars, I feel very small." But I also feel very big to be a part of something like this, and that's what I think the military affiliation has done for me, and I definitely have put that into every system that I've been a part of since then, kind of any kind of talk track I can talk about the importance of service because of connectivity because of the meritocracy because of the recognition that we're only successful if we're all successful.Anita Ward:
With all due respect to my Ivy League friends, but if I were to do checkboxes next to professional development via the military, I mean you're dealing with ambiguity, you're dealing with high-risk situations, you're dealing with limited information and no money, and you've got to execute quickly or people can die literally teamwork love mission purpose. I mean, in my mind, all of that is everything they don't teach you in school, so if there are any more reasons I'm happy to write the handbook with you behind it, but I love the stories you tell about your mom and the influence, and I'm going to tell you you inspired me with the story, but I won't steal the line. I'll just say that I carry a picture of my mother with me, but maybe talk about your mother's story and how she influenced you, she was a police officer right? When you talked about whether you wanted to be in the Navy or a police officer. Another one would have been bad, but perhaps we could talk about that a little more.Vivian Greentree:
She was one of the first female Capitol Police officers. She also spent some time in DC before returning to Atlanta and joining the Atlanta police force. She is still in touch with and I get to see them play out on Facebook, funnily enough. She also worked with several other women in the Department of Corrections, parole, the department, and the police force here in Atlanta. The way she saw it, those who came before her helped her get to where she was, and I certainly knew that because I was able to go to school on the HOPE Scholarship because of sacrifices that she and my grandparents had made at the time. When someone tells you that attending this first-rate flagship university in the state will change your life. As I entered the Navy and then Blue Stars, specifically when I transitioned into the corporate world, she really said to me early on, you are going to be in rooms that I have never been in, and I was in rooms because people who weren't helped me get in there, so I want you to take me into the rooms that you get in, and even back then I was like, I mean, I'm in the room, why are you in the room? It's strange that I bring my mother to my meetings, but as my boys have grown older, I've realized that they have opportunities because of what my husband and I have done, and they'll be in rooms that I'll never be in. And I tell them to bring me into the room with them. And it's really just that code for anyone who isn't in the room to look around, see who isn't there, whose voice is missing, and represent them. Because you're essentially holding a spot for someone else. Power exists to expand power, so it is always correct. And so I bring her into the room with me all the time, just like that little who's not in here, who what decisions are we making for groups of people who may have different opinions, and whose voice should we make room for, because she certainly did a lot and to advance the cause when she was in the workforce, and I saw her choosing between PTA or staying after work to do an extra assignment to get ahead. And then I did the same when I was in the Navy, and my husband, for sure, has done the same. So, just acknowledging that people are more than their positions and that people have very full lives outside of whatever it is that we're doing together. And give grace for that.Anita Ward:
Yes, it reminds me of something you mentioned earlier in our conversation about inclusion being a choice. This notion that you bring your mother in because you're looking for a lack of voices, and who should be included. It's a pretty incredible, powerful thing to say, as simple as it sounds because it's a choice. And I believe that people get the terms diversity and inclusion mixed up. And I know you and I are both at the PwC meeting today, which I missed. But did you miss it today as well?Vivian Greentree:
Today, I did miss it too.Anita Ward:
This is our very own DEI meeting. However, I mentioned ESG and financial inclusion. They are simply essential components of DEI. So, how do you consider DEI in your role at Fiserv? And how does all of this relate to your sense of community and social responsibility? And do you agree with me?Vivian Greentree:
I admire how effortlessly you bring those elements together and thread that needle, because it's about a meaningful opportunity, and employment is more than just a job. It's the recognition that people need to be engaged holistically, whether you want them to work with you, buy from you, or both, but that's an ongoing conversation. And, as bad as 2020 was, I believe it aided in igniting that conversation on a global scale by making us more vulnerable. We were inside each other's homes and went through it all together. So, for one thing, I just want more conversations like these, where you can talk about mental health and how it affects your ability to do your job or show up at work, right, being able to bring your whole self or removing obstacles or challenges for people to join your team. Then, and only then, how does this relate to ESG? Because I believe those were two very different things for a long time. Investor Relations is an example of ESG. It's very focused on shareholder value, which governance is like table stakes. And then, but there was a really great article in Forbes, I believe about a week ago, in which Jean cast his vote for ESG D. Right, and I think for so long if you were in social impact, or diversity and inclusion, like you, might be over here and talent acquisition, or even a foundation, you had no engagement with maybe Government Relations or community affairs or operations, I mean, the real like the guts, the drivers of what's your actual product service, or is, and so the closer we can get those together, recognizing that people can choose who to work for and buy from at any given time. And you must perform in accordance with their expectations. And we know that people's expectations are now more purpose-driven than profit-driven. As you mentioned, our stakeholder capitalism or conscious capitalism is coming together. Yeah. So now is a good time to discuss it.Anita Ward:
