It’s all related: Juneteenth, intersectionality, and progress

JUNE 19, 2022 • BLOG POST • AISHA K. WASHINGTON, GLOBAL CHIEF DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION OFFICER

IN THIS ARTICLE

  • HPE is marking Juneteenth by, for the first time, making it a paid holiday
  • HPE’s DE&I efforts are intersectional, because many team members identify with more than one diverse demographic
  • In the last year, we’ve taken intentional actions to make progress toward our goal of unconditional inclusion, but more work remains

A DE&I report card

Juneteenth is a day we reflect on what many have called America’s Original Sin – the enslavement of Black people pre-dating our nation’s founding. This year, for the first time ever, HPE is marking Juneteenth by making it a paid holiday for our U.S. workforce – a modest but important sign of our commitment to equity and justice for Black Americans.

But I also think it’s important on this day to acknowledge the intersectionality of our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) efforts as a company. After all, Juneteenth falls during Pride month. I am Black and a woman. It’s so common for team members to identify with more than one diverse demographic, and we must use these moments to take stock of the whole picture, where we’ve been successful, and where we need to make significant systemic change.

Points of pride

In the last year, we’ve taken intentional actions and made meaningful progress toward our goal of unconditional inclusion. To hold ourselves accountable, we expanded our Management by Objectives (MBOs) around DE&I to be more aspirational and expansive, going beyond workforce representation, to now include culture, belonging and equitable outcomes. In that same vein of accountability, in 2022 HPE continued to make progress in its efforts to identify and address pay disparities that may impact women and underrepresented minorities. As a result, we are proud to report that women in the U.S., U.K., and India – representing a majority of our workforce footprint – earn $1.00 for every $1.00 earned by their male counterparts. The same is also true of racial minorities as compared to their white peers in the U.S.

We have aligned our Executive Committee’s sponsorship program with our talent succession planning to further develop the diversity of our executive pipeline by providing access, visibility, and sponsorship. This is important because a huge barrier to equity in the workplace, be it gender or racial, isn’t necessarily entry – its advancement. Giving our EC a hands-on responsibility for cultivating diverse talent will help us advance women and minorities throughout the talent lifecycle. And our CEO, Antonio Neri, lends the power of our brand to campaigns for inclusion, such as the Valuable 500 (disability inclusion), Business Coalition for the Equality Act (LGBTQ+) and efforts to combat discrimination, hate and violence against the AAPI community.

And, we’re activating our workforce to be champions for inclusion and allyship. 70 percent of our workforce globally has voluntarily completed ‘Inclusion for All’, our behaviors-based training course offered in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean. Another exciting new effort is the kickoff of our Inclusion Ambassadors team member champion program prominently at HPE Discover later this month. Our employee resource groups continue to be active not only as advocates within the company, but within our communities as well. Our resource group members regularly volunteer their time to promote STEM education and digital inclusion through events like Code Wars and will be tasked with volunteering 3000 hours toward causes for STEM education and digital inclusion next year.

The road ahead

Inclusion and equity require continuous improvement and attention, and a recognition that for all our efforts, we are not perfect. In fact, neither HPE nor the industry as a whole are close to where we need to be. At HPE, we remain committed to growing representation across leadership and increasing retention of diverse team members. We have set goals to double our Black and Hispanic executive headcounts by 2027 and for our executive population to be one-third female by 2027.

Fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace and creating a culture of belonging requires deliberate cultivation of inclusive behaviors. We continue to invest in enterprise-wide experiences connecting team members through a series of sessions aimed at increasing engagement with DE&I and expanding knowledge of how it supports HPE strategic business outcomes.

We are also trying to build and sustain a pipeline of diverse talent with a range of technical skills, education, and backgrounds. In order to build the innovative workforce needed to compete globally, we have increased our partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HBCUs and HSIs) and organizations like the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) and the Hispanic IT Executive Global Council (HITEC)

As a global technology leader, we continue to be guided by our purpose to advance the way people live and work and our responsibility towards creating an equitable world for all.

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