Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Antonio Neri Thursday said the company has established a global HPE Inclusion and Diversity Council to develop a detailed plan to ensure “equal opportunities” for all HPE employees.
“Everyone deserves to live free of oppression and racism,” said Neri in a blog post after an all-hands meeting for HPE’s 60,000 employees around the globe. “We must use this moment to take a stand, to speak up on inclusion and to advocate for equity.”
Neri is one of a number of CEOs who have spoken out and taken action in the wake of the death of George Floyd on 25 May.
Floyd’s death after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, according to the criminal complaint for second degree murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter with culpable negligence against Chauvin.
“We all must be advocates for change,” said Neri. “We must continually listen and learn so we can be the best allies possible for our black and African American colleagues and for all of our team members whose voices are underrepresented.”
Neri, who will personally chair the new global HPE Inclusion and Diversity Council, said it will be made up of team members from across its business and functions representing “all facets” of diversity.
“The council will oversee the development of a detailed plan and ensure we’re all collectively held accountable to meet our goals,” he said.
One of the first steps HPE is taking to ensure inclusion and diversity is to release next week a “Living Progress Report” in which it will share diversity representation figures.
“While we are doing better than most in our industry, I know we have work to do in increasing representation at all levels,” said Neri.
Since Fiscal Year 2019, HPE has had diversity goals in place for its senior vice presidents which are tied to compensation.
Neri said the HPE global Inclusion and Diversity Council will review the diversity goals and make recommendations on how to “expand them” for all of HPE’s leaders.
HPE has also promised to begin sharing progress on the diversity goals each quarter on the All Team Member webcasts.
In the blog post, titled “Building A More Equitable, Inclusive World Starts Here,” Neri also pledged commitment to four areas of focus for HPE: Inclusion, Equity, Advocacy and Community.
As part of its inclusion initiative, Neri said HPE leaders have to become more “comfortable having conversations around race and discrimination.”
With the focus on equity, HPE aims to ensure equity in all its “people,processes and programs,” said Neri.
On the community front, Neri said HPE must provide “time and resources to deiverse communities” to address “issues of racism” that continue to plague society.
As part of that community initiative, HPE has pledged to support student scholars at historically black colleges and universities over the next five years. “We hope these students can become future HPE leaders,” said Neri.
In addition, the HPE Foundation has made a grant to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and committed to matching employee contributions to the Equal Justice Initiative, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund or a relevant organization of the employee’s choice.