Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Empowering Inclusive Culture and Accelerating DEI: Measuring Progress for Business Success


March, the month dedicated to celebrating the remarkable journey of women throughout history, is finally here, and I am overflowing with excitement to commemorate it here at VMware. Our vibrant Women's Power of Difference (POD)* community has gone above and beyond this year, crafting a sensational song that truly captures the essence of our collective spirit. Every time I listen to it, my face lights up with an unstoppable smile, as it beautifully encapsulates the core values that Women's History Month embodies: unity, empowerment, and unadulterated joy!
For me, this month presents an invaluable opportunity to engage in heartfelt conversations with my two young daughters, delving into the inspiring chronicles of trailblazers who blazed a path towards gender equality. I emphasize the arduous struggles endured by these audacious champions, who have since transformed into beacons of inspiration for us all.
One such luminary is Gloria Steinem, the renowned American journalist and indomitable social-political activist who played a pivotal role in the Women's Rights Movement in the United States. It was my great privilege to meet and engage in conversation with her during her visit to VMware a few years back. I often share this cherished experience with my girls, instilling in them the belief that it is our collective responsibility to carry forward the torch and expand upon the groundbreaking work initiated by Gloria and countless others.
We revel in exploring the rich narratives found within books like "The Little Feminist" and "Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History." These literary gems allow us to delve into the profound significance of identifying as a girl, while also embracing the multifaceted dimensions of intersectional identities.
As I witness the incredible growth of my daughters, I am acutely aware of the ongoing societal dialogues surrounding women's rights that shape their experiences. Women's History Month has transformed from a mere reminder of the remarkable progress we have achieved into a resounding call to action, compelling us to tirelessly champion the cause for the next generation.
At VMware, we wholeheartedly embrace the spirit of Women's History Month, cherishing the strength, resilience, and accomplishments of women throughout the ages. Together, let us forge ahead, united in our commitment to empower, inspire, and pave the way for a future that knows no bounds.
At VMware, we take a moment to reflect on our incredible journey towards diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), which we embarked upon back in 2014 when women represented only 22.6% of our workforce. Fast forward to 2023, and I'm proud to share that women now make up nearly 30% of our talented team. This milestone serves as a testament to our unwavering commitment to fostering an environment of inclusivity and opportunity.
As we navigate our DEI journey, one significant marker for women is the pursuit of pay equity – the fundamental principle of ensuring equal pay for equal work. I'm immensely proud to declare that we have remained steadfast in our dedication to pay equity over the years. Our robust compensation analysis, conducted on a global scale, takes into account numerous factors that influence pay, including job roles, grades, tenure, time in the position, geographic location, and performance.
Recent data analysis conducted by a trusted third party has revealed that at VMware, women globally earn an astounding 99% of what their male counterparts earn, while racial and ethnic minority employees in the United States earn a resounding 100% of their white counterparts' salaries. These remarkable results are a testament to our unwavering commitment to pay equity and equal opportunity, transcending both gender and racial boundaries.
The theme for this year's Women's History Month, "Embrace Equity," arrives at an opportune time, offering us a platform to illuminate the distinction between equality and equity. While equality strives to provide the same resources and opportunities to all without accounting for individual experiences and abilities, equity ventures further.

It acknowledges the existence of systemic barriers and unique needs, and wholeheartedly commits to investing in initiatives that level the playing field. Understanding this critical distinction between equality and equity empowers us not only to champion inclusion for all but also to actively identify and confront discrimination and bias. For far too long, these forces have hindered the progress of women and other marginalized communities, depriving them of access to opportunities, representation, and advancement.
Throughout our DEI Learning Journey at VMware, we have dedicated substantial time to addressing the impact of unconscious bias – a formidable obstacle that women and underrepresented groups often encounter on their path to representation and advancement. From feelings of isolation to perpetuated stereotypes that falsely shape perceptions of leadership or employee performance, unconscious bias takes various forms.

