Accelerating our Path to Progress

In June, the U.S. – and the world – galvanized to accelerate racial equity. Sadly, we continue to experience tragedies and injustices that make it clear we still have a lot of hard work to do.

We are at an inflection point, and companies like ours play a key role in creating environments where differences are valued and celebrated. Where everyone has a sense of belonging and can achieve their full potential. This will take time, and we are hard at work.

We rolled out an initial set of actions and commitments largely focused on the inside-out progress we need to make as a company. This work was shared with the Dell Technologies Board of Directors last Friday. We recapped insights from the recent listening sessions our executive leadership team hosted with Black team members to understand their experiences at Dell and the changes they’d like to see. In those 26 sessions, four consistent themes rose to the top. Our Black team members want:

These align with the 2030 commitments we made – and the immediate progress we’re driving. We know people don’t want to wait 10 years to see progress; they want action and progress now. And that’s our focus. By setting goals and providing regular updates to our stakeholders, especially our team members, we’ll stay accountable and on track to achieving a workforce that is more representative of the world we serve.

Here’s an update on some of the actions we’ve taken since June.

  • We’ve been working with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) for years. But if we are to increase representation across the company, we need to go faster and increase our investments. We’ve done that by providing HBCUs and MSIs with – and even teaching – our own technology curriculum in areas like data science, cloud, cybersecurity, sales engineering. And starting in Spring 2021, we’ll begin recruiting from nearly two dozen U.S. community colleges, opening up new career opportunities at Dell for people with 2-year degrees.
  • As our Black team members called out, a big part of growing your career is having equal opportunities to succeed. HR is partnering with our Black Networking Alliance (BNA) ERG on new development programs that will equip high-potential Black team members with skills to grow and advance. A program for directors launched last month, while another program for high-potential talent at mid-career levels launched last week.

Attracting and advancing top talent is especially important at the mid-career level. Developing people of color at the early and mid-level career stages will change representation at senior levels over time.

  • We joined Time to Vote and A Day for Democracy, national campaigns to increase voter participation and guard against voter suppression in the U.S. elections. By participating, we are ensuring U.S. Dell Technologies team members have the tools, resources and paid time off to make their voices heard. These resources were shared last week in a town hall hosted by Government Affairs and our ERGs.

And our team members continue to volunteer and give generously, accompanied by our company $ for $ giving match up to $10,000 annually per employee, to organizations including  Black Lives Matter, National Urban League, NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), Amnesty International and 100 Black Men of America. Organizations with a proven track record of advocacy for racial justice and equity.

Leaning into our culture of inclusion 

In addition to these commitments, we want experiences at Dell to be consistent for all team members—and that begins with accountability for our people leaders and holding all team members to the highest standards. Inclusive behaviors and leadership – measured annually as part of our employee engagement survey – have been more clearly defined in our Culture Code, leaving no room for doubt about our expectations and the role each of us plays to contribute to an inclusive environment.

I’m proud of the investments we’re making to grow our diverse workforce and build upon our inclusive culture. We will keep putting in the hard work – steadfast in pursuit of our diversity commitments and racial equity. Check back here for regular updates and watch for our annual progress checks through our Progress Made Real Report and Diversity & Inclusion Report.

In the words of Gandhi, let’s “be the change you wish to see in the world.” Let’s roll up our sleeves. Let’s put in the hard work to be the employer of choice for ALL.

About the Author: Brian Reaves

Brian Reaves was previously the Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of Dell, responsible for Dell’s global diversity and inclusion initiatives.