Why Inclusion and Diversity is Good for Business

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Why Inclusion and Diversity is Good for Business

by Brian Tippens, Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer
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Friday, June 23, 2017 - 9:55am

At no time in history has more attention been paid to the lack of diversity in the technology industry. An increasing demand for transparency from customers, stakeholders, and employees alike, has led to growing pressure to diversify a predominantly white, Asian, and male workforce. New companies are mobilizing to take a stand on social issues, while others with a strong history of human rights are aiming to increase accountability within management to foster inclusion among their teams. Just last year, HPE made a deliberate choice to retitle our team “Inclusion and Diversity”, highlighting our focus on broadening our inclusive culture to ensure every employee is able to bring their whole self to work each and every day.

I’m energized to see increasing interest from our customers and marketplace, who want to do business with a company that aligns with their values. As a global company with customers that span the world, we recognize our responsibility to not only drive accountability within our own operations but also through our supply chain—supporting minority-owned businesses to create an inclusive supply chain that can meet the needs of our customers.

We are embracing inclusion and diversity not only as a force for good but as a matter of business competitiveness. Research from Harvard Business Review and McKinsey suggest that an inclusive business doesn’t just help us meet the needs of our customers, but leads to increased employee performance and greater financial returns. An inclusive culture allows our global workforce to thrive by celebrating differences, promoting collaboration, and ultimately inspiring innovation.

By bringing an engaged group of people together with different skills, backgrounds and personal experiences our Business Resource Groups (BRGs), help to build an even more inclusive culture and focus on how inclusion and diversity support our bottom line. With over 120 chapters across 30 countries, these employee-led communities provide a networking ecosystem focused on leadership & career development, personal growth, coaching, and mentoring—all while creating business value.

The progress the industry has made in recent years is inspiring, but we still face significant challenges. Today, less than 5 percent of the tech workforce is Hispanic or Black, while women make up less than 30 percent of technical roles in the IT industry.

At HPE, we believe in the unique potential of technology to solve some of technology’s biggest issues. This year, HPE, our Women’s Innovation Council, YWCA Silicon Valley, and a number of university partners have launched Curated PathwaysTM, an IT solution developed to help young women and minorities navigate their journey to a career in STEM. I’m humbled by employee-led initiatives like this, which go beyond funding to provide volunteer opportunities for our employees to engage in tackling these complex challenges. Based on the results of the Silicon Valley pilot, we are eager to make the platform available to minorities and women students across the country.

I’m enthusiastic about the opportunities that lie ahead to mobilize the technology industry to build the jobs and workplaces of the future, and encourage my colleagues to ask themselves how they can be enablers of a more inclusive world.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to Tony Prophet, Chief Equality Officer at Salesforce, about his new role and unique focus. Listen to our HPE Gives podcast to learn more about how we’re driving inclusion and diversity within and beyond our four walls.

Brian Tippens is Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and is responsible for providing vison, leadership, management, and strategic planning in championing HPE’s innovative culture that supports diversity, equity and inclusion.  He works closely with HPE’s worldwide business leaders guiding the efforts to conceptualize, assess and cultivate diversity as a business practice and educational resources.
Keywords: Diversity & Inclusion | Business Resource Groups (BRGs) | Curated Pathways | Diversity & Inclusion | Employee Resource Group | Gender Equality | HPE Gives podcast | Harvard Business Review | Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) | LGBTQ | McKinsey