Greg Vargas wants to be a catalyst for change. That’s why he came to Diligent. Vargas joined the growing organization in 2021 to coordinate all talent programs, including acquisition, development, and diversity. The sheer scale and potential of what Diligent is doing drew him to the role: the governance software-as-a-service company has twenty-five thousand customers and one million users worldwide and is committed to using its technology and influence to promote equitable and sustainable business practices.
These issues resonate deeply with Vargas. Growing up in a military family and constantly adapting to new schools and peer groups taught him to value the individual experiences and contributions of others. He later studied sociology, criminal justice, and human resources management at George Washington University.
While there, Vargas served as a residence hall advisor and chaired a cross-cultural affairs program. The group existed to cultivate relationships, build community, advance empathy, and help students appreciate diversity and explore their own identities. Promoting on-campus events made Vargas more passionate about inclusion.
“I saw how important it was to give students a place to be heard and discuss challenging topics, and we all learned how to better interact with people from different backgrounds and experiences,” he says.
Vargas started his career as a recruiter and senior human resources business analyst at the International Monetary Fund, where he spent a decade targeting the world’s top PhD economists before guiding them through a two-year rotation.
After ten years of building expertise and experience, Vargas was looking for something new. He and his husband decided to embark on a new adventure and moved their young daughter to San Francisco. Vargas shifted to the tech industry and never looked back.
By 2021, Vargas had finished successful stints at Google, Yahoo, Verizon, and Harry’s. But while he had managed teams of recruiters and implemented internal development programs at top companies, he longed for something more. “I wanted to land somewhere really purpose-driven and find a company with a mission I could really get behind,” he explains.
Vargas found that company in Diligent. Diligent leads in modern governance and its technology helps executives uphold commitments to issues like sustainability, community development, social responsibility, and diversity.
Early conversations with top leaders confirmed that Vargas had found the right place to call home. “Diligent wants to empower the most influential people in the world to make better decisions about that world, and that’s something I wanted to be a part of,” he says. Clients use Diligent’s solutions to create effective, sustainable, and equitable organizations, and the company must embody those very same principles.
That’s why Diligent hired Vargas, and the company was very intentional in creating his role. He’s not VP of DEI; rather, he manages DEII—diversity, equity, inclusion, and intersectionality. “The second ‘I’ in my title is a signal that our leaders have done some deep thinking about these topics and about how these issues actually impact our employees,” Vargas says.
Intersectionality addresses how multiple categories of identity link and overlap to produce opportunities for discrimination. Vargas, who identifies as a gay Black Latino man, strives to consider the holistic employee to best support his Diligent colleagues in the workplace.
Shortly after his arrival, Vargas and his team revamped their recruiting process to create a structured interviewing experience and introduced diversity training through a company called Paradigm. The blended learning platform gives corporate practitioners a way to deliver expert training on demand to increase participation. Topics include training on unconscious bias, allyship, inclusive hiring, and anti-racism.
Additionally, the number of employee resource groups is growing. Diligent now has programs for women in tech, Black employees, parents and caregivers, remote employees, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and other individuals with shared life experiences.
The work Vargas has done hasn’t gone unnoticed by his partners outside the company. “Greg’s commitment to DEII stands out among our more than 450 hiring partners,” says Rahim Fazal, CEO of SV Academy. “Our SDRs and CSMs placed at Diligent have a rich path ahead, and we look forward to supporting Greg’s ever-expanding initiatives to further increase access and opportunities.”
Diligent provides SaaS solutions across governance, risk, compliance, and ESG. In 2020, the company launched its Modern Leadership program to help organizations build more diverse and inclusive boards and executive teams.
As part of the program, Diligent curates a list of board-ready professionals they can connect with open seats. “Shareholder pressure is building, and companies that don’t live up to best practice or fall short will find out quickly that consumers care, and consumers vote with their wallets,” Vargas says.
The desire to push for improvement permeates all areas. Diligent encourages employees to give back to their communities, and the company hosts a variety of volunteer events, including an annual day of service. Last year, Diligent partnered with about two dozen organizations, including Black Girls Code and the Alice Paul Institute.
Like many employees, Vargas uses his time to support causes aligned with his own passions. He’s a board member at Impact Justice, a national research center advocating for juvenile and adult criminal justice reforms.
Today, the company is growing and pursuing important strategic initiatives. This year, Vargas will onboard hundreds of new people to join the company as he seeks to accommodate that growth.
“It’s an exciting time to be here,” he says. “We have the chance to build a culture that will impact influential companies through diversity, and diverse thoughts improve performance.”
Improved performance drives innovation, and innovation changes the world.