Diversity and Inclusion in 2017—How We Showed Up

January 16, 2018 Joe Militello

Pivotal continued its diversity and inclusion journey in 2017 by doing what Pivots do best: We Build. We Measure. We Learn. When we released our gender and ethnicity data for the second time in early 2017, I wrote how diversity and inclusion isn’t just an initiative, but rather how we show up every day—and building on outcomes is something we do continuously.

This past year was about making D&I a distinct part of our company identity, significantly increasing our investment, being data-driven, moving beyond grassroots efforts with increased executive focus, and continuing to learn and adapt.

We learned in 2017 that diversity and inclusion involves more than a blanket approach across our offices worldwide. Assessing the needs of individual offices and their respective journeys is helping us determine how to best support fellow Pivots globally. Importantly, we’ve seen that accountability and commitment—active participation—starts with our leadership, and is essential to achieving outcomes and activating others to become part of the journey.   

To better understand our challenges and our impact, we're using data on the experiences of those who identify as underrepresented minorities (URM) at Pivotal.

In early 2017, we found that URMs at Pivotal had a less favorable experience in some ways when compared to non-URM employees, and we took action accordingly. We rolled out the Vision for Inclusion workshop globally, launched employee resource groups starting with black@pivotal, and studied the experience of URMs at Pivotal. We're pleased that the results from the most recent company survey at the end of 2017 indicated a positive shift in URM sentiment for each metric. This is a step in the right direction, but we have more work to do in 2018.


Pivotal by the Numbers in 2017 

  • By the end of 2017, 24.7% of employees identify as women at Pivotal, a 6% increase from the previous year. Additionally, 4.4% and 7% more women have assumed technical and management roles, respectively.

  • Our Pivots who identify as black in the US increased from 1.8% in December 2016, to 2% in December 2017.

  • Our Hispanic and Latino colleagues represent 3.7% of our population, a 13% increase.  

While we're making progress we can do better. D&I is about creating more opportunity for more people to thrive and succeed at Pivotal. In 2018, we're putting more emphasis on diversity in the recruitment process, and in making Pivotal a place of opportunity for everyone.



We took the following initiatives in 2017 to drive our vision:

  • Hired Natalie Bonifede, our first D&I leader, to craft and oversee our D&I strategy, and focus on:  

    • Executive Engagement

    • Training and Skills Development

    • Grassroots and Employee Resource Groups Enablement

    • Evolution of our Data Strategy 

  • Assembled a D&I Executive Advisory board (which includes our CEO) to bring the conversation to the highest levels of the company, and influence other leaders.

  • Delivered an Inclusion U initiative in six offices worldwide, through which we engaged hundreds of Pivots, trained 70 people managers in inclusive leadership skills, and worked with 35 local leaders to help them make a meaningful impact in their office or team.   

  • For the third consecutive year, we sponsored the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program and extended our partnership with Write/Speak/Code, an organization that advocates for women and non-binary coders.

  • Recruiting for diverse talent is a team activity which allows every Pivot to take part in some aspect of the recruiting process. Our hiring rate in the second half of 2017 for women, was 32.4% globally and 9.7% from under-represented ethnicities (non-white/non-asian). While this is encouraging we're looking to increase the hiring rates further in 2018.

  • Formed several employee resource groups (ERGs) to provide a platform and a community for employees of shared circumstances to come together. They include: black@pivotal, brown@pivotal, veterans@pivotal, and remote@Pivotal.   

We opened 2018 by focusing on the following:

  • Executive Engagement: While resources and grassroots efforts have increased significantly, our goal is for every executive to be actively engaged in making Pivotal a more inclusive and diverse workplace. The Executive Advisory Board is asking every leader to make a meaningful commitment to D&I in 2018. We'll also launch our first formal Executive Sponsorship Program to help diversify our leadership pipeline.

  • Leverage Data: Our goal in 2018 is to be as targeted as possible with our initiatives. We've hired a People analyst who will help us use our hiring and attrition data to identify where we need to focus energy and resources throughout the employee experience (e.g., hiring, retention, promotion, etc).  

  • Operating Model: "Do the right thing, do what works, and be kind" are Pivotal’s core values. They're the bedrock on which to build a more inclusive workplace, and as we approach 3,000 Pivots worldwide, we recognize that these values should resonate everywhere. However, we recognize the significant variation and need for customization around local D&I efforts. Our goal is to create a framework for D&I that reflects our values, and empowers Pivots anywhere to be “doers”.

I have the privilege of reporting out on how things are shaping up for Pivotal on this important journey—but our progress has only been possible because of the many Pivots across the globe who work tirelessly to ensure that D&I is part of the fabric of Pivotal’s culture. Whether that is participating in our train-the-trainer program, attending an Inclusion U workshop, writing a day-in-the life blog, holding a tech talk, or starting an employee resource group. 

Company values are never revealed in words, but in actions. I hope my colleagues will pause to reflect on the positive changes at hand, gain encouragement from this momentum, and continue to find ways to "show up" and to create more opportunities for each other.

Join us in building meaningful software, check out our careers page for the latest job openings.

About the Author

Joe Militello

Joe Militello is Pivotal’s Chief People Officer. In this role, Joe is responsible for leading Pivotal's worldwide People organization—including Total Rewards, People Operations, Recruiting, Leadership & Development, and Internal Transformation. Joe spends time with Pivotal’s most strategic customers advising them how to transform their company culture so that they can build great software in our digital world.

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