Ron Green, EVP & chief information security officer for Mastercard (No. 7 on the DiversityInc 2016 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list), shared with DiversityInc how his company assures veterans their military skills translate to the corporate world.
Executive Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer
Ron Green leads a global team that ensures the safety and security of the Mastercard network as well as internal and external products and services. Mr. Green has extensive experience working with international and federal law enforcement agencies both as a special agent in the United States Secret Service and as an officer in the United States Army.
Q: Why is your company focused on recruiting veterans? Describe your veterans’ recruitment/outreach initiatives.
A: We believe it’s the right thing to do to recruit veterans who have served our country so well. We think they have a lot to add to our company. We want to help veterans take the strong skillsets they’ve developed in the military and apply them to a technology role. The military provides a strong foundation and discipline, and empowers veterans to become true problem solvers. This is exactly the mindset we’re looking for — we’re less concerned that they come in with a heavy background in technology, because we can provide that.
We engage with veterans’ groups in the communities in which we live and work. We have strategic partnerships with Employer Support of Guard and Reserve, Wounded Warrior Project, Scott Air Force Base and the Mission Continues to source talent. We meet with these groups on an ongoing basis to understand more about the available talent in the region, and how they might align to available roles that we have at Mastercard. We also attend hiring and mentoring events to source additional talent.
We have a military talent program that allows the military member to “try out” working at Mastercard for four months. After four months, based on their performance and other business-related factors, they have the opportunity to be hired as a Mastercard employee.
Q: Are veterans recruited for leadership positions, and if so, have you had success in this area?
A: We have a Military Talent Associate program that focuses on entry-level technology roles within the organization. However, for the additional open positions we have, we welcome current and former military members at all levels to apply for our roles. The leadership skills they learn in the military translate quite well to the workplace, and a number of our senior staff have military experience.
Q: Once veterans are hired, do you have programs in place to retain and develop them?
A: Once veterans are hired through our Military Talent Associate Program, we place a heavy emphasis on engagement and communication. We have developed a number of training programs to familiarize the individuals with our organization, their role and technology. Our human resources team members and the managers are regularly checking in on performance and progress, so they can course correct as needed. Finally, each participant in the program is assigned a mentor that meets with him or her on a regular basis to provide guidance as it relates to his/her performance and progress.
Q: What challenge(s) has the company faced in recruiting or retaining veterans and how has it overcome those challenges?
A: The biggest challenge is often the individual’s lack of confidence in his or her ability to make the transition from the military to the corporate world. The experiences veterans have and the training they receive are very relevant, but we sometimes encounter challenges convincing recruits of that. It’s become much easier as we’ve built our Military Talent Associate Program to understand the best way to ask the recruits about their skills and experiences to ascertain how their background relates to our company’s business.
Q: Do you have a veterans resource group? If so, can you describe how it has helped the company address or meet business objectives?
A: Yes, we do have a Veterans Resource Group called SALUTE. It includes both current and former military members, as well as their families and friends. They’re a great source of mentors for our Talent Associate Program, but also provide strong insights into the type of needs that military families have. So when we think about our business and developing products and solutions that can help facilitate payments, we have this group to draw upon when we’re thinking.