Changing of the Guard
Cecily Joseph has run Symantec’s Corporate Responsibility (CR) program for the past 13 years. This week she’s moving on to a new chapter in her life and is passing the reigns to Jaime Barclay, Senior Manager of CR at Symantec. Jaime has extensive experience in philanthropy and CR, and has been a dedicated Symantec employee for more than a decade.
We asked Cecily and Jaime to interview each other – to give us a look into their past work together as well what we can expect to see next. Here’s what we learned:
JB: Part of me can’t believe you’re actually leaving, but putting that aside, let’s go with the big question first. When you look back over 13 years what are you most proud of?
CJ: You know, I’m most proud of what we’ve built together – as a team and a company. When I joined Symantec in 2005, CR was really only about community relations and software donations. I’ve seen a huge shift internally over my time at Symantec. Having CR as a Board-level priority has been a constant and the Board supported our efforts to take a leadership position on key CR issues like reporting, climate change, and diversity.
We were one of the first software companies to publish a CR report, to publish a GRI-aligned CR report, to go through a materiality analysis, and to publicly promote a low-carbon economy by setting science-based GHG goals (we are currently working towards our third GHG goal of my tenure). We’ve truly come a long way.
JB: Outside of Symantec, how has working in CR changed for you and why?
CJ: Being a CR professional in 2005, no matter what industry you were in, meant constantly trying to justify your existence and leading with the business case. But today I look around and we’ve really moved from ‘Will a company have a CR program?’ to ‘How will a company implement their CR program’ and I’m really proud of all of us for that.
Employees, investors, and other stakeholders now expect companies to be responsible and we have data supporting the value of CR in attracting and retaining employees, in reducing risk, and in strengthening our brands. We’ve made a ton of progress in getting our leadership to recognize the value of CR.
JB: Moving on to the fun stuff - what were some of your favorite initiatives to work on as head of Symantec’s CR program?
CJ: I’m personally proud of how we’ve embraced gender equality. We supported the Calvert Women’s Principles, the UN’s Women’s Empowerment Principles, helped create a gender equality tool for companies to do their own gender analysis, empowered female leaders through the Women on Board initiative, and set public-facing goals to increase the diversity of Symantec’s workforce by 15 percent.
We were also an early and strong voice for marriage equality, created a pathway for underrepresented young adults to enter into the cyber security field through the Symantec Cyber Career Connection (Symantec C3), and pushed for data transparency with our work in privacy. It’s been really exciting, and personally fulfilling, to be able to work on these deeply important societal issues.