In a year defined by change, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) remains a key business priority at VMware. Similar to our transformation as a customer-centric subscription and SaaS company, VMware’s executive leadership team recognize our DEI work as important and necessary in the broader evolution of our company.
Our FY21 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Annual Report was just released. I encourage you to dive in and read the full report. By embracing change as a catalyst for progress, we gained momentum on our hiring, retention and inclusive culture efforts. It makes me proud to see how far we have come through our intentional and steadfast actions over the past year. I also recognize how much farther we have to go on our DEI journey at VMware.
Working on this report is an exercise in reflection, and three defining initiatives stand out for me:
The events that transpired last year with the murder of George Floyd, followed by the Black Lives Matter social justice movement forced all of us to confront the reality—without any ambiguity—the world is not equal, and we all have a responsibility to change it.
Our Black@VMware POD launched the #WeHearYou campaign as a call to action on allyship, and our community has come together, committed to doing better and supporting each other in this movement. We believe Citizen Philanthropy is an important facet of social change. In 2020, the Black@VMware Power of Difference (POD) community launched the Black@VMware Social Justice Fund, to which people can donate and the company will double their donation. The fund raised more than $550,000 with more than 1,100 employee supporters.
Additionally, programs such as Factuality—a facilitated dialogue, crash course and interactive experience that simulates structural inequalities—were piloted by the DEI team last year and will be offered to our employee community on an ongoing basis in 2021.
2. EPIC2 Day Off and Well-Being
Following months of stress and uncertainty from the pandemic, and, at the time, weeks of pain and upheaval from the violence that had erupted in the United States and resonated around the world, our leadership announced June 12 as a companywide EPIC2 Day Off. We were encouraged to use this day to take time away from work and to reflect and recharge as a community.
With a renewed focus on employee well-being and mental health, our company introduced several real-time responses throughout the year:
- Quarterly companywide EPIC2 days off and an end-of-year shutdown.
- Pandemic Leave benefit as additional time off for all employees.
- Wellness Wednesday program focused on finding balance and channeling mindfulness.
This year, all regular, benefits-eligible VMware employees qualify for the enhanced Well-Being Allowance that increased from $400 up to $1,000. (Note the allowance amounts and the total increase vary by country).
3. Equity and Future of Work
Last year, VMware announced its Future of Work initiative, which in addition to aligning to the bold outcomes outlined in VMware’s 2030 Agenda, brings together a set of policies, programs and adaptive culture that will lead our 34,000+ employees into a new era of work. A significant outcome from our Future of Work initiative will be access to a broader talent pool and flexible work that will shape a more diverse VMware. The Future of Work is here, and at VMware, it extends our EPIC2 values and advances our commitment to building a more diverse workforce, reducing our carbon footprint and putting employee well-being first.
DEI: Fundamental to Who We Are and Where We Are Going
A defining quality for VMware is our penchant for solving hard problems in ways that ensure meaningful impact and lasting value. No matter where we stand today on our diversity, equity and inclusion journey, we must continue to find ways to do better. Please visit our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion webpage to learn more.
There is a long way to go, but I am optimistic about the path that we are on. Because when we progress together—at VMware and in the communities that we call home—we will build a more equitable future for all.