The Western Union Company a global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement and payments, announced the appointment of Shannon Armbrecht as its first Chief Diversity and Talent Officer. Armbrecht commences her role with immediate effect, reporting directly to Richard Williams, Chief People Officer.
In her new role, Armbrecht will provide strategic direction for enterprise-wide programs that accelerate alignment of talent, employee relations, culture and capabilities with Western Union’s commitment to its DEI goals. Additionally, she will drive the strategy for, and oversee implementation of, Executive Leadership development, sourcing, and talent acquisition, focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion around the globe.
Armbrecht brings more than 20 years of experience in Human Resources management, people strategy and senior leadership development, the last nine of which have been at Western Union in positions of increasing responsibility, most recently serving as Head of People Strategy and DEI Lead. She has a track record of driving change and developing and implementing programs that create a diverse and inclusive work environment, reflecting the global communities Western Union serves.
“As a truly global brand operating in more than 200 countries and territories with an extremely diverse and multicultural stakeholder base, diversity, equity and inclusion has long been a critical part of our company values and inherent in our culture,” said Hikmet Ersek, Western Union’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re excited to welcome Shannon into her new role and are confident that her wealth of experience at Western Union and beyond will help us further evolve our DEI strategy to drive a culture of inclusion, innovation and performance.”
Western Union has already notched strong gains as a result of its DEI commitment into its overall Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy. In 2020, 45 percent of the Western Union Board of Directors was diverse; 36 percent of the Company’s executive officers and senior leadership were women; 38 percent of senior management and above were women; 19 percent of US employees were multicultural women; and 22 percent of US employees were Black/African American or Hispanic/Latinx. The company is also committed to maintaining pay equity, with women making more than 99 cents for every dollar men make globally, and racially or ethnically diverse employees earning more than 99 cents for every dollar Caucasian / white employees make in the U.S.
Western Union’s DEI efforts have been recognized with several awards, notably its inclusion in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) for the past two consecutive years, its listing as one of the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces (2020 & 2019) by The Dave Thomas Foundation, and its scoring of 85 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 Corporate Equality Index (CEI).
“Western Union is a global, purpose-driven company, serving people from all backgrounds and our diverse talent is one of our most valuable assets,” Armbrecht said. “ We have made great progress over the course of recent years in evolving our employee base to resemble the diversity of the customers we serve. It’s a great honor and an exciting challenge to advance our programs and help write the next chapter in our inclusive and equitable history as we continue on this journey.”