September is Hispanic Heritage Month, an opportunity to honor the generations of Hispanic and Latinx Americans who have enriched our society and culture. It is also an opportunity for me personally to take a moment to celebrate the wonderful achievements of our Hispanic and Latinx team members while recognizing the opportunity we have in front of us to bring more diverse perspectives to the table.
I’ve been at Dell Technologies for more than 25 years starting my career here in HR after graduating from The University of Texas. Aside from growing professionally here, I’ve also had the opportunity to actively give back to the Latinx and Hispanic communities, something I feel truly passionate about and has made my time at Dell so meaningful.
The power of partnerships
One of the partnerships I’m most proud of that we have made here at Dell is the one we have with the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) where I sit on the board. Founded in 1986, HACR’s mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in corporate America. We’ve been a proud sponsor of the work HACR does to increase the Hispanic population in today’s working world, which priorities civic and community duties among other attributes when assessing potential talent. Our partnership with HACR creates opportunities for our Dell Technologies team members to participate in a skills-based development program while opening the door to networking opportunities with Hispanic executives across various industries. Our goal? Help our team members grow professionally.
It’s programs like these – that prioritize professional development, mentoring, and networking – that will be critical as we help our diverse team members progress in their careers in a meaningful way. It’s a key reason why we introduced a targeted internal advocacy program aimed at paring our high performing talent from Black and Hispanic backgrounds with executive leaders who can help coach, train, and prepare them for continued acceleration. Additionally, in collaboration with The Partnership Leadership Development Program, we’re helping diverse talent at various points in their career build the leadership skills necessary to succeed at work. The learning and engagement gained during these programs and initiatives equip our diverse talent with the skills they need to be successful in their career and have the same opportunity for advancement as their peers.
The importance of connection
The work Latino Connection, one of our 13 Employee Resource Groups, is doing on this front is also driving change. With their purpose to champion access and opportunities for our Hispanic and Latinx team members they are fostering an inclusive community that promotes cultural awareness across the organization. And throughout the pandemic, they have really shown up for their members, prioritizing driving personal connections – even in today’s virtual environment – to help our team members connect and develop in a meaningful way. To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month they are offering virtual cooking classes, Salsa lessons, a discussion on giving back to the Hispanic and Latinx communities, and a special panel where two of our senior leaders shared their journeys and insights as Hispanic and Latinx American women in the technology industry, to name a few.
The impact we can have
We’re also engaging with organizations outside our four walls to address issues facing Hispanic and Latinx communities. Just last week, in partnership with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, we hosted a special Policy Hack to uncover ways to address the digital divide and discuss how technology can be leveraged to narrow economic injustices, racial bias, health inequalities, and workforce readiness impacting the Hispanic and Latinx communities in the U.S. The winning team came up with a solution that included several recommendations to bring together public and private partnerships to provide the right technology to help provide more opportunities for underrepresented communities and groups. One of the ideas was to create a voucher program giving access to devices and internet access for children which could be automatically integrated into the economic support system for low-income families.
Cultivating a culture of inclusion – one where everyone feels they belong and can succeed – is a critical part of who we are at Dell Technologies. We believe true innovation is possible when diverse perspectives, ideas, and backgrounds come together. And while we’re proud of the progress we’re making on this front, we know more focus is needed to achieve true equity and to be the employer of choice for all. It’s why we have committed to having 25% of our U.S. workforce and 15% of our U.S. people leaders identify as Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx minorities by 2030.
But as we continue to work towards these goals, we know real change can’t happen in a silo – it will require continued collaboration – with partnerships, other organizations, and our team members – to ensure we’re equipping everyone with the skills they need to succeed in our industry.