What Purpose and Corporate Responsibility Mean at Nasdaq
Purpose takes on many forms at Nasdaq. We champion inclusive growth and prosperity, powering stronger economies to create more equitable opportunities and contribute to a more sustainable world. But it also extends to doing outreach, preparing underrepresented communities with financial knowledge to help them achieve financial success. It is embodied by mentorship and working with entrepreneurs across every background. It means volunteerism with local charities and continuing work with nonprofit organizations.
To that end, Tanya Smigocki, Nasdaq’s Senior Advisor of Corporate Responsibility, works year-round with such organizations to encourage and widen employee ownership when it comes to engaging our global communities. Recently, we spoke with Smigocki about what her role and corporate responsibility entails and how it helps advance Nasdaq’s Purpose Initiative.
Talk to us about your role at Nasdaq and what it means to be a Senior Advisor of Corporate Responsibility.
My role at Nasdaq covers many aspects of Corporate Responsibility. I work to develop and find intersections that optimize employee engagement in giving and volunteering - all aligning with Nasdaq’s Purpose Initiative. Our team works closely on initiatives to increase Corporate Social Responsibility awareness, widen our employee audience and participation, and serve as a responsible steward for partnership engagement.
What does corporate responsibility for a tech company mean in 2020?
At Nasdaq, we have the pleasure of working with some of the top tech talents, and our employees are committed to improving their communities. Technology is always rapidly changing. It’s the intersection of people, technology and work.
In 2020, we must approach and think about technology to a higher degree. It should not be a benefit of the have and have nots. Corporate Responsibility in the field of technology must address social, economic, technological, and environmental areas. We need to think about technology with a wider lens. How are data and digital technologies behaving in a way that is socially, economically, technologically, and environmentally responsible? How are they being sustainable, responsible and ethical on a global level? Are they serving communities of all levels and classes with financial knowledge to better empower them to build a prosperous future and participate in an ecosystem that supports and sustains their growth?
What role does GoodWorks play in advancing Nasdaq’s Purpose?
Our GoodWorks program enhances Nasdaq’s Purpose by increasing capital markets participation, supporting underserved communities, strengthening and empowering entrepreneurship, and building strategic partnerships. We collaborate closely with charities and nonprofits that are looking to move the needle in championing inclusive growth and prosperity.
We work together as a team and share the responsibility for business success, but we also share a responsibility to engage, support and empower our communities. Our employees give back by exercising their corporate know-how and investing their time and talent in communities to provide the biggest impact.
How does Nasdaq encourage employees to be owners of this responsibility?
Our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility is ingrained in Nasdaq’s culture, and we recognize that our company grows stronger by helping to advance local communities, business practices and individual lives around the world. We encourage ownership of this responsibility by having an open dialogue with our employees. Many of them come to us with great nonprofit referrals and creative ideas for volunteering.
In addition, our Executive Leadership Team fosters a work environment that rewards ethical behavior, empowering employees to put these ideals into practice.
Nasdaq’s commitment to our communities encompasses our businesses, philanthropy activities and employee engagement programs. Volunteering is an integral part of Nasdaq’s corporate responsibility activities. Our employee volunteers are driven by a desire to give back to the community, as well as a firm belief that their efforts are an investment in society and its future.
How do you measure success?
We measure success by creating social change and sharing our success with our local and global communities. Nasdaq GoodWorks empowers employees to meaningfully invest in causes and communities around the world. We provide the time and tools necessary to create sustainable change and built our program on meaningful benefits –including 16 hours of paid time off and $1,000 in annual matching funds –every Nasdaq employee has the opportunity to do good work even outside of the workplace.
We are successful because we support our employees’ passion for serving the community. Allowing employees to select volunteer opportunities that best fit their interests and availability allows them to leverage the skill sets they bring to Nasdaq in ways that can create lasting change in our communities.
How has the GoodWorks program evolved in 2020 due to the pandemic, and what do you envision for 2021?
The global pandemic was nothing we could have ever predicted. This pandemic forced us to change how we work, travel, communicate, parent, teach, shop, and interact with others – changes that provoke anxiety and uncertainty. All of our in-person volunteer events were canceled due to social distancing. Our summer intern program went virtual, but our summer interns were a large part of our in-person summer initiatives. We had to work to find more virtual opportunities. Smaller, micro-skills-based volunteering needed to be flexible so volunteer projects could be accomplished from the safety of one’s home.
Even with the pandemic, the generous and giving spirit of our Nasdaq family helped to build stronger, more resilient and inclusive communities around the world. Through a series of COVID and Social Justice campaigns and projects, Nasdaq GoodWorks channeled that spirit into meaningful intervention and rapid recovery. We worked in tandem during 2020 with our Nasdaq Employee Networks offering a double donation matching program and group-themed team volunteering.
For 2021, I’m excited that GoodWorks will align its programming strategically with the Nasdaq Purpose Initiative and Nasdaq Foundation. Our planning will pick strategic partners that honor that purpose and engage and involve our employees on the issues being addressed, why it’s being done, and how they can help.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.
We give back by exercising our corporate expertise and investing our time and talent in communities where we live to make a meaningful difference.