It's also interesting because I've been writing articles and arguing that long before ESG, there was DEI, and you really can't separate the two. And if you do, you're not doing either of them justice.Vivian Greentree:
Right. That is the whole point of the public disclosures and the measurement framework. They relegate the D, which is diversity, into the social impact, when it really has to do with environmental and governance because there's benefits policies, equal opportunity, code of conduct, all of those things that play into Distributable Net Income (DNI) much more than just your Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) one statement. And so I like to see the evolution of more people talking about all of that together and kind of a total employer value proposition format, and I'm happy to see that.Anita Ward:
Yes, because being a part of ESG sounds more important than being a part of EI. I'm in charge of the ESG framework, and we publish a lot of thought leadership papers on what ESG is, but diversity has almost been relegated in so many ways. As chief diversity officer, it's never quite found its place. And for a while, it was reported up to the CFO by HR, which makes no sense to me. God loves all of you CFOs, but the CDOs deserve a seat at the table as well. That is where I believe we are beginning to evolve, and I agree with you. It's exhilarating just to have the conversations. This is refreshing, Vivian because we haven't had them in a long time. Right. It's been that small group of us over here saying, "Oh, we should do this with DEI," right? And now it's like, no, I'm sorry, this is a driver or the head.Vivian Greentree:
I was there, after all. And the term "Corporate Social Responsibility" has always appealed to me (CSR). Let's socialize responsibility so that everyone feels equally responsible for it. It's the same way with DEI, you can't have one person or even culture, you can't have one person in charge of any of those things to make or break it, because you're trying to get into the system so that if you disappeared tomorrow, the system that you set up would outlast any person.Anita Ward:
You're beginning to sound like an anthropologist. So you could be in trouble because one person does not define a culture. However, the timing is excellent. I had no idea who Ray Anderson was two days ago, and you may or may not know who he is now. But there's this story about the Atlanta interface. The Interface is, in fact, an intriguing flooring company. Their founder decided to read a book 30 years ago, and it hit him that he was a terrible capitalist who was destroying the environment. And he went to his company and said, "We're going to flip everything we do and become environmentally friendly." Initially, he attempted to define this culture solely on his own. Then he enlisted the help of everyone in the company to find the answers. So, whether it was the machines, the nylon, or the supply chain, there is this incredible story to be told. And it's in the documentary Beyond Zero, which I highly recommend to everyone. But it all comes back to the concept of inclusion. And he couldn't figure it out on his own. But he could solve the problem with all of the voices and all of the people. I was overjoyed to be in Atlanta to learn about the Interface story and how it was incorporated. But they never mentioned ESG or DEI, did they? It was part of a larger cultural movement. Let's get back to your financial well-being because you mentioned 2020. And I believe it will be released in 2020. There was a strong emphasis on social injustice. But what happened? We're in the FinTech or financial services. And the statistics remain dismal. Around 68 percent of all of our employees are still stressed about money, and 70 percent of women, 60 percent of people of color, and 60 percent of payday loans go to women, and I look at this and think that as FinTechs, we need to really lean in around this, but also in many ways. Returning to the idea of financial well-being being elevated on the DEI spectrum, how do we bring that to bear in shaping our products and addressing our markets, rather than simply thinking about how to get more diversity on our own teams? What can we do to have an impact on product development and how we serve our communities? And I'm curious if you're grappling with the same issues that we are, even at Salary Finance, where we're creating these inclusive product sets, but it's still very difficult as a financial services organization because you want to be responsible while also being inclusive, but it's a combination of teaching and resilience and coaching and learning and product development and savings and borrowing. When you put it all together, it's a very complex picture.Vivian Greentree:
