Paul Francisco: Next Level Strategies

Paul Francisco has one goal when it comes to diversity and inclusion—to make every employee, potential employee, business partner, customer, and just about everyone else he encounters in his role as Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) at State Street Corporation feel like they belong.

“That’s our key to success,” Francisco said. “I want everyone that works at State Street to feel not only valued but celebrated. They need to know they have a special place in this company where they can be successful.”

Francisco has many years of experience developing corporate diversity and inclusion strategies. Prior to joining State Street, he was a Managing Director and co-founder of Foster & Francisco LLC, an executive search and diversity consulting firm based in Boston. Before Foster & Francisco, Paul led recruitment and relationship management functions at Bank of America, as well as Fidelity Investments, respectively. Before becoming the CDO, Francisco was initially hired as a VP with the Global Inclusion COE (Center of Excellence) to provide consulting services to the business regarding diversity and inclusion issues.

“I learned from that experience, working as a consultant that there are some things State Street does very well in terms of diversity and inclusion and there are some areas that needed more attention,” he said. “The people working in the diversity programs here before me, did an excellent job, though, and really set us up for success. Now, I want my team to take it to the next level.”

Part of Francisco’s “next level” strategy involves reaching out to disenfranchised people in the job market and helping them understand that if their talent meets the company’s needs, State Street will make them feel more than welcome.

“For example, one of the groups we are working with is the armed services to reach out to veterans whose skill sets we can use. It may seem like an odd match, but what about a veteran who is trained in cyber security? That’s a person we want to speak with,” he explained. “People with disabilities are another group we are working with to include in our workforce. There are so many people in this world who have untapped potential and we want to work with them.”

Getting the most talented people available in the door is just the start of Francisco’s plan for diversity in the workplace. Once a person joins the company, the real inclusion work begins.