Diversity & Inclusion 2022 Year in Review
In this blog
2022 was a challenging year for employees and organizations across the globe. We experienced the impact of COVID on our business and in our personal lives. We experienced the Great Resignation, or Great Reshuffle, and due to economic challenges, some companies announced optimization in their workforce.
Despite the economic uncertainty and challenges corporations experienced in 2022, I'm proud that WWT has not only remained steadfast in our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, but we have expanded our efforts and are reaping the benefits from a workforce, business and community perspective. WWT continues to ensure DEI is an integral part of our culture.
World Wide Technology is increasing our investment in diversity recruiting resources, partnerships and programs. This investment is evident due to the rapidly growing arm of Talent Acquisition focused on diversity recruitment. The WWT team is led by Ryan Griffin and includes two University Recruiters, Dora Moreira and Prentice Ivy.
The team's primary objective is to develop and grow partnerships with diversity organizations, Historically Black Colleges, and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) to further diversify talent pipelines. In November, the team represented WWT at Afrotech, one the largest Black tech conferences globally, which was held in Austin, Texas, the week of November 13th.
We have also had engagements at the National Black MBA Conference, Society Hispanic Professional Engineer Conference and National Urban League Conference Career Fairs. The team continues to build WWT's brand recognition from a diversity recruiting perspective and we look forward to their increased impact in 2023.
In addition to our corporate diversity recruiting efforts, under the leadership of Ann Marr and leadership in our North American Integration Center (NAIC), WWT has implemented a strategy focused on recruitment, retention and development of talent specifically in the Supply Chain and Order Ops area of our business. The results have been remarkable. Because of these and our diversity recruiting team's efforts, WWT is on track to exceed our 2022 workforce diversity goals.
The centerpiece of our workforce inclusion and belonging efforts continues to be our Employee Resource Group program. WWT's ERG program includes seven ERGs: Asian American and Pacific Islander, Black and African American, Disabilities Enabled, Hispanic and Latinx, LGBTQIA+, Veterans, and Women.
Since its inception, the ERG program has increased their respective memberships year over year and provided engagement opportunities for employees that foster education, collaboration and networking. Some of the highlights of this year's ERG programs includes SHADES (Black & African American) hosting Ubiquitous Preferred Services, Inc. for a "Building Belonging Organizations" round table discussion, OHANA (API) hosting an in-person celebration for Diwali, our first in a few years since the start of the pandemic, and WWT ABLE (Disabilities Enabled) hosted Duo Dogs, a national nonprofit organization that trains and connects dogs with people to cultivate positive change in individuals, families and communities. The team and their amazing dogs came in weekly over a period of months to train at our facilities and engage with our workforce.
Our PRIDE (LGBTQIA+) ERG hosted Mx. Beth Gombos and Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) for an interactive in-person and virtual presentation about everything Transgender. LEAD (Women) practiced intersectionality with their Juneteenth Celebration/Fireside Chat with Saint Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and their Allies Amplify Voices Panel. Our HEARD ERG (Hispanic and Latinx) aired a fireside chat with Jorge Rodriguez, CEO of Sorenson, that focused on the importance of diversity and leadership in mentorship. VETS, our Veterans ERG, hosted Lieutenant General R. Scott Dingle to close out the month of November to honor Veterans Day. Not only did ERG membership increase exponentially in 2022, but ERG engagement and event participation grew as well.
In 2021, WWT debuted a new module for our existing Integrating Management and Leadership (IML) training that each employee experiences annually. This module focuses on ideas related to DEI: an understanding of what DEI is and why it's important, unconscious bias, empathy, and the power of storytelling. Each of these conversations is organized around the concept of "Listen, Learn, Act." In 2021, WWT executive leadership set the goal of every leader experiencing this training. We met that goal at the conclusion of 2021. The new goal is to have every employee experience the training by 2024. I am pleased to announce that we are on track to meet that goal and are currently ahead of schedule. The training has been universally well received with employees and leaders indicating that it has opened ideas and conversations that they have not previously experienced.
WWT Storytellers continues to be a beloved staple of our DEI efforts. Notably, this year numerous courageous employees shared their personal stories. For example, one shared their experiences coming out as transgender and another employee talked about living with Multiple