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A global pandemic. Deepening political divisiveness. Mass protests over racial injustice and economic inequality. In a time of intense challenges, we are all struggling to connect and find common ground.

These struggles extend into our work lives, as we Zoom into meetings from our kitchen tables and search for new ways to collaborate virtually. More than ever, how we conduct ourselves and how we support one another can make the difference between stagnancy and growth – in our own careers, at our companies, and in the communities we serve. At Mastercard, that difference comes down to our culture of decency. It’s who we are. And it’s what drives our sense of corporate responsibility—to our employees, our partners and the people we support.

The events of the past year have underscored the need for decency in our lives, but it has long propelled our business and shaped our relationships. Mastercard Executive Chair Ajay Banga coined the term “Decency Quotient,” or “DQ,” at an employee town hall in 2017 as a shorthand for treating others how they would wish to be treated. “Decency,” he says, “is the foundation for the kinds of relationships that drive respect, innovation, urgency and enterprise-wide thinking. It’s what supports and inspires people to believe that they can trust you, and that you will have your hand on their back, and not in their face. This lets them know that they can bring their full hearts and minds to all that they do.”

A key component of the Mastercard culture, decency permeates every interaction at Mastercard as well as every initiative, from building an inclusive economy to fostering social equality to ensuring a sustainable future. We are delivering on the decency quotient inside and outside our walls, becoming a force for good in our communities and the world at large. Here are some of our stories: