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Purpose Hero Vivian Greentree - Fiserv

Vivian Greentree, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Head of Global Corporate Citizenship; President, Fiserv Cares Foundation
Fiserv
Fiserv
United States

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  • corporate social responsibility
  • inclusion
  • employee engagement

Purpose hero

Vivian Greentree, Ph.D. is the Senior Vice President, Head of Global Corporate Citizenship at Fiserv, one of the world’s largest financial technology (fintech) companies. She is also the President of Fiserv Cares Foundation. As Fiserv’s strategic culture advisor, she guides their enterprise diversity and inclusion strategy and programming, overseeing employee resource groups, associate (employee) engagement and community engagement. 

In a previous role at Blue Star Families, Vivian engaged with corporations to help them become military friendly or ready to recruit veterans and military spouses. As a navy veteran herself, she knows the military’s diverse population provides companies with ample opportunity to expand their diversity and inclusion portfolios. 

Vivian believes companies in the private sector play an important role in supporting communities and economic development — and they do better when they’re doing good.

Purpose program

Viv veterans symposium atl 2022

Fiserv is very intentional about how they engage their associates and clients to better serve their communities. They express their values by imbuing purpose into their mission to support small businesses. By trying to understand the difficulties that small businesses face, Fiserv hopes to be an inflection point for them to become successful and create generational wealth for their communities.

We can do that [help small businesses] by doing what we do every single day. It impassions our associates who say, ‘I do this every day, but here’s how I can make it bigger, here’s how I can make it sustainable and here’s how I can say I pursued both profit and purpose today, and I don’t have to choose at this company.

— Vivian Greentree, Ph.D, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Corporate Citizenship, Fiserv; President, Fiserv Cares Foundation

Fiserv wants to create a culture where their associates strive, thrive and have drive, so they’ve aligned areas of diversity and inclusion, employee and community engagement, and philanthropy. Vivian knows that when these areas are aligned, teams feel they are valued.  

“Our talent is around financial literacy [and] technology overlaid on financial services,” says Vivian. “And we ask our business units, ‘How can we bring more inclusivity to what you do? How can we better serve minority-owned businesses?’ It’s up to companies to choose the space that they occupy and then leverage that space with an eye toward inclusivity.”

Fiserv’s CEO, Frank Bisignano, believes their organization has an obligation to use their space and place to expand opportunity, access and networks, but he also sees it as an opportunity to differentiate from competitors. And increasingly, Gen Zers and millennials are wanting and expecting more from the companies they work with.

Vivian comments: “I love that they [employees] ask about aligning purpose and profit. ‘Who are we volunteering with? How can I volunteer? What are we doing in this space?’"

It’s an interesting intersection between the rise of demand with younger generations and also the expectation of transparency with peer groups, recording groups, investors, shareholders, survey groups and the SEC. And so it’s not just what businesses are doing — it’s literally how they’re doing it that could make the difference.

— Vivian Greentree, Ph.D, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Corporate Citizenship, Fiserv; President, Fiserv Cares Foundation

 

Wherever commerce is, Fiserv is there

Viv Ice Cream Social 2022

When the global COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, many small businesses weren’t accepting cash. Or if they had a point-of-sale device, they didn’t have a website. Many restaurants and small shops had to shut down immediately. Fiserv learned quickly that the pandemic was disproportionately affecting Black-and-minority-owned small businesses who were less likely to access the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds.

Fiserv created their Back2Business program to provide immediate access to capital for diverse small business owners who needed the funds to keep their doors open. Their organization also thought about how they built their everyday systems and approached partnerships — and how they could make their systems inherently more inclusive so they could be stronger for the next challenge they would face together.

In times of economic uncertainty, corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs are critical

Vivian believes human capital is a company’s biggest asset. Fiserv is technology driven, but powered by their people.

Employment is more than a job. It’s about financial security, but it’s also about connectedness, validation and self-worth for people. We have to create workplace cultures that offer the benefit of mental health and wellness, connectedness, career trajectory and opportunities for advancement and engagement.

— Vivian Greentree, Ph.D, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Corporate Citizenship, Fiserv; President, Fiserv Cares Foundation

Vivian promotes honest, open discussion about employee engagement. She knows Fiserv’s employee resource group members are more engaged than non-members, as they help plan themed months and inclusive leadership speaker series, and they work with community partners. From negotiating salary to mental health, Fiserv’s associates are invited to discuss a variety of topics that may affect them. This allows their teams to build trust with each other.

Fiserv’s employees also love to give back:

“Benevity is such a wonderful partner,” Vivian says. “Through our  Through our Fiserv Gives Back portal, associates can go there anytime and look at millions of vetted community groups, from Singapore to Frisco, Texas. When we do our giving campaigns, like our double-match campaign for GivingTuesday, everyone is very excited to give where they want — and it means all the difference that the company also matches.”

 

Diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice 

We all live in a multicultural, diverse world. And while diversity is a fact, Vivian says that inclusion is a choice.

As a company, choosing inclusion and operationalizing it through policies, programs, partnerships and investment helps promote belonging. Your social impact, your CSR, your philanthropy, your diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) program and your employee resource groups can be a galvanizing force.

Vivian explains: “Inclusion is a challenge and an opportunity. And those are really the best kind, because it’s an opportunity to craft the future together. We are at a point now where we’ve broken systems all over the place and as we build them back, it’s on us. The private sector has an enormous opportunity to help create sustainable, inclusive recovery strategies and efforts that build and bake inclusion into the very new fabrics we’re creating.”

 

Fill your cup, but take it day by day

Viv Rice 2022

When your eyes are opened to all the need that exists, you see there is an endless amount of good you can do. However, it can be overwhelming and cause burnout for a lot of people.

Vivian advises: “Fill your cup and understand you’re making a difference, but you’re not going to solve all the problems every day.”

Vivian believes you don’t have to have the biggest budget, the most power or the most time. Your company can do something from exactly where you are.  

She says: “Benevity is such a help, because it opens up this entire spectrum of vetted nonprofits; even if it’s not giving money, you can learn about them. And when you do give money, it reduces the administrative fee to the nonprofit. And you can learn more. And as you learn more, you can share more, and then you can build a relationship slowly.”

 

The impact

When Fiserv launched their Back2Business campaign in 2020, their CEO committed $10 million to support Black-and-minority-owned small businesses. They launched the grant program but knew that this wasn’t just one point in time. It is a continuum. If they do something in the current year, Vivian wants to ensure it’s sustainable in 10 years’ time.

“We did a lot of stakeholder engagement,” Vivian says. “We used our Fiserv Gives Back portal with Benevity to look at organizations that were already in the communities we were looking to target because of our geographic footprint. And after committing $10 million, our CEO said, ‘$50 million, this is clearly having an impact.’ We gave out grants nationwide and partnered with local chambers, Black chambers, veteran chambers, Hispanic chambers and statewide chambers.”

Fiserv engaged their associates and clients to work together to do good and support the diverse small business ecosystem. Their company also started doing pop-ups, integrating their love of food with the return to the office.

Vivian explains: “During Women’s History Month, we had women-owned catering companies provide breakfasts, lunches, snacks and ice cream. During AAPI Month, Pride Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, we secured the services of small, diverse businesses who sell local products and services. We know the recession is going to hit small businesses hard. And that’s where we have more work to do. And I think no one is more excited to do that work than Team Fiserv.”

 

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