Nutanix, Allyship and Intersectionality

By George Davis

September 20, 2022 | min

Nutanix started a journey around Allyship after creating our LIFE Groups a few years back.  At Nutanix, we named our employee resource groups LIFE Groups - LIFE stands for Leadership Inclusion Friends and Experiences. These groups are made up of employees from  similar backgrounds looking to build workplace connections beyond our day to day work groups.  It allows for us to connect, do some good for our communities, and to encourage professional development. Today, about 20% of Nutanix employees participate in our LIFE Groups.

After getting our LIFE Groups off the ground, what came next?  The concept of Allyship.  We realized that allyship is a fundamental piece of building a stronger, more authentic, and more empathetic Nutanix. We also realized that this would be an ongoing journey of learning.  We formed an Allies In Action committee focused on creating space to share resources and information around how we can better show up for each other at work, but also in our everyday lives. Allies are an important component of workplaces built on connectedness and empathy. Workplaces that encourage understanding, empathy, and authenticity oftentimes result in increased innovation.  

We’ve been on our Allyship journey for a few years now, and continue to learn from one another.  We share the lived experiences of our employees, covering a number of important topics that span the intersections of personal, professional, and work life.  This is especially important today as global citizens living in a post-pandemic world.  Recognizing the social polarization that is happening, as well as navigating the blurred lines between home and work.    

We’ve learned from subject matter experts and external speakers, which is not only inspiring, but important.  We’ve  identified an internal resource that was open to sharing and helping to bring us along a path of learning - our employees. Their bravery in being candid with some dense topics has allowed us to really hear what it is like walking in another’s shoes. 

We continued the learning journey through the lived experiences in  a series of panel conversations.  At first, we brought in outside speakers,  then quickly realized how powerful it was to hear from our own Nutanix employees.  The panel series are six sessions. We are working on 3 more for the spring of 2022.  All of the topics have involved our LIFE Groups and their members.  Here are the topics we’ve covered so far:

  • Navigating My Workplace Journey which explored the intersections of sexuality, race and cultural background, while being out in technology.  
  • Women of Color:  Experiences and Solutions tackled career intersections as women in technology at early stage, mid career, and senior level, and covered topics like work/home/family balance, identifying a mentor or sponsor, and finding your passion and leaning into it at work. 
  • Microaggressions and the Chinese Community embraced heritage, the concept of the model minority, and the opportunity we have at this moment to really look at what we are doing to lift those around us up. 
  • Queer Pride conversation centered around the ways we guard our personal selves and “code switching”, pronouns and the “why” behind our declaration, and how brining our whole selves to work is being out and proud.    
  • Diversity of the Latin Community - Identity/Politics/Experience shared music, culture and the different vibes of the Latin communities at Nutanix.  We discussed cultural norms in the Latin communities, overcoming imposter syndrome and taking charge of one’s identity, and what it is like to choose a different path than one’s friends and family.  
  • Understanding the Unique Experiences of Veterans at Nutanix brought four Project Victory members together from global military backgrounds.  Candidly, the group talked about what branch of service they chose and why, how Project Victory has provided a network of support at work, and the topic of wellness and mental health.  

Our panels have been one of the most rewarding projects I’ve been involved with at Nutanix. As we continue to hear from our colleagues, we’ll learn to be more supportive,  empathetic, and inclusive in a world that sometimes feels disparate and divided.  

Special thanks to our executive support for endorsing this learning journey.  Nutanix continues to act with integrity and intention, with words backed by action.  

To find out more about our efforts to foster diversity, inclusion and allyship at Nutanix, please visit our Diversity and Inclusion page.

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