Diversity, Equality & Inclusion

“Diversity and inclusion are the foundation of everything we do.” —PayPal’s commitment to providing an environment for employees to thrive.

By Business & Finance
24 August 2018

In the Employee Experience series, sponsored by Irish Life, we ask leading companies’ HR departments about their employee engagement initiatives and how they have created the most optimal workplace for their staff.


What is PayPal?

PayPal is a global company operating a worldwide online payments system that supports users making online money transfers and accepting payments without revealing their financial details. With offices in Dundalk and Dublin PayPal employs approximately 2,500 staff in Ireland.

Core values

“PayPal was established in 1998 and we opened our first Irish office in 2003 with a team of just 25 employees,” says Annette Hickey, Senior Director of Global Customer Solutions for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at PayPal.

“Creating a progressive and positive environment in which people can thrive is key to this and we have found it to be a successful tool in terms of finding the right people to join our team,” she states.

“To us, it’s about four values: innovation, collaboration, wellness and inclusion. We bring those values to life every day through an approach that puts our customers first. As our workforce has become more diverse, we have become more inclusive. We are stronger as an organisation as a result.”

Along with benefits package standards such as health insurance and life assurance, pension plans and paid maternity and paternity leave, PayPal have a particularly unusual, and very popular treat for long-serving employees: a sabbatical of four weeks paid leave, on top of their standard annual 25 days of leave, to celebrate every fifth year at PayPal.

An on-site gym, beautician and physiotherapist cater to supporting employee wellness.

“We know that benefits alone don’t make employees feel valued and respected,” says Annette. “Furthermore, we encourage career progression by putting great emphasis on personal development and training opportunities.”

Diversity and inclusion feeds creativity

PayPal Headquarters

“Diversity and inclusion are also central to the PayPal ethos. People of different backgrounds have different experiences and skillsets and by exploring and combining these, we inspire creativity and innovation,” says Annette.

This is evidenced by the Opportunity Hack, a 24-hour challenge that sees teammates developing digital solutions for Irish charities; the results of people of varied backgrounds and skillsets coming together produces inspiring results.

“Wellness, CSR and diversity have always been important policies for us,” says Annette. “They have helped to create the inclusive and productive environment that we enjoy today. Investment in these initiatives increases proactivity, productivity and performance among employees.”

Initiatives at PayPal include PayPal Gives and PayPal Pride (which celebrates its commitment to, and support for LGBT teammates), and networks like Unity (PayPal’s women’s network) and Amplify (PayPal’s network for black employees).

“We have a collaborative partnership with OUTstanding, an organisation which helps businesses create a more inclusive environment,” Annette reveals. “As part of this, we launched our own Pride Ally Network which allows members of staff to become Allies in order to promote inclusion, support LGBT teammates and prevent discrimination.”

Recruiting talented teammates

“Fintech is a highly competitive and fast-growing industry, but we are in a unique position in that we are leaders in the field,” Annette states. “Together, our talented teammates are making an impact on people’s daily lives as customer champions who transform the world of money. That is something that people want to be a part of.”

“We’ve also worked with the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities to hire from their programme graduate programme,” Annette reveals.

“Diversity and inclusion are the foundation of everything we do. You can see that in the fact that we have a global team helping millions of customers around the world. We ensure that each and every member of this global team is treated equally and given the opportunity to develop within the organisation. This approach is ingrained in our ethos and at every level of the business. For example, we ensure that all Team Leaders are trained in diversity and inclusion to combat any unconscious bias, as well as to teach them how to operate in an inclusive manner.”

The Employee Experience Award sponsored by Irish Life will be held in October and nominations are open now. Categories include: Diversity, War for Talent, Agile Working and the overall Employee Experience Award. If you wish to nominate your company please fill in a very short questionnaire here. Closing date is 31 August 2018.