Photo by Angelina Marioni, from the Black@Pivotal Summit in Washington, D.C in 2018.
Today I’m excited to share our 2018 Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Report. While we’ve shared the report with employees since 2016, this is the first time we’re sharing it publicly.
Advancing an effective D&I strategy requires continuous self-reflection; it’s not enough to have a sense of urgency. Companies must honestly and critically reflect on their organization’s executive engagement, accountability, resourcing, priorities, and values—and develop a plan that takes all of this into account.
We have learned two key lessons over the years through our own self-reflection. First, tracking and releasing company-wide metrics is critical, but it’s not enough. Second, D&I must be championed from the top down.
On the first point, metrics play an important role. They’re the foundation that helps companies understand where they are, set goals, and track their progress. But global metrics aren’t actionable enough at the team level. For example, what changes would you make to your team’s D&I efforts if you knew that the overall percentage of women in technical roles was 22.8%?
Second, while empowering employees’ grassroots efforts is key to making both diversity and inclusion part of our workplace culture, leaders set the tone. They must have an active and visible role in D&I efforts in order for the company to achieve material change.
With those learnings in mind, I want to highlight a couple of programs that we kicked off in 2018.
We developed a Diversity Metrics Calculator to help leaders measure team gender and ethnicity data, and set long-term goals. Using the calculator, we worked with leaders at the VP-level to drill into their team’s data and analyze what its composition might look like over time, given current hiring and attrition rates. We then partnered with them to identify unique challenges and needs, and developed a data-driven, customized plan to move the needle over time.
We also created a D&I Executive Advisory Board, and launched an Executive Sponsorship Pilot program to help set goals across the organization and to help employees from under-represented groups expand their sphere of influence, build relationships across the company, and foster new learning and networking opportunities. These are also important mechanisms for leadership to gain fresh insights and perspectives into different areas of the company.
We continued to offer D&I initiatives to more employees, and we empowered employees to lead their own initiatives. With help from employees across the business, our D&I team launched the Inclusion U series—a global roadshow that gave Pivots ways to employ inclusive peer and leadership behaviors. The team also hosted numerous workshops on unconscious bias, psychological safety, and more. These initiatives are key because diversity without inclusion is incomplete. They increased inclusion across the company by giving more people the skills and on-ramps to make meaningful change. Similarly, with the support of our D&I team, employees kicked off our first Employee Resource Groups (including a thriving black@pivotal global community).
Below is a snapshot of the demographic data that we make public each year. While we’re encouraged by the data, progress has been uneven, and that will be a focus for us in 2019.
Our goal for 2019 is to get more employees involved in our D&I efforts. To achieve that goal, my teams will iterate on tailored approaches to D&I at the team-level, and explore where and how we can have a bigger impact. A critical piece to all of this will be developing mechanisms to measure and hold leaders accountable for positive change in line with our goals.
Some of the things we’re planning include:
More clearly defining what success looks like for leaders and teams, and defining what accountability looks like from the top down;
Investing in management training and leadership development, via partnership with our Learning and Development teams;
Scaling and localizing our D&I programs, and amplifying the grassroots work already being led by employees across the globe;
Expanding our ERGs to include rainbow@pivotal, women@pivotal, and others;
Investing more in our partnerships with historically black colleges and universities.
I want to thank our employees at Pivotal who are on this journey together, and I hope that the transparency in our processes and the lessons we’re learning through self-reflection, will help other leaders and organizations on their own journeys.
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