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Taking Action on Racial Equity

Two middle-aged African American women smiling and laughing.

We were thrilled to celebrate Black History Month in February through a variety of internal events and campaigns, including our Global Diaspora Town Hall, which serves as an opportunity for associates to hear firsthand about progress on our enterprise diversity commitments. The African-Diaspora Alliance (ADAN), one of our Networking Resource Groups, celebrated this year’s Black History Month theme — Black health and wellness — with a month-long wellness campaign paying tribute to Black historians and acknowledging the importance of health and wellness while celebrating Black ethnicities.

Although Black History Month has ended, we view our responsibility to listen and advocate for racial justice as a priority throughout the year. That’s why we’re thrilled to spotlight two important internal efforts that support our racial equity commitments, and we’re proud of the associates engaged in these efforts for their dedication to creating a more diverse and equitable workplace.

Advancing equity from commitments to action

In 2020, Chris Cartwright signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance Diversity, Equity & Inclusion within the workplace. Following this pledge, we proudly appointed Akyla Catlin — a member of TransUnion’s Human Resources team — as a CEO Action for Racial Equity (CEOARE) Fellow. In this role, Akyla works closely with other Fellows to advance racial equity through public policy and apply learnings within TransUnion.

My experience working alongside nearly 200 CEOARE Fellows has been incredibly gratifying,” said Akyla. “Through public policy measures and corporate engagement strategies, we’re doing more than talking about the issues at-hand. We’re beginning to move the needle toward sustainable progress.

Akyla has served as a contributing member to the Racism as a Public Health Crisis (RAPHC) solution team, which looks to address systemic racism as the root cause of health disparities. Since launching, the RAPHC team has submitted responses to the Congressional Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Caucus — a bi-partisan group of 27 members of Congress — to acknowledge and address structural racism as a public health crisis in the US. The team has also collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and has begun to identify how Fellows can contribute to anti-racism work already in progress alongside the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Another important area of focus for CEOARE Fellows is funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), or certified private organizations seeking to expand economic opportunity in low-income communities through access to financial products and services. In February, the Fellows delivered a letter to the US Congress recognizing their support of funding for CDFIs. More specifically, the letter also advocated for a future set of funds aside for CDFIs of limited asset size to close the asset gap between minority-led CDFIs and others.

TransUnion is proud to support this important cause through our recent partnership with Credit Builders Alliance, which provides consumer loan lending support to select organizations that serve a predominantly Black client base.

“As an organization with a strong commitment to financial inclusion, this is the start of a transformative journey for TransUnion,” said Akyla. “I’m inspired to continue working toward more equitable systems that will improve social well-being for everyone.”

The Fellowship’s agenda also consists of three corporate engagement strategies, including advancing corporate collaboration with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), building and sharing practices for supplier diversity programs and building a playbook for fair chance hiring to support people impacted by the justice system.

Mobilizing leaders through training and development

At TransUnion, we’re committed to increasing the number of underrepresented groups in management levels. One important way we’re accomplishing this is by providing ample development opportunities for our associates in underrepresented groups.

In 2021, we launched our partnership with McKinsey & Company for their Black Leadership Academy, a program to enhance the leadership and general management skills of Black leaders. We invited a cohort of Black associates to participate in McKinsey & Company's Black Leadership Academy, which helps professionals enhance their leadership and management skills and build foundational understanding of key functional areas. Participants received training in areas like strategy, problem solving and talent management — and the opportunity to meet likeminded colleagues.

As a member of the first graduating cohort in 2021, Keenya Watson, Director, Enterprise Architecture (M&A), was grateful for the opportunity to learn in a dedicated, concentrated space – one that allowed her to focus on soft skills and strategic thinking principles to take her leadership skills to the next level.

“For many of us, it's a pivotal time in our careers,” said Keenya. “Identified as top talent early on, we’re able to move throughout our careers and get promoted and recognized regularly. But at some point, we come to realize what got us here won't take us there. Focus needs to change from tactical to strategic, and this course aided in that area. We went from tactical thinking to more of a big picture strategy, and it provided tools and techniques to help us make this change.”

The program’s success has since led us to launch two additional McKinsey & Company leadership programs for Hispanic and Asian associates. With these cohorts currently underway, we’re thrilled to expand our offerings and empower more associates to learn, develop and succeed.

“In the end, any course is what you make it,” Keenya continued. “You can participate to check the box and get another badge, or you can really lean in and grab nuggets that you can use throughout your career and life. It's what you make of it — your choice!”

At TransUnion, we remain committed to taking action in support of our people and communities, and we pledge to continue making progress on our racial equity commitments. For more information about our goals around Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, please visit our website.

Do you have questions? Our team is ready to help.