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Celebrating Diversity – Appreciating “US”

Jackie-Glennsm1-120x120by Jacqueline Glenn, Global Chief Diversity Officer, EMC Corporation

In today’s society, there is an ever-changing global marketplace in which the labor force demands continue to challenge long held business assumptions. These demands often propel structural reorganizations at many companies across key business, marketing and talent recruitment and retention functions. The global gold rush for multicultural markets, diverse employees, and untapped consumer bases has already begun. Globalization is a powerful buzzword in corporate circles, and corporate leaders are eager to establish a strong presence in a variety of emerging markets. New commercial innovations and powerful technologies are truly bringing the world’s best products and services right to our doorsteps.

Global diversity offers rich opportunities for company growth through an increased talent pool, wider consumer base and additional revenue streams. However, global diversity and inclusion initiatives face particularly challenging aspects, such as geographical distance, different time zones, virtual relationships, language barriers and distinctive cultural values, actions, and assumptions.

Here at EMC, we believe that valuing diversity means creating a workplace that respects and incorporates the unique characteristics and experiences that define us as individuals. The Office of Global Workforce Inclusion strives to maintain an inclusive and diverse workforce that includes, but is not limited to: age, ethnicity, culture, gender, physical abilities, sexual orientation and identification, educational background, income, marital status, religious beliefs, work and life experiences, and work styles.

We define inclusion as creating an environment where different perspectives are encouraged and valued. This is accomplished by aligning our company’s culture, policies, practices, and procedures to fully utilize the diverse perspective and skill-set that each individual brings to the workplace.

Also at EMC, we aim to cultivate a fully inclusive and diverse global workforce by recruiting, developing, and retaining people who represent a variety of backgrounds, languages, ethnicities, life experiences, skills, and beliefs.  We seek people from diverse backgrounds who can help us understand the changing needs of our customers around the world, and who, because of the diverse perspectives that they represent, help EMC to continue to fuel the innovation of thought and technical prowess for which it is globally known to lead.

Our commitment to having a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace can foster greater employee productivity and creativity while offering our company a competitive edge. Diversity and inclusion are key drivers of innovation, and by creating an inclusive work environment; we are maximizing the potential of all employees.

Since we are celebrating “US” in this month’s e-newsletter, this article particularly highlights and focuses on employee circles or affinity groups that not only foster workplace diversity at the grassroots level, but also facilitate appreciating and celebrating every aspect of an individual and their respective heritage at EMC. We have 30 employee circle chapters that enhance the work environment through various programs and initiatives to enhance employee engagement and retention.  Over the years these circles have indeed helped in building EMC’s brand as a “best place to work” by aligning their efforts to business needs, assimilating and engaging new employees with diverse backgrounds.

These circles, through their targeted initiatives, have supported the Office of Global Workforce Inclusion to build and attract a diverse talent pipeline. The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) program created by the Black Employee Affinity Group is one such initiative. EMC partnered with HBCU and hired eighteen minority students in different areas within EMC. The key feature of the program is that each student was assigned a mentor to support him/her during their tenure.  The students appreciated the fact that they received a chance to interact with their mentors on a regular basis which helped them navigate themselves within the company’s culture without losing their authenticity. Other employee circles at EMC are for women, Hispanics, Asians, and Indians, veterans, disability awareness, multigenerational issues, and caregivers.  Programs and initiatives organized by these circles during Hispanic Heritage month, Black history month, and Disability Awareness month to name a few, serve as a great resource to develop a cultural  competency and awareness  among other employees to appreciate every aspect of diversity and inclusion at all levels in the organization.

We are on a continuous journey in terms of diversity and inclusion at EMC. As a technology company, we have to be innovative in order to stay competitive. Developing best practices and managing cutting edge programs enables the organization to engage and manage a diverse audience on a global scale. We make a constant effort to incorporate our employees, suppliers and partners in this journey and encourage them to celebrate differences!

Jackie Glenn is a seasoned executive in Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Talent Development, and Diversity and Inclusion.  She is currently the Global Chief Diversity Officer for EMC Corporation.  In this position, she leads the Diversity and Inclusion strategy for the company’s global operations ensuring an innovative and inclusive workforce as well as the advancement of a cross cultural experience for EMC’s 50,000 employees.

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