Tackling diversity head on—and with .heart


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Here at Nutanix we’re guided by a set of culture principles that help us “live our culture.” As the official “ People Person” here, one in particular stands out to me: Hire Often, Hire Diverse.

Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is certainly not a new topic—it’s a vital need in corporate America. According to a study done by McKinsey, companies that embrace a diverse workforce are 35% more likely to outperform those without diversity initiatives. And yet, this initiative is one that many organizations are grappling to get right; another study shows that while nearly all tech founders know about unconscious bias in hiring, less than half are doing something about it.

We recently held a Diversity Luncheon sponsored by Nutanix Webscale Women and our corporate social responsibility program, .heart wherein we had a chance to discuss how we’re taking action on the “hire often, hire diverse” principle—what we’ve done to date, what we’ve recently launched (including our new apprenticeships and returnships initiatives), and how we’re planning to expand our efforts.

I couldn’t put it in better words than the leader of the event, Vanessa Camozzi, Nutanix Recruiting Manager for America’s Sales, who summed up our vision perfectly:

“Diversity is much more than an HR initiative; it is a company-wide effort and ultimately up to the team itself. In order to hire diverse, we need to add rigor into the interview process and have managers step back and look at their team to see what and who they are missing. We don’t just want to hire the first person that meets all of the qualifications—we want to ensure that we are hiring well-rounded people who will bring new ideas to the table and help the team think about things from a totally new perspective. This is how Nutanix is able to offer its exceptional products and services and set itself apart.”

The most important part of an event like this is something that should be easy: talking. Many organizations face a level of paralysis initiating the diversity conversation because it feels like a sensitive topic, or an overwhelming topic, or a topic that will quickly become intense. We should view these conversations as something to desire, not dread. To get comfortable being uncomfortable (another Nutanix culture principle). Events like a diversity luncheon provide employees and leaders the opportunity for an open forum to share their experiences, perspectives, and questions in a safe and welcoming space, collaborate on ways to expand diversity initiatives, and celebrate the innovation that’s possible when you aggregate different genders, ethnicities, backgrounds, ages, and life experiences.

Companies aren’t alone in their endeavors to make the diverse workforce a reality. Organizations like Workforce Opportunity Services (featured in the most recent issue of NEXT Magazine) enable companies to go from simply talking about diversity to acting on it. But among the most important things to remember about diversity is that it starts with you. We encourage our employees here to think broadly about diversity and how it pertains to our company’s goals and vision. Then, ask themselves what they can do personally to contribute.

To learn more about the variety of Nutanix .heart initiatives, visit the official webpage or follow us on Twitter: @LifeAtNutanix.

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