Article: Trust is Everything: Mastercard’s Ann Cairns

Life @ Work

Trust is Everything: Mastercard’s Ann Cairns

Read about some of the everyday patterns in organizations that can build moments of trust for employees, partners, and stakeholders to ensure business sustainability and growth as shared by Ann Cairns, Executive Vice Chair, Mastercard, in the keynote session of Day 5 at the People Matters TechHR India 2020.
Trust is Everything: Mastercard’s Ann Cairns

Trust is everything. Not just in business but in your everyday life. During such tough times, thinking about trust and making sure your employees, partners and your customers feel comfortable and they can work with you in a trusted way, has become even more important  than ever. Misinformation, conflicting information and uncertainty are on the rise amid workplaces as organizations adapt to working remotely. In this session, read about some of the everyday patterns in organizations that can build moments of trust for employees, partners, and stakeholders to ensure business sustainability and growth as shared by Ann Cairns, Executive Vice Chair, Mastercard, in the keynote session of Day 5 at the People Matters TechHR India 2020.

People first

Any organization that thinks about its people first is going to be successful. So, how do you build trust when you are in the middle of a pandemic?

Sending clear communications

We have to be very clear with the messages that we share across the world. At Mastercard, in its over 200 companies across the world, they double check on their global decisions. Employees should feel comfortable and should be able to trust their organizations during this period. Mastercard’s CEO, Ajay Banga, has been a wonderful leader during this time and has ensured that nobody in Mastercard will lose their job as a result of COVID-19. Establishing such a clear guideline about the outset actually generates enormous trust and loyalty in the employee base. It is better to have a hand on your back rather than a hand on your face. 

Learning never stops!

For employees with children, Mastercard has been building online services that can be used for educational purposes. The employees can decide if they want to return to the office as per their comfort as everyone has different circumstances to deal with. 

Narrowing the gender gap

Before COVID-19, Mastercard had initially rolled out 4 months maternity leave for everyone, everywhere in the world. Then, they added 4 months paternity leave so both mothers and fathers are encouraged to stay at homes with children for certain periods of time. Mastercard wanted to ensure that younger people feel comfortable about having a family and returning to work. 

Ann says, “While you are looking at your workforce, you should not be looking at a woman, and think that she is going to be a mother and should enjoy some time off from work. You should be looking a young person and think that they are going to be a parent. That actually levels the playing field for both men and women.”

In Mastercard, from a gender perspective this year, they have published the Global Pay Gap report and went completely transparent about it in the market, where they are paying both men and women who are in the same job.The global gap is somewhere around 0.92 cent to a dollar which is about 80 percent.

Recruitment practices

Mastercard makes sure that they have balanced slates and recruit men and women, for an entry level job at a 50-50 level. In many countries, more women are graduating from universities than men. They believe in making the most of the available talent in the market.

30% Club

Started in the UK, 10 years ago, the 30% Club  had only about 10 percent women on board. Ann said that they  wanted to relook at the same and wanted to ensure that the more diverse the board, the more diverse the company, the more they outperform the market. They reached out to top Chairpersons and CEOs of British companies which stands around 5350 in total and asked if they would pledge to create diversity and have more than 30 percent women on board. 

Today 10 years later, they actually have 33 percent women on board in Britain across the entire 5,350 boards.This year Mastercard introduced ‘Ethnicity Goals’. While there is a fair representation of people of color in Britain, they weren’t represented at the top of boards. Ann added that they wanted 1 percent people of color on every board and half of the seats should go to women of color. Hence, making it a 50-50 target. 

The 30% club is currently over 14 countries around the world. Japan joined recently who has 10 percent women on board.

“My goal as Chair of this 30% Club is to ensure having this club in every country of the G20 in the world,” says Ann Cairns, Executive Vice Chair, Mastercard

What does trust mean in the market

It doesn't necessarily mean transparency. Sometimes, you gain trust through transparency but sometimes you gain trust by just being good at what you do. At Mastercard, they cater to billions of transactions and the general public do not really see how the money moves. They just expect the money to move in a safe and secure manner and to be delivered to the end point. They are trusting the brand. 

How are businesses doing amid COVID?

In some economies, some businesses make up 60 percent of the GDP and so it's important for them to be successful and be able to stay in business and not be able to fail and also ensure that they come out of this crisis healthy. At Mastercard, they help small businesses by creating a world chest of 250 million dollars to invest in small businesses with things like cybersecurity which is really important as in today's world where businesses must be able to sell online. 

In the last 5 years, Mastercard has set up a goal to attach half a billion people to the financial system. This is all based on trust where you have to set up a network to do this. People have to feel confident and comfortable with what we as an organization are doing and you have to work with different partners which in turn will help you reach as many people on ground as possible. They are also doing funding together with the Gates foundation in helping create medicines and vaccines for covid. 

“Trust is everything.. Trust is gained through communication… Trust is gained through transparency and trust is also gained by having a strong brand where you put that brand to work for not just your people but also for your customers, partners and for wider society.”

Ultimately, people today join a company because they want to join a company with purpose. A company that they trust, and a company which they can feel proud to work for. 


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Topics: Life @ Work, #TechHRIN

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