The Power of Human Difference
Our advances in sustainability and IT solutions would not be possible without our diverse employee base and inclusive culture. We recognize the power of human difference to drive progress across our business and the communities we serve, and we continue to adapt our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) journey to foster an inclusive culture that celebrates these differences. This inclusive culture, coupled with our EPIC2 values, helps us attract and retain the best talent, ultimately delivering the most innovative IT solutions to our customers.
Building on the launch of VMinclusion in 2016 — our company-wide D&I initiative — in 2017, we launched our first external D&I microsite to increase transparency around our journey. To advance and democratize these initiatives, we gave business leaders D&I goals for which they are accountable, empowering change to happen throughout each part of the business. Progress on our journey is reflected by the fact that 60 percent of global managers participated in unconscious bias training in 2017.
But it’s not just leaders who are driving change across VMware. Empowering all of our employees to create a diverse and inclusive culture is critical. One way we are approaching this goal is through our employee-driven Power of Difference (PODs) communities. PODs are designed to help participants grow as leaders, engage employees across different communities and drive business impact. For example, our Veterans POD was integral in changing our Military Leave policy from 30 days to 18 months, a benefit that will allow reserve employees to serve without financial hardship. The PRIDE POD has been spearheading VMware’s support of gender transitions and gender-neutral bathrooms. In fact, employees are now allowed 18 weeks of paid time off for gender transitions.
Supporting women in technology has been at the forefront of our D&I journey, and we continue to make bold commitments and invest in programs that expand the community of women leaders in tech. Since 2016, VMware has invested over $1.5 million in Stanford University’s Seeds of Change program to provide technical and leadership training to young women in STEM. The program launched in September 2017 with 17 Stanford undergraduates and 65 high school students, and the program plans to expand nationally over the next three to five years.
We also founded the WT2 (Women Transforming Technology) conference, which brings together a consortium of global organizations to build community and tackle issues that are top of mind for women in technology. In 2017, VMware hosted the second annual WT2 conference, where 300 participants joined from more than 100 different companies and over 4,000 participated virtually to hear keynote speakers Kara Swisher and Gloria Steinem. With these programs and others, we are extending our efforts beyond our doors to foster a culture of inclusion across the technology industry as a whole.