While the ideal of meritocracy is something we strive for, it is essential to recognize that women and underrepresented groups are often judged and held to different standards. Systemic barriers consistently make it more challenging for equally qualified and ambitious women, as well as those who identify with underrepresented groups, to propel their careers forward.
Research consistently demonstrates that when companies perceive themselves as meritocratic, there is a greater likelihood of bias being present. Instead, we wholeheartedly encourage all VMware employees to embrace an inclusive culture. Together, let us work towards a diverse representation of individuals and implement equitable processes that dismantle systemic biases. By embedding inclusion into every facet of an employee's career journey, from the hiring process to promotions, we can cultivate an environment where every individual thrives.
At VMware, we remain resolute in our commitment to driving DEI initiatives forward. With every step we take, we pave the way for a future that celebrates the unique contributions and potential of each individual, regardless of their background, gender, or ethnicity. Join us as we continue this extraordinary journey towards a truly inclusive and equitable workplace for all.
DEI—Igniting Business Transformation
At VMware, our DEI strategy is fueled by a powerful business-led and outside-in approach. We firmly believe in empowering every individual, not just our HR or DEI team, to actively drive DEI initiatives, while aligning our strategy with key business outcomes. By focusing on critical levers such as retention, employee sentiment, and leadership effectiveness, we pave the way for transformative change within our organization.
Drawing upon my invaluable experience as a former Deloitte consulting professional, I am deeply grateful for the knowledge I acquired from their groundbreaking DEI maturity model. While VMware initially embraced a leader-led approach to DEI, we are now embarking on an exciting new phase, one that propels us towards a fully integrated approach. This momentous shift signifies our commitment to ingraining DEI not only in how we lead and manage our people but also in how we conduct business as a whole.
Already, we have witnessed the early signs of this integration through projects like our visionary Inclusive Terminology initiative, spearheaded by our esteemed Chief Technology Officer. With this endeavor, we actively identify and eradicate insensitive terms from our code, internal communications, and marketing materials, ensuring they align with our deeply cherished values. Yet, this is only the beginning.

Our ultimate aim is to empower our business units to identify and drive DEI efforts directly within their own processes. To achieve this, we provide robust coaching, enablement, and unwavering support to our business leaders, empowering them to develop and champion impactful, business-led DEI initiatives.
At VMware, DEI is not a mere aspiration; it's a catalyst for transformative business growth. Together, let us forge ahead, united in our commitment to fostering an inclusive culture where every individual's unique contributions are not only recognized but celebrated. Through our collective efforts, we will drive meaningful change, propel our organization to new heights, and redefine what it means to be a trailblazer in the world of business.
Sustaining the Impetus: Unleashing the Power of Culture
In today's landscape, the significance of culture cannot be overstated. As a tight-knit community within our organization, we recognize the paramount importance of empowering our leaders to foster an inclusive culture that uplifts and champions our diverse talent, particularly those who have been historically underrepresented. This transformative shift involves moving beyond the notion that DEI is solely a people-centric endeavor, instead embracing the idea that it is a holistic business-led opportunity. By embracing this mindset, we open the floodgates to exponential acceleration of our DEI efforts.
To propel this acceleration forward, it is imperative to establish a tangible link between progress in DEI and crucial business outcomes. By measuring and connecting the vital correlation between DEI advancements and metrics such as robust employee engagement, talent retention, and team stability, we fortify our commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace where every individual thrives.
The guiding influence of my remarkable parents has played a profound role in shaping my perspective. My mother, an inspiring educator and staunch feminist, alongside my father, a dedicated lawyer, instilled in me a deep-rooted desire to contribute towards creating a world that is equitable and just. Their unwavering support and example continue to fuel my passion as I navigate my career path.

As we celebrate the strides made during Women's History Month and reflect on our progress in DEI, I consider myself fortunate to be a part of VMware—a company that not only embraces change but actively works to sustain the momentum towards a workplace and a world where every individual can truly thrive.