HPE CEO Antonio Neri: Building a more equitable, inclusive world starts here

JUNE 11, 2020 • BLOG POST • ANTONIO NERI, PRESIDENT & CEO

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IN THIS ARTICLE

  • HPE outlines four main focus areas for inclusion
  • Company makes commitments for real and impactful change

CEO Antonio Neri gathers all team members to talk about steps the company will take to help shape a better, more equitable world

Everyone deserves to live free of oppression and racism. We must use this moment to take a stand, to speak up on inclusion and to advocate for equity.

Over the last week, my leadership team and I kicked off a listening tour to hear the stories, experiences, and feedback from our black and African American team members to help inform our near-term actions. I am incredibly grateful for the candor and transparency of these team members, who shared very personal stories and anecdotes that expanded our understanding of the challenges we need to address.  We also hosted an All Team Member meeting today and heard from colleagues representing other dimensions of diversity. Our team members subscribe to our company’s belief in unconditional inclusion and they are my inspiration to be better, to do more. Based on our initial conversations, we have identified four main areas of focus:

  1. Inclusion: We must improve in building an inclusive environment at HPE. One important element is helping our managers become more inclusive leaders and get more comfortable having conversations around race and discrimination.

  2. Equity: As we strive to create and foster a corporate environment that provides equal opportunities for all of our team members, we need to ensure equity in all our people processes and programs.

  3. Advocacy: We all must be advocates for change. We must continually listen and learn so we can be the best allies possible for our black and African American colleagues and for all of our team members whose voices are underrepresented.

  4. Community: We must ensure we’re giving our time and resources to diverse communities to help advance education, as well as to address issues of racism that continue to plague our society. 

As we continue to gather feedback to design a long-term action plan, we know that the worst possible response is inaction.  So we’ve made commitments that will serve as the beginning of real and impactful change:
 

  • We will launch a global HPE Inclusion and Diversity Council. The council will include team members from across our businesses and functions representing all facets of diversity, and I will chair this council. The council will oversee the development of a detailed plan and ensure we’re all collectively held accountable to meet our goals.

  • Building on our commitment to transparency, next week we will publish our Living Progress Report, in which we will share our diversity representation figures. While we are doing better than most in our industry, I know we have work to do in increasing representation at all levels.  Since FY19, we’ve had diversity goals in place for our SVPs that are tied to compensation.  The council will review our goals and make recommendations on how we expand them for all people leaders.  We will also begin sharing progress on diversity numbers each quarter at our All Team Member webcasts.

  • We are initiating an integrated Advocacy Program. We will invite all team members to join the program and pledge their commitment to be an advocate.

  • Last year we rolled out a facilitator-led Inclusive Leadership training. We are bolstering this program by adding more classes and mandating that all people leaders complete the training by the end of our fiscal year.

Beyond these commitments, I am also very proud that we will very specifically address the underrepresentation and injustices facing our black communities:
 

  • HPE has committed to supporting student scholars at historically black colleges and universities over the next five years. We hope these students can become future HPE leaders.

  • The HPE Foundation made a grant to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which uses litigation, advocacy, and public education to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and work toward racial justice.

  • We have also established a giving fund for our team members to contribute to the Equal Justice Initiative and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund or a relevant organization of their choice, and HPE will match their contributions.
     

I know there’s more that must be done, and I am fully committed to taking action. We won’t be able to solve everything at once, but we will press forward together to create impactful and meaningful change. The time is now. And it starts with us.

For earlier statements on this topic, see Antonio’s June 1 memo to all HPE team members, which he shared publically on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.  

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