By Alison Weiss
Leading finance organizations are leveraging new digital technologies to create positive customer experiences and gain market share. However, to truly establish customer-first reputations, companies need finance teams that are as diverse as their customer base. At Oracle Modern Business Experience, Ivgen Guner, senior vice president of global business finance at Oracle, took part in a session with other female finance leaders to discuss strategies to create cultures where staff diversity helps enable and support innovative customer experiences. Here, Guner offers interesting insights.
Ivgen Guner, Senior Vice President of Global Business Finance, Oracle
Profit: Why is it so critical for organizations to create finance teams that are diverse when working with customers?
Guner: In a very complex multinational company such as Oracle, we have to have diversity in our organization because we’re constantly working with diverse customers from different countries, with different cultures, regulations, geopolitical environments, and socioeconomic backgrounds. And really, every big company we deal with is a multinational company itself. With a diverse staff, we’re much more adaptable and able to understand what customers are really after.
Profit: How does having diverse teams strengthen customer relationships?
Guner: I do a lot of customer visits, as do all of my colleagues. There’s a lot of professional give and take with our customers where we share best practices and our tools and processes. So, by having our diverse group share with our customers’ diverse groups, it’s amazing how much we learn from one another.
Profit: What are the strategies that female leaders bring to the table to encourage diversity?
Guner: What I observe in women leaders is that we are extremely creative and multifaceted in our thinking. We work really hard to go beyond our own specific function, and we connect different people and different functions across diverse groups and organizations. As leaders, we understand that in a multinational company, our success depends on how diverse we are. We’re able to be open and promote this understanding. We have very good role models here at Oracle with top C-level female executives. We have Safra Catz as CEO, and our general counsel [Dorian Daley] and our HR leader [Joyce Westerdahl] are both women. How many technology companies can possibly say that?
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