The recent launch of Criteo’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion vision and commitments marks a foundational step in the company’s DEI journey. Rachel Scheel talks about where Criteo is today, where it’s going and her role in helping steer a course as the newly-arrived SVP for Global DEI.
In its 2020 report, “Diversity wins,” McKinsey found that more diverse companies substantially outperformed companies with low levels of gender and ethnic and cultural representation on their executive teams, with differences in profitability of 25-36%. McKinsey also found that the gap between leaders and laggards was widening.
The study of more than 1,000 large companies in 15 countries mirrors findings from similar studies in recent years demonstrating the compelling business case for diversity.
Criteo is clearly a company that gets it. Since my arrival three months ago, it has quickly become apparent that DEI is one of our biggest priorities, an observation reinforced through an extensive series of one-on-one conversations and team discussions. Deeply ingrained in Criteo’s ecosystem is a shared understanding that people are capable of doing their best work when they believe, “I can truly be my authentic self here.”
So, does that mean we’re perfect? Of course not. But all of the conditions – and intentions -- are there to enable us to challenge ourselves to go even further on our DEI journey.
Criteo’s commitment to bettering its DEI performance is reflected in the company’s determination to grapple with formal and historical structural inequities. Instituting our new “That’s my name” policy, to allow trans colleagues to go by their chosen and real name instead of their “legal” birth name or dead name is an example. The intent is that this will feed through our company systems, and it is a continued priority throughout all our interfaces at Criteo.
Likewise, the move to install inclusive toilets and eliminate stereotyped restroom signage is moving forward by the Workplace teams at Criteo sites. Unconscious bias training has also been launched to all employees as a foundational step with further DEI learning paths being developed, and a new universal child bonding leave policy was recently implemented. The pay parity action issued in March both seeks to do the right thing and there is a continue focus to increase the current 41% of female representation within Criteo, which is already above the average benchmark for the tech industry globally.
Love at first sight
What attracted me was Criteo’s passion to make a real difference for all employees, and its aspirations to be a best-in-class DEI leader not only within its field but as a global and growing company, and through its interactions with clients, partners and the consumers it serves. I was appealed to the tech industry; knowing that it had to inspire versatility, the industry pace, and adaptivity, and I could see that Criteo was ready to really invest in a solid DEI strategy. I saw an opportunity to help build on a solid base by harnessing the full power of DEI to increase our impact, productivity and collective engagement.
But, what really hooked me on Criteo were the people. Throughout my recruitment, onboarding and early days, I’ve encountered an energy, passion and openness toward building out our strengths. The will to drive forward on the part of Criteo’s leaders is definitely there; they’re just looking for the right tools, knowledge and resources.
So, where is this shared commitment taking us next in our DEI journey?
Following on the DEI vision and commitments, employees will see us moving forward with targeted hiring programs, including focusing on the special challenges facing working parents. We are looking at how we tap into the talents of people who are living with mental or physical disabilities and adapt our workplaces to enable them to thrive at Criteo. Other initiatives include internships for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and mentoring programs that ensure every Criteo feels supported and that “someone has my back.”
What does success look like? I don’t think there’s any one answer but the strongest evidence is likely to come from what Criteos themselves live, feel and believe. We’ll sense it as we continue our learning paths, building the muscles and reflexes of empathy that make us do better in how we treat each other as human beings.
And, we’ll recognize our progress in the great stories that we share with each other – and with those around us outside of our company. The “BBQ stories,” as we native Australians call them; the pride and engagement we demonstrate when we talk about Criteo when we are outside of work, with friends and family, will see our DEI brand and image spread beyond actions and into who we truly are, and will truly speak to our success.