It is and what a time to be alive and able to envy in banking, because it's like a glass half empty, glass half full, or deep, but then there are some other people who don't have a glass, and what can we do to help them? And I believe this is due to the fact that the only thing that outpaces the development of technology is the consumers' expectations of that technology. So there are two things to consider. One is that, because we've broken down these systems in terms of how people are engaging and where they're purchasing, as well as the groups they're going through to access resources, we can build that back inherently more inclusive. Then there's the other role, the other important piece - we're so excited about digital and Omni and the ability for digital payments to include people who haven't been included, while also not leaving those who are actually underbanked. So, it is constructing an umbrella large enough to accommodate everyone. As a result, we have this vibrant, inclusive, global economy. So, when we initially invested $10 million, we had such a positive experience with the grant portion and the community investment component that we and our CEO increased the investment to $50 million. This is due to feedback from our partners, clients, and small businesses, as well as the way we approached engaging not only entrepreneurs but the ecosystems that support them. So, when you think of resource providers, aggregators, and chambers of commerce that serve black, minority, women, LGBTQ, veterans with certain disabilities, and businesses owned by people with disabilities. It's making the pie bigger. It does not increase anyone's slice, but it does create those wraparounds around the technology. For example, having a seminar on how to transition from cash to digital or a cybersecurity seminar, because as soon as you switch to online or start creating shopping carts where people can buy online or pick up at the curb, there are a lot of people waiting for something to go wrong. We've even evolved our national strategy, or if we think outside the US, in terms of how we engage with different regions based on what's going on within that region. In the United States, national organizations with a local presence, such as the African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) and even the Girl Scouts, increase access, awareness, education, and talent pipelines that we want to be a part of. We want to be where those businesses are, whether it's the Hiring Our Heroes or the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, because if you kind of pull the thread on employment or entrepreneurship or big companies, small companies, we can hire 10,000 people, or we can help 10,000 small businesses survive and thrive.Anita Ward:
It's endless if you think about it that way.Anita Ward:
Part of that comes with - for example, I'll give you a challenge, then you'll give me a challenge, and so on until we've challenged everyone on here. But I think part of it stems from the idea that in some ways, we all get very myopic in our own world, focused on how do I get my market share, and how is my product there, and so we tend to be a bit fragmented and myopic even in financial services. And it's frightening to consider collaboration or alliances because we'd all be in some ways, certainly not comparing Salary Finance, or competing with Foster one day. We've all got these kinds of defenses up. I believe that if we could break down some of the barriers and find ways to collaborate and remove some of the fragmentation, particularly around supporting small businesses in supporting vulnerable communities and businesses and vulnerable employees, we could do a better job with it. I would challenge larger FinTechs to work with organizations like ours that have a few hundred people while you're servicing a lot more people than us. We must be able to collaborate in some way. We need to figure out how to collaborate around these issues in the same way that we have these conversations. There are ways to remove those barriers, but what should we be doing as part of this series of people on purpose and working on well-being? What challenges would you like to give us and our listeners to think about for the next year?Vivian Greentree:
Well, that's a good one. I'd like to return to the fact that any definition of success must include service. I understand whether it is public, private, non-profit, or personal professional. So considering how you served someone today, whether it was in the pursuit of your job or career, or simply helping a neighbor or someone else with whatever talent you have. In addition to the return on investment, I believe that the return on, impact, or return on inclusion that we discussed is when we get into a service mindset because any good leader that I've ever worked for has always come back to service and servant leadership. So it's serving the team that you work with, in order to have a good team that responds well to client queries and has so that you can delight the client, retain the client, and serve the client. In order to be successful, I believe it is necessary to include some form of service. So, I guess the challenge from that is to consider who you served today, as well as stakeholder engagement and the long-term generational impact that we do reap when we build more inclusive systems out of a sense of service.Anita Ward:
I'm going to change the term "return on investment" to "return on service" right now. Vivian, it appears that you established a new KPI there.Vivian Greentree:
Great, now we have to track it.Anita Ward:
Yes, you must now track it, as we do. So, first and foremost, I want to thank you for your military service, as well as your dedication to our country and your genuine leadership. And, speaking of mothers, my mother always said that good people do good things when no one is looking. And I believe that sums up who you are as well. So I'm grateful that you spent time with me today, and I appreciate you being on the show.Vivian Greentree:
Thank you, Anita, for constantly creating a space for people to talk about issues that are important to them, both through the CEO Action Group and HTC.Anita Ward:
We're better together. Maybe that's where I should leave it. So, everyone, thank you today for listening, and until next time.
Thanks for joining us for today's episode of Working On Wellbeing, brought to you by Salary Finance. I'm Anita Ward. At Salary Finance, our mission is to improve the financial health of working Americans by providing access to socially responsible financial products in the workplace. You can learn more about how you can partner with us to help improve your employee's financial well-being at [salaryfinance.com](http://salaryfinance.com) Don't forget to subscribe or follow so you don't miss an episode.