Celebrating advances in the march for greater awareness, acceptance, and recognition of minority and LGBTQ+ communities in the workplace is much more common today than ever before, yet our work is far from over. Subtle, overt, and even unintentional racism, sexism, and homophobia still happen far too often in organizations around the world. And their effect is no less damaging today than it was 50 or 100 years ago, restricting opportunities, and stifling, stagnating, or ending careers outright.
As a result, we need to remain vigilant, to seek out opportunities within our organizations where we can fix wrongs and empower our people – all of our people, inclusively. Periodic points of reflection, like Pride Month, serve us well in this effort. As Hitachi Vantara’s new Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer (CDIO), I am clear about our mission: to create an environment in which employees feel welcomed, valued, and can thrive. When we do this, the unique and diverse perspectives and experiences of our workforce will drive innovation, productivity, positive culture, and pride in the company.
Our efforts are paying off. Most notably, I’m proud to spotlight our perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s (HRC) annual Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality in the United States, earning us the privilege of being named a “2022 Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality.”
To earn a 100 out of 100 score, we built upon our existing workforce protections, nondiscrimination policies, inclusive culture, and active Rainbow Connection employee community of LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies. We continued our international travel support for employees who have business travel to a country with less tolerant legal and cultural stances toward LGBTQ+ communities. We expanded our U.S. benefits to offer Included Health concierge services that specialize in connecting LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones with quality, affirming care. And, we also updated our supplier policy to ensure that the procurement process includes specific opportunities for LGBTQ+ owned businesses.
We are extremely proud of our HRC perfect score and the signal it gives to our employees about our inclusive workplace. We are also seeing positive impacts on employee recruitment and retention, a positive benefit of being a LGBTQ+ inclusive employer according to data from the 20-year history of the CEI.
Our new Director of Executive Communications, Kevin Simmons-Mead, joined Hitachi Vantara just last month. Hitachi Vantara’s recent HRC CEI score was a critical decision factor in his decision to apply and join the team.
“To me, a company’s HRC CEI rating demonstrates its commitment to an inclusive workplace, particularly in its support for LGBTQ+ employees. That’s why I will only consider working for companies, like Hitachi Vantara, with a score of 100.”
Although there is evidence of greater awareness, acceptance, and recognition of LGBTQ+ communities in the workplace, our work is far from over.
DEI must be at the heart of every organization. Our firm commitment to cultivating a workplace where all are welcome is why our people feel proud to be part of this company – one that’s taking action on DEI.
Be sure to register for my LinkedIn Live session – which airs on June 14, 9:00AM PT – to learn even more about what DEI means to Hitachi Vantara when I sit down with Chief Executive Officer, Gajen Kandiah
Claire Thomas is Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Hitachi Vantara.
Be sure to check out Insights for perspectives on the data-driven world.
- Part 1: Breaking the Bias with Bridie Arumugam
- Part 2: Breaking the Bias with Jessica He
- Part 3: Breaking the Bias with Tracy Peterson