Dimitra is Executive Vice President, Chief Purpose Officer of S&P Global. She oversees People, Marketing, Corporate Responsibility, DEI, and Communications. She serves as a board member at S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, S&P Global Foundation, and the British American Business Inc. where she also serves on the Nominating and Compensation Committee.
A bold, inspirational leader, Dimitra is known for leading award-winning teams through transformations. She is a trusted advisor to CEOs, executive teams, and boards of directors on business, compensation, organizational change, diversity, talent strategies, M&A, and crisis management.
We’ve seen a shift in recent years to the idea of leading with purpose. Research from McKinsey has found that about 70 percent of people say they define their purpose through work. It’s something that S&P Global takes very seriously as a purpose-led organization rooted in and driven by its values.
We’re committed to accelerating progress for our people, our customers and our communities.
That comes to life through our work to further our own sustainability efforts; to champion principles of diversity, equity and inclusion and create a culture of belonging; and to provide essential insights and research that help market participants make more informed financial decisions. Our purpose is something that motivates our people and that our team members can be excited about; it motivates them to wake up and come to work in the morning. And this kind of purpose-driven culture can contribute to a better world of work overall.
We recognize that our people are the heart and foundation of our business, and we are committed to lead with care and empathy in how we support them. Four years ago, we started to implement a series of innovative people practices which we call our People First initiatives; we are on our eighth iteration of rollouts that improve our people’s experience. Enhancements that we have launched as part of People First 1.0 through 8.0 include: expanding paid parental leave to a minimum of 26 weeks for all parents globally, a robust flexible work policy and framework, additional days of paid time off to serve as wellness days, paid sick and care leaves, compassion leave, early retirement assistance, and support for continuing education and matching student loans.
We also look to embody a People First approach in our response to crises and world events. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we quickly responded to meet our people’s needs around the world. Our colleagues in India were especially impacted by the intense spread of the virus during the Delta variant wave and felt its distressing effects.
To support our people in this time of crisis, we established a Rapid Response Team to provide direct, 24/7 support
as well as medical resources, financial assistance, and access to critical care. This included hosting a vaccination drive for those interested in immunization. We also committed USD $1M in grants to non-profit organizations providing relief efforts.
Even before COVID-19, the move toward a more flexible approach to work had begun. In the wake of the pandemic, flexibility will likely become a non-negotiable when it comes to a workplace of choice.
I think we will see hybrid working arrangements become much more common, where people are "anchoring" in an office one or two days a week and working virtually for the balance.
Alongside these shifts, technology will need to continue to accelerate to enable the sort of reliable, real-time connectivity and collaboration people need to work from anywhere.
The willingness to pivot and change quickly is a big hurdle. I love change – so the idea of change itself doesn’t scare me at all; I welcome it.
Historically I think a lot of companies have wanted to design, plan and fully pressure test an initiative before they roll it out – versus testing and learning, failing fast, and making enhancements in real time.
When we transitioned to fully remote work in March of 2020, we did so essentially overnight. We had experienced crisis management in the past, but never on such a huge scale or with such rapidity. There were some bumps along the road and adjustments we had to make, but it showed us what we’re capable of. To truly improve the experience at work and create a better world of work, I think companies need to embrace that ‘test and learn, fail fast and improve faster' mindset, to bring about real change.
Listen to your people. In addition to leveraging competitive and market research, continuous feedback from our people has been essential to measuring and shaping our People First initiatives. We also use input from our surveys, town halls and briefing sessions to enhance our current practices and predict trends that would lead us to introduce new ones. Our continuous listening campaign helps us ensure we are anticipating and responding to our people’s needs, and building a world of work that will improve their experience.
I would say Lynda Gratton, who is a Professor of Management Practice in Organizational Behavior at the London Business School. She has truly been ahead of her time – she founded the Future of Work Consortium 13 years ago, and I think many of her predictions around the role of the corporation, work, and our changing society have come true. And she continues to contribute to the conversation around a better world of work through her research, including her next book on hybrid work.
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