I glanced at the clock and our 30-minute check-in meeting was now already on minute 93. We were discussing our upcoming diversity panel and each comment provided more fuel to the already energetic conversation. This, however, was not unique to the panel discussion. When people talk about gender diversity, our drives or volunteering, they light up with energy. These topics tap into a passion and it is this passion that fuels .heart.
Formerly launched in August of this year, .heart is Nutanix’s new giving back program. Nutanix has had a history of volunteering and community outreach. Through .heart, Nutanix will coordinate global efforts to make a bigger impact. With an initial focus on gender diversity, .heart will be centered around time-based volunteering activities and identifying opportunities to amplify diversity conversations to support underrepresented groups in technology.
White House “#CSforAll” Initiative
We kicked off support for learning institutions with Nutanix product and cloud curriculum. Working with San Jose State University (SJSU) in California, we are finding ways to support their Master’s Computer Science Students with cloud computing information and technology. Together with SJSU, we will create modules that can be provided to other learning institutions and programs to help underrepresented people pursue technology professions. We are proud to submit this program to the White House to be a part of their CS for All during their CSEdWeek. Read more here.
Social Mobility Panel
Our passionate call finally concluded and within a week we had completed our third diversity panel at .NEXT in Vienna. This panel presented the concept of “social mobility” and the need to look beyond universities for talent. A key takeaway was the desire to expose underrepresented people to all aspects of technology professions. We were joined by Jane Lewis, Director at RLEC, who worked with Cisco on a pre-apprenticeship program, and Rashada Harry from Vodafone and the co-founder of Your Future and Your Ambition.
Both women talked about the programs they run that help self-doubting, often under-privileged individuals, see what is possible and pursue the now achievable. Patrick Cowden, Vice President of Nutanix Sales in Central Europe, took the audience through a 90-second activity that demonstrated the power of connection and reaching one’s potential. And finally, Sara Corda and Fiona Lalo, two recent graduates of Jane’s program, talked about their experiences and why they would make great additions to a team.
For me, the power of this panel was in recognizing that all of us are here because someone took a chance on us at some point. Fiona and Sara demonstrated what giving a person a chance could really do. Audience members identified with the challenges that the panelists had to overcome, and how that struggle had made them stronger and in many cases more marketable.
By the end of the panel discussion, an empathic passion filled the room. People commented that the discussion had opened their eyes to how they could tap new sources of talent and renewed their desire to give back to their community.
Continuing with the spirit of giving back, we also recently launched .heart Care Drive initiative, a global giving-back program. Already we have kicked off book, toy and clothing drives in India; food and gift drives in the US; toy and coat drives in the Netherlands and the UK; backpack drives in Vienna and multiple upcoming drives for winter wear, blood, toiletries and more.
Employees have logged more than 500 hours of Volunteer Time Off (VTO) since the program’s launch ten weeks ago, supporting both individual and team building causes.
I want to thank all the Nutanix employees, customers and partners who have help bring .heart to life. Fueled by the passion behind all the volunteering, programs, drives and discussions, .heart moves forward at a steady beat and continues to grow stronger everyday.
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