Celebrating HPE Fathers

JUNE 17, 2022 • STORIES

Marc Waters, SVP & Managing Director for UK, Ireland, Middle East & Africa (UKIMESA)

We commemorate fathers or father figures in people's lives by showing our appreciation for them and acknowledge that with the recent shift of work-home priorities, the face of fatherhood is changing for many too

As history would tell it, the first official Father’s Day was celebrated in the state of Washington on June 19, 1910. Following, quite a few Presidents, starting with Woodrow Wilson in 1916, tried to get the holiday recognition, but it didn’t officially pass till 1972, by the hand of President Richard Nixon.

In present day, we commemorate fathers and father figures in people's lives by showing our appreciation for them and acknowledge that with the recent shift of work-home priorities, the face of fatherhood is changing for many too.

We caught up with some of our own HPE fathers, Rishi Varma, SVP & General Counsel, Marc Waters, SVP & Managing Director of UKIMESA, and Kyle Glendenning, GTM Category Manager,  about the holiday, their traditions and how HPE is helping pave the way on policies like paternity leave - as well as several other benefits for growing families.

Rishi Varma, SVP & General Counsel

What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from fatherhood? How do those lessons impact your leadership approach at work?

Being a dad teaches you so much, and with six children I am always learning. Making time is so very important and it is an absolute delight to watch your children grow. My youngest son Leonardo is 20 months and developing so fast. Watching him learn, first to walk and then master new skills is wonderful. He observes things, tries them, fails, tries again, improves, and keeps trying – but always improving in the process. It reminds me how important it is to push ourselves and not be afraid if things do not always work out first time, without fear of being judged or making mistakes. I try to practice this myself and create an environment where people feel safe to take on new challenges.


  • Work Hard – it’s not always going to be about good times and laughter, but don’t shy away from the harder aspects of the job. It’s hard work being a parent, but working hard shows your children how much they mean to you.

  • Be yourself – I’ve never tried to be something I am not with my kids. They have seen me at my best and when I am vulnerable, and it has hopefully taught them that it’s ok to be both. And it’s ok to share your vulnerabilities with the people in your life.

  • Always listen and engage –I listened to them when they wanted to change, or when they wanted to explore something of interest, or if they were curious about something.  I listened, so they knew their voices mattered.

  • Keep an open mind – Over the last several years, what I thought mattered to my children has changed based on their experiences and how much the world has changed around them. An open mind can tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues.

  • Show up – Mostly, I’ve learned that being there/showing up is perhaps one of the most important things you can do for your children.

Hopefully you can see how each of these lessons equate to strong leadership.

How do benefits like paid paternal leave set HPE apart from other companies, in your opinion?

Marc:  With Leonardo, I was fortunate enough to be able to take paternity leave, a totally new experience for me that meant the world. Something I will never forget. HPE has led the way on parental leave, and it makes me incredibly proud to be a leader here. It has been so motivating to see so many new fathers in my organization take paternity leave. Many reaching out to me directly to share their stories knowing that I went through the same experience.

I am so proud to be part of a company that fosters the ability to find this balance and creates structural ways for all parents to do so. While I have not had the opportunity to use the new parent leave policy at HPE, I have seen how impactful it is for my team members. I encourage all eligible parents to take full advantage of this paid paternal leave and believe it is so important to support such participation. HPE has long been a place where people come together and deliver quality and innovative solutions for our customers, but that only happens when you devote that same energy to your team members.

Kyle:  Solving for work-life balance is a journey not a destination. You just do the best you can and try to not judge yourself too harshly if you get tied down with work. Several programs have enabled me to create more balance in my life;  (1) ability to work remotely and in an office, (2) incredibly low rates on best-in-class employee benefits that extend to my family, (3) vacation buy program & (4) Wellness Fridays, just to mention a few. However, the most impactful program/benefit was the paid 6 months of paternity leave. My wife, who was working for HPE, both took advantage of the program. She is home now with baby full time, but will no doubt return to HPE someday. I can confidently say that I have never encountered a dad that works at any other company that has gotten what HPE gave me…TIME. I will forever be grateful for the time a got to nest and truly “be present” with my very young family.

Kyle Glendenning, North America Go-to-Market Category Manager  

What’s the best lesson you learned from your dad, and what lesson do you hope to pass on to your children/child?

MarcMy dad came from a tough background and worked his way up to ultimately own and run a business. His tenacity and hard work are things I will never forget, especially in the early days where he took big risks that ultimately paid off and transformed our family life. For my own children I always tell them never to hate, to always be kind and to follow the path that means most to them, with no expectations.

Perseverance and accountability. I have learned more from my father than I can ever pass on to my own children, but two constant themes as I have grown in my career and have my own family have been perseverance and accountability. He faced many struggles as one of the only Indians in a small West Texas town when we moved to Lubbock in 1974, but he persevered. He never shied away from being held accountable for his actions and for his views, but has understood that not everyone will agree. I have had the honor of watching him continue to be seen as a pillar in the medical community across Texas and nationally, as well as being a strong advocate for his community. I am forever grateful for his guidance and understanding and, of course, have enjoyed watching him share those same principles with his grandchildren!

What’s on your wish-list for your Father's Day gift? Any big plans - any Father's Day traditions?

Marc:  I always get a bar of salted caramel Tony’s Chocolonely for Father’s Day. But, I always have to share it!

When the kids were younger, Father’s Day was a chance to sleep in! Honestly, all I want now is for my children to be healthy and happy and for us to find a few brief moments to come together this summer.  On Father’s day, I’m hoping we can do something fun like check out the latest exhibit at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and then have a great meal together!

Happy Father’s Day!