It’s been just over two months since I stepped into my new role at Dell Technologies as chief diversity and inclusion officer. I’m keeping an open mind as we listen for the greatest needs of our team members and communities. Our team members have asked for equal opportunities to succeed, leaders who look like them and champions who advocate for them. Support as we navigate injustices in our communities and new ways of working has also been critical. Together, we’re working to meet the expectation we’ve set for ourselves: to build a workforce that is representative of society by making measurable progress toward our 2030 Progress Made Real gender and ethnicity goals.
As we reflect on our progress in our 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Report, I’m proud of our improvement. We’ve made strides to lean into our inclusive culture and create an environment where all can succeed. We’ve seen representation grow at all levels among those who identify as women globally and Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino in the U.S. But representation – at Dell Technologies and across the technology industry – is still not where it needs to be to show we’re effectively addressing the 4.3M global tech talent gap we are facing by 2030. As a leading technology provider, we know there’s still more to do.
Our focus has been on taking critical steps to live who we are – a diverse company with unique perspectives – at our deepest level. So we’ve spent the past year taking purposeful action. The actions we’re taking will continue to help us address our most pressing societal issues and create a deeper sense of belonging among our global team of 158,000:
- Addressing the impacts of COVID-19: Injustices and disparities continue to take their toll on underrepresented groups around the world, and we saw these rise as the pandemic continued. Our team has come together – to support, advocate, give and live up to commitments we made to drive progress. As just one example, in 2020 women globally lost more than 64 million jobs or 5% of the total jobs they held – while 3.9% of men’s jobs were lost. We fortunately did not see the type of decline at Dell that we’re seeing in the broader workforce. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t been affected. Adding and extending benefits to working parents – like caregiving, childcare, tutoring and learning pod solutions – helped with that. Ongoing development and sponsorship will be critical ways we invest in women at the company and keep them moving forward.
- Investing in our supportive, flexible workplace: We are leaning into what it means to feel a deep sense of belonging in a hybrid environment, building tools and a culture that provide choice and flexibility to all team members. Connecting in new ways – through moments of reflection, support groups, and wellness and educational sessions – has been critical to supporting each other through a global pandemic. These connection points have helped our employee resource group (ERG) participation grow to 44% of the company – up from 34% last year.
- Expanding learning opportunities to drive inclusion: We evolved our diversity and inclusion foundational learning program and made it easier for team members to deepen their understanding of unconscious bias, intersectionality, in- and out-groups and microaggression. We’re excited that nearly 100% of our managers participated in learning experiences on these topics last year. But we need this to be something we all experience on a continuous basis. With our new approach, called Be the Change, team member participation will happen all year long at key points like performance reviews and check-ins with their manager or team.
- Closing the tech talent gap and continuing to build a diverse leadership pipeline: We expanded our current partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities, minority-serving institutions, and community colleges – connecting virtually to foster relationships and help students build technology skills. This has already increased hiring from these schools by 42% compared to last year. And close examinations of our current workforce resulted in the promotion of women globally and underrepresented minorities in the U.S. (Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino) at rates higher than our current representation. This accelerates our pipeline for a leadership team where 40% identify as women globally and 15% identify as Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino in the U.S. by 2030.
We’re moving forward with the understanding that we must hold ourselves accountable for ensuring Dell is a place where we all can thrive as our authentic selves. It’s why our most senior leaders have diversity goals tied to their performance expectations and our people managers receive feedback on how they are doing in the area of inclusion.
In the year ahead, we will focus on expanding opportunity for our teams and communities. We’ll support through action and advocacy, including continuing to support inclusive policy and legislation that impacts our local communities like access to digital technologies and skills. And we’ll keep continuous learning at the heart of our progress – to inspire more inclusive and equitable business practices we can embed throughout our organization.
Our success has ripple effects beyond our walls, into our communities and can serve as a catalyst for change. That’s our intention, and we look forward to sharing our journey and making our greatest impact yet.