Oath bets on veterans in the workplace
By Nate Lee and Peter Vanderloo, Global co-leads of VALOR (Oath's employee resource group dedicated to supporting veterans in the workplace)
Today there are nearly half a million veterans in the U.S. who are unemployed, and the veteran unemployment rate is nearly 10% higher than the non-veteran unemployment rate. At Oath, we see this as a clear call to action, and it's why we're investing in military veterans and their families. It's also why we're committed to our workforce being representative of the general veteran population, 7% by 2020.
Ahead of Veterans Day, we are proud to announce some important initiatives that are putting us on a path toward our goal--our first down payments on a permanent pledge to support veterans. Both our values as a new company and the power of Oath's brands will be on full display this week for the veterans cause.
At the foundation of our commitment is a public pledge in coordination with the U.S. Department of Defense and its employer engagement arm, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). This week Oath will be signing the ESGR Statement of Support in our BUILD studio in New York, certifying our public commitment to our service members and acknowledgement that Oath meets or exceeds specific military benefit standards. Oath not only meets these criteria, but our military benefits program is one of the best in industry, including a military leave policy that allows activated military employees to receive the equivalent of 100% of their Oath pay while serving in uniform, for up to 36 months.
From this strong foundation, we're also ramping up a veteran-focused hiring pipeline through a new partnership with Veterati, a veteran-owned, non-profit that specializes in mentorship-to-employment. Our commitment to placing veterans in meaningful positions across the company is exemplified by our Chief Revenue Officer, John DeVine, a former U.S. Navy officer. The Veterati platform will help us build mentoring relationships between people at Oath like John and active duty military and recently-separated veterans. Our BUILD studio will be hosting a livestreamed veterans panel this week with Veterati CEO and military spouse Diana Tsai Rau on the greater role veterans can and should be playing in the workforce. BUILD is the internet's best place for an intimate conversation around the important topics of our time.
We also believe that digital media can play a unique role in promoting important causes like those for veterans. With a donation of 10 million online advertising impressions to Wreaths Across America (WAA), we're leveraging the power of digital media to build some brand love for this important cause. Our advertisements will support WAA's Roll Call Initiative, an ambitious plan to have every veteran represented in her or his own web page. And a $100,000 contribution from Oath to the United Services Organization (USO) will continue to assist military members as they transition from active duty to the workplace. In partnership with USO, we will be hosting job-search seminars at USO transition offices, helping veterans update their resumes, understand the corporate world and refine their interview skills.
We know veterans bring immeasurable experience and unique skills to the workplace. Their teamwork and anything-is-achievable mindset are infectious and an effective combination that we see in action within the company and work to develop. Join us this week in honoring those who've answered the call; we're saying to them, "we've got your back!"