Juneteenth Message to TriNet Colleagues from President & CEO, Burton M. Goldfield

June 19, 2020

President & CEO, Burton M. Goldfield shares a message on the Juneteenth holiday with all TriNet Colleagues

Hello, colleagues. The very long road to true racial equality in America is especially clear with the Juneteenth Holiday. This momentous stay in our history is rightfully now a permanent paid holiday for TriNet colleagues. For those colleagues who are supporting our customers on this holiday, I want to personally thank you. I deeply appreciate your commitment to our customers and our company. In announcing this holiday, I am encouraging us to reflect on how we can foster a world where social justice isn't just an ideal for America, but a true reality. Some of our colleagues will be engaged in celebratory events. I am hoping others like me will spend time reflecting, learning more and exploring ideas on how we can help. I have a responsibility to TriNet, my colleagues and our customers to continue to support a diverse, equitable and inclusive world. This means more listening. This includes more dialogue with our company and fostering more education, acceptance and most importantly, meaningful action by all of us.
I have included some links at the bottom of this video that I have found helpful in learning about not just Juneteenth, but the long and systematic institutionalized racism in America. It is important to remember that June 19th does not commemorate the end of Confederate slavery in the U.S. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed two and a half years earlier, rather, Juneteenth commemorates the day when Confederate slaves in Texas learned that they were free. Yes, a full two and a half years after they had the legal right. As I reflect on this two and a half year delay, I am greatly impacted. There are a number of different theories about why it took so long for this message to get through, but of course, none of them are justifiable. Importantly, if we think about this in the context of systematic and institutionalized racism, June 19th is a reminder that words on a piece of paper are not enough. People, institutions and workplaces need to do the right thing. I am committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace that contributes to the fight for social justice and develops a culture where we all feel like we belong.
As we continue to move forward with intention, I am tasking all of us to dig deeper, ask the hard questions and make decisions that bring diversity, equity and inclusion to life in everything that we do. This includes increasing our initiatives with meaningful actions, such as ensuring supplier diversity as an important part of our procurement program, in addition to the many other initiatives we have already discussed.
A friend of mine recently shared some thoughts that resonated with me. He said that incremental good in any form has a ripple effect. The reinforcing ripples can create a big wave theory and that there is no single right way to do good. In fact, there are many ways. It is important that we make room for people trying to do good however they feel comfortable. Make room for the bold, the hesitant and the quiet. This is particularly important because I believe the journey we are on, and in fact our country is on, can only be traveled together. I am proud to lead TriNet as its CEO. I'm confident that together we will lead with our core values and stand together to build a world where social justice is a reality. Thank you for listening.
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