How Uber and Hillary Clinton’s First Diversity Leader in Presidential Campaign Cultivates Inclusion at HR Tech Company Gusto
- Bernard Coleman III is Director of Diversity and Engagement at Gusto, a 1,400-person human resources technology company.
- Coleman was previously the senior chief diversity officer for Uber and for a US presidential campaign.
- At Gusto, Coleman led the RISE program to get employees talking about social justice.
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Bernard Coleman III calls HR the “operational glue” that unites every element of an organization.
Coleman is the director of diversity and engagement at HR technology company Gusto. He was also the first head of diversity and human resources for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the first global head of diversity and inclusion for Uber.
He joined Gusto, which employs more than 1,400 people and is valued at nearly $ 4 billion, in January 2020. It was just months before the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States and before the Chiefs companies do not realize racial inequalities. Coleman was tasked with developing effective diversity, equity and inclusion programs and creating an environment where employees could do their best.
Coleman says the role of HR is to help people have the best possible work experience
Two decades ago, Coleman began his career in politics. When he joined the Society for Human Resources Management as a State Affairs Specialist, he was inspired to find out more about a career in HR.
“My goal has always been to help people,” he said. He got into politics because it seemed like the most effective way to reach as many people as possible. “But in HR,” he says, “you’re almost like that middleman. A broker, if you will, who helps people understand how to have the best possible experience in the workplace. ”
He is enthusiastic about leading a function DEI because he is involved in every stage of the employee lifecycle, which includes recruiting, employee engagement, company advancement and retention. “An effective DCI program must be comprehensive in nature,” Coleman said. It should be “embedded in all aspects of your business”.
DCI’s work took on new relevance after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. Coleman led the launch of RISE, which stands for Representation, Inclusion, Social Impact and Equity. Gusto began hosting weekly conversations where employees could discuss social justice issues in a safe space. And the Coleman team at Gusto has trained hundreds of managers and individual collaborators on how to create an inclusive and fair workplace.
From the first time he meets a potential recruit, Coleman thinks about how to make him feel like he belongs. Her favorite interview question is: “What must the organization provide to make you do your best?”
The candidate’s response tells him “what kind of environment the person needs to be most successful,” as well as “what kind of manager I need to be,” said Coleman. “Ultimately my goal is to contribute and contribute to their long term success.”