Oracle have supported the DCU Access Programme since 2017. Could you tell us why you chose to support the University?
Oracle’s vision very much aligns with that of DCU’s so it was an easy decision to support the DCU Access programme. We believe that the Access Programme is a great vehicle whereby we can execute our mission to support our local communities. In fact, we collaborate with a large range of external diversity partners all over the world. We work together to bring about social change, further equality, elevate minorities, and support our communities. We truly believe that our partnership with DCU and the Access Programme can have a positive impact.
Oracle became a participating company in the DCU Access to the Workplace Programme when it first began in 2019. You are now taking on your third DCU Access student intern this summer. What is it about the programme that works well for Oracle?
As I mentioned, at Oracle, we feel it is important to give back and we feel we can have a positive effect on the DCU Access to the Workplace interns and their future learning and career paths. Interning students get the full experience of what it’s like to work with us as a multinational technology company and we get some feedback and great ideas from them. It’s really beneficial for us to have people in the company who may look at things differently and we have found that DCU students certainly bring that to the table, whether from the Access to the Workplace programme or through INTRA. DCU students really apply themselves in the workplace here, and a high proportion of our workforce are DCU graduates. The programme is another way for us to give back to the community also, as DCU is just around the corner from our location in Eastpoint Clontarf.
DCU’s mission is to transform lives and societies, and as a university, we are strongly committed to equality. Is this something that Oracle sees as a similarity between the two organisations?
Absolutely, we echo DCU’s commitment to equality. At Oracle, we don’t just respect differences – we celebrate them. We believe that innovation starts with inclusion, and to create the future we need people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and abilities. That’s why we’re committed to creating a workplace where all individuals can do their best work. It is when everyone’s voice is heard and valued that we’re inspired to go beyond what has been done before. We are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity.
Oracle teams are actively driving many Employees Resource Groups (ERGs) to ensure everyone thrives in a diverse and inclusive Oracle environment. Examples include Cultural Harmony Network (CHN), Oracle Diverse Abilities Network (ODAN), Oracle Pride Employee Network (OPEN) and Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL). My colleague in Finance, Sandra Regan, leads the OWL community for Ireland. Like DCU, Oracle is conscious of gender initiatives and I am a member of the 30% Club, along with DCU President Professor Daire Keogh, which aims to include more females on boards of directors and in management.
To support our local communities, we have also organised and support several Corporate Citizenship Programmes. This includes Fashion Relief for Oxfam and the support of Temple Street Children’s Hospital. Oracle Ireland colleagues walked from the Dublin Oracle location in Eastpoint Clontarf to Howth in fancy dress to raise money for sick children. I’m proud to say that the last walk raised €51,000. We also work with Jobnet and Work Equal to prepare individuals for the workplace.
We also have Diversity & Inclusion ambassadors who amplify the initiatives executed by the various employee resource groups (ERGs) and, more importantly listen to and understand what we could be doing to make a difference. We also recognise that creating a truly inclusive workplace will be an ongoing journey, not a one off destination. We’re always learning how to be more inclusive, which means there’s always more work to be done. Every day we’re making our workforce more representative of the world around us.
Maria Smith is Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Controller, at Oracle, leading a team of professional accountants across Americas, Emea and Japac. Maria graduated from Dublin City University with a degree in Accounting and Finance. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Maria won the DCU Business School Alumni Award in 2017 and is a member of the Business School Advisory Board.