An Inspiring Year of Cultivating Inclusion

Vanice Hayes reflects on Dell Technologies progress to enhance its inclusive culture during her first year as Culture, Diversity & Inclusion officer.

Just over a year ago, I became Dell’s chief culture, diversity and inclusion (CD&I) officer, and what an active year it’s been! We’ve been listening and learning ways we can accelerate our inclusive culture. We leaned into inclusive conversations across the globe. We fine-tuned and expanded programs that work. We piloted solutions for challenges as they surfaced. And, we lived who we are — a diverse company with unique perspectives.

As I reflect, I’m pleased we’ve made progress in enhancing our inclusive culture, improving representation and driving accountability. I’ve listed below some programs and processes we’ve set up or improved to empower everyone to excel and be their authentic selves. I’ve shared a few team member stories, too. 

    • We rolled out Be the Change, our educational program driving inclusion awareness across our entire workforce, with almost 100% participation. The results went beyond education – we saw behavioral changes and vulnerable conversations between colleagues and leaders. This program will continue to evolve in FY23 and beyond.

Shernie: “This program helps us understand more about our company and our biases to make us be better, feel better, work better and achieve more personally and professionally. My favorite message from this training is: ‘I am different like you, not different from you’.”

    • We grew participation in our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). About 47% of people are members of one or more ERGs – we’ve almost reached our 2030 goal of 50%! These groups help build community and connection, while also providing development, leadership and networking opportunities.

Dell Technologies team members participating in a PRIDE event.Mara regularly faces injustices and transphobia in her daily life. But in her work life, she feels embraced, supported and empowered to help her community overcome prejudice and challenges. “After ERG events, I often hear from people who felt they could come out at work – or apply for a particular role or speak out about an issue – because of our example.”

    • We continued to innovate our hiring programs and processes to build our pipeline of future talent. This includes continuously improving our accessibility practices, expanding recruiting efforts to underrepresented groups and evaluating our internal processes. We also help prepare students to be STEM-ready with curriculum, applied learning, internships and job opportunities to provide a meaningful pathway to our future workforce.

Richard is a neurodiverse person, which can be challenging when it comes to starting a career. “I would get really nervous and a slight speech impediment would show up. The interviewer would get uncomfortable or maybe not understand me, and then I wouldn’t get called back.” Our neurodiversity hiring program offered Richard the opportunity to showcase his talents, and after he was hired, we provided a structured onboarding process to ensure his success.

    • We continued to grow our “return-ship” program for people who’ve had a career gap, offering opportunities to refresh their job skills. This will help us reach our 2030 moonshot goal of 50% of our global workforce and 40% of our global people leaders identifying as women. Though not limited to women, these programs recognize the unique challenges women historically face and the impact of the pandemic on women in the workforce.

Sandra: “I had a 20-year career in program and project management with Fortune 500 clients before stepping away to take care of my family. When I decided to re-join the workforce, I struggled to find an organization that could see past my 17-year career gap. Dell’s Career ReStart gave me that chance.”

    • We’ve embedded inclusive leadership into all our leadership development programs. And, we consider diversity and representation goals when evaluating our leaders’ performance and evaluating their progress.
    • We’re transparent about our progress against our goals through our annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report (previously called Progress Made Real) – you’ll see the next report in June. We also disclose our diversity and representation data through our 10K report.
    • We’re partnering with global organizations to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Some of these include Alliance for Global Inclusion, a coalition committed to bringing inclusivity and full equity to the workplace, and Catalyst, where we help accelerate the advancement of women into leadership. I’m also honored to be a member of the World Economic Forum’s chief diversity officer community.

I’m proud of our accomplishments, and I recognize this is only a step in our ongoing journey. We’ll continue to enhance what’s in place, while also focusing on our biggest opportunities:

    • The competition for recruiting and retaining talented employees is increasing. By 2030, the global technology industry alone will experience a shortage of 4.3 million workers. To help, we’re broadening our recruitment from educational programs focused on reaching underrepresented populations in professional and technical fields.
    • As offices reopen, we must lean into the equitable practices we’ve strengthened over the last few years to maintain our flexible work culture. This includes ensuring equity in work environments, development and career progression so all team members feel they’re doing meaningful work. We also need to remain focused on balance and wellness. We’ve extended our extraordinary pandemic crisis sick leave benefit, offering team members up to 15 days of paid time off to care for themselves or a household family member who becomes ill or quarantined. We started this benefit at the beginning of the pandemic and will offer it through 2022.

Jasmine: “I’m an example of when a company invests in its people. I needed to take a leave of absence to take care of my mental health. Since returning to work, I’ve been able to flourish in my career. I feel confident in myself inside and outside of work. I am so thankful to work for a company that encourages employees to put their health first.”

We’ll continue to drive innovative thinking, bringing new perspectives and experiences, and showing ALL team members they can succeed at Dell.

After almost 23 years at Dell, our culture is what I’m most proud of. And, I’m really excited about what we’ll collectively accomplish as an organization.


Vanice Hayes

About the Author: Vanice Hayes

Vanice serves as Dell Technologies’ Chief People, Culture, and Inclusion officer, and is responsible for enabling inclusive talent solutions where everyone feels they can be their best selves and do their best work. In this role, she drives strategies for inclusion, career, listening, learning and performance management for Dell team members and people leaders. She ensures her team's work align with Dell's Culture Code and People Philosophy, embed diversity & inclusion, and enable the company for the future. For more than 20 years at Dell, Vanice has held a range of global and regional culture and talent development leadership roles. Vanice received her undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin, and her Master of Education Administration from Texas State University.