Diversity at EMC: Conclusions

(This is part of a multi-post series on Diversity at EMC.  See all posts in the Diversity category here.)

Last week, I posed the question this whole series has been leading to:  If you’re passionate about diversity and inclusion, is EMC the right place for you?

Today, I’m going to do my best to answer it.  The answer shouldn’t surprise you – I am going to say “Yes.”  But hopefully I can keep the reasons interesting.

I am not saying Yes because EMC has this thing all figured out.  I should hope you can piece together from my series of posts that EMC is getting better, that we have some passionate people in the right places, and that we’re succeeding.  But just like anything in business, you never claim victory.  You just keep raising the bar.  EMC knows a thing or two about that.

I say Yes because I want to see that bar getting raised, and the way it gets raised is by dozens of little victories giving rise to a new standard.  I wrote last week about the sandwich, with people at the top and bottom trying to spread their values into the meat in the middle.  We need loud voices, we need smart voices, we need people who won’t say “We’re doing good enough.”  Good enough isn’t good enough for me, and if it isn’t good enough for you, I want you here with me.

I’ve mentioned that I think this is a special time for EMC.  Our internal social network is growing, but still small enough that voices get heard.  If you want to drive change at EMC, this is a unique time to do it.  Lots of people are listening, and in ways the company might not expect.  There’s turning out to be quite a marketplace of ideas forming.

It’s no secret that the business world has some issues to sort out with regards to inclusion, especially around gender issues, especially in the high tech world.  If you’re passionate about the issue, you’re going to find yourself identifying areas for improvement no matter what company you join.  At EMC, I honestly believe your voice is going to carry pretty far.

If I didn’t think anyone was listening, I wouldn’t be standing on the soapbox myself.

This isn’t the last post I’ll make about diversity here.  I’m watching as our GLBT alliance gets off the ground.  I’m seeing new Affinity Circles try to form, in need of volunteers and sponsors.  In writing this series of posts, I’ve established new contacts, people who are operating in corporate subcultures different from my own.  I think this is going to be an interesting topic to revisit in a few months.  In the meantime, I welcome your comments, public or private.


#1 Recruiting Animal on 08.29.08 at 10:13 am

Re: loud voices trying to spread their values to the middle.

If you don’t want people to disagree with you, how passionate about diversity are you?

You’re tolerant of difference — because you have to be — but you don’t respect it.

#2 Dave on 08.29.08 at 10:35 am

You make a good point, one which I tried to discuss in more detail in the personal values post.

I want people to disagree with me … but if they disagree with me that varying viewpoints are valuable, by definition how do I value/respect their point of view?

I definitely want a ton of loud voices talking about why one software development methodology is better than the other, or one management style is better than the other. But if your loud voice is telling me that diversity isn’t good, well, you’re going to need some special proof to back that up. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

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