October 1, 2020\
By Jennifer Temple, World Economic Forum
The global pandemic has put much of everyday life on hold, including many important corporate initiatives. While it’s understandable that plant expansions or new product releases may have been delayed for economic reasons, indications are that some companies have also slowed down their diversity, equity & inclusion (DE&I) programmes. And that is troubling.
2020 has shone a bright spotlight on racial and social injustice. Now is the time to accelerate the diverse thinking and perspectives needed to uncover innovative solutions for these problems, not to pull back out of fear or discomfort.
A study by McKinsey revealed that the overall sentiment towards diversity was 52% positive. However, sentiment on inclusion was remarkably worse at only 29% positive. This indicates that we must not only diversify our workplaces, but also actively make the case for inclusion to our team members.
None of us has all the answers, especially during these troubling times. And yet, as Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “The way to begin is to begin.” That has been our approach at HPE, with the awareness that we have much to learn and far more to do. I share here three observations that have struck me as we have been talking to employees, and questioning our own approach and beliefs.