Leadership Development Program Helps Diverse Employees Reach Top Roles at Pitney Bowes

Employing internationally trained professionals doesn’t stop at recruitment. Often, skilled immigrants are overlooked when trying to fill senior levels of an organization.

Pitney Bowes has an enviable level of diversity at the senior levels, with 15 per cent of senior leaders being skilled immigrants. The company is being recognized for their contributions to management diversity, having recently won an RBC Immigrant Advantage Award as part of TRIEC’s Immigrant Success Awards. So how is Pitney Bowes levelling the playing field for immigrant professionals hoping for advancement?

“We have developed a rigorous leadership review process and an accelerated leadership development program that leverages diversity of thought in an inclusive environment,” says Guilherme Dias, the Director of Strategic Talent Management.

Dias is a champion for diversity, but he doesn’t want you to think of the company’s success in that area as a “poster campaign.”

“We are harnessing the diversity of our talent pool to create solutions for the business and building a diverse leadership pipeline,” he says.

Advisory Boards

Pitney Bowes has pioneered a collaborative approach to strategic planning that brings together directors and managers from across the company to tackle some of the business’ biggest challenges.

The company has formed five advisory boards. Each is led by a director and membership comprised of leaders from different cultures, generations, functions, and genders, all coming together to collaborate and to create business strategies and solutions.

“Advisory boards provide an opportunity for upcoming leaders to showcase their talent, gain exposure to the executive team and make a strategic contribution,” says Dias.

Leadership Review Process

Pitney Bowes’ Leadership Review Process (LRP) is a structured talent review process for succession management planning. The LRP enables them to objectively assess the leadership talent base, assess bench strength in critical positions, identify talent and diversity gaps and drive leadership development planning.  The LRP is a tool used to help ensure Pitney Bowes has the diverse leaders they need – today and tomorrow – to meet business growth strategies.

Employees participating in the LRP complete a Talent Review Summary that includes a self assessment of leadership capabilities and update on progress on their development plan and their career goals and aspirations. As part of the LRP process, they have identified a diverse pool of next generation leaders and “Early in Career” high potentials.  Seventy five percent of senior leader appointments over the last 3 years have been internal candidates.

“Performance is not just determined by your direct manager,” says Dias.  Performance is reviewed and calibrated by the Executive Team for all Directors and Senior Managers.  This is all done with clear objectives and metrics. Leadership is an equally important part of performance. “We don’t just focus on what you achieved, but how you achieved it.”

Diverse Contributions

“In our sales division we have stories of immigrant talent who have been selected to the Elite President’s Club for their outstanding sales performance,” says Dias.  Immigrant talent have leveraged their networks and understanding of their community to provide solutions thereby increasing sales.

“We have seen immigrant talent like Ajay Sirohi grow internally to his current position as Senior Leader of IT Infrastructure.  Ajay brought with him a wealth of IT Outsourcing experience from India that has enabled us to build our strategic organizational capabilities in this space.”

Mentoring & Management Development

Leaders at Pitney Bowes are mentoring new Canadians in Vancouver, Halifax and Toronto. The program has been integrated as part of their Management Development Program. The benefits to employees and leaders have been: Developing an appreciation for immigrant talent, leadership development, access to talent for hiring, and making a difference in the lives of New Canadians.

The leadership diversity enriches the dialogue, which results in better decisions. In essence, thoughts and ideas are pure — it does not matter where they originate, and they have the right to stand on their own merit. This is the power of diversity and inclusion.

Tips for Employers

  • Build a diverse pipeline of future leaders.
  • Institute a Talent Review Process based on self-assessment, and a review of the talent pool by the Executive Team.

Pitney Bowes of Canada provides software, hardware and services that integrate physical and digital communication channels. Based in Mississauga, Ont., Pitney Bowes employs about 1,300 professionals located in offices across Canada.

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