The volume was rising in the room. We sat in pairs facing each other and spoke about our careers and aspirations, our interests and our challenges. Twenty minutes later, the bell rang. Everyone switched partners and began the next conversation. The process repeated once more, until over 150 conversations had taken place. It was another successful session of “Speed Coaching.”
The time I spent coaching confirmed the importance of championing diversity and inclusion at EMC. What if we were able to draw out all 50,000 of our employees in the way that we did during this hour? What if we were able to realize the full power of their stories, their passions, and their expertise? As a global company and community, we would know so much more about how to keep EMC innovative, creative, inclusive and competitive. But how do we achieve this at hundreds of locations around the world?
As a technology leader, EMC builds lasting customer relationships through the power of our portfolio – the combination of products, solutions and services that are unique to us. Our investments in diversity and inclusion offer the same opportunity to create lasting value. Throughout the world, our efforts are being recognized. We recently received a Disability Matters award for our work with disabled employees in India. We maintained our perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign for offering a positive working environment for our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender employees. We were honored by the government of Spain for our efforts in gender equality. We were named as one of the best companies for veterans, and for the first time we were listed as one of 25 Noteworthy Companies by DiversityInc.
We are proud of all of these accomplishments, and they inspire us to continue the work that is still ahead. We realize that our efforts need to extend beyond our company and into the communities where we live and work. Our ongoing commitment to supporting STEM education is helping build confidence and skills for future generations. You will find EMC colleagues volunteering their time for “An Hour of Code” instruction at local schools in Boston and bringing students into EMC labs in Ireland to prepare for robotics competitions. In addition to the practical knowledge they are sharing, our employee volunteers serve as role models for developing careers and giving back.
We express our support for gender equality in many ways. Chapters of our Women’s Leadership Forum reach around the world, and EMC was proud to serve as host or lead sponsor at recent regional conferences for women in Boston, Silicon Valley, London and Beijing. As a presenter, I remember looking out at the hundreds of women in the audience and thinking how much power and potential were present. As we prepared for a day of listening to highly accomplished and committed leaders in a variety of industries, I asked everyone to be sure to find themselves in the stories they heard. The differences in our stories are the diversity that makes us stronger, and by considering our own stories through the examples of others, inspiration becomes action.
We recently invited all of our employees around the globe to access the online resources of DiversityInc, to learn more about the ways we can be more inclusive as we work together. Our greatest success will come when everyone at EMC is comfortable bringing their full selves to work every day knowing that every idea, every perspective, is valued. We are committed to the journey, and to all that we will learn along the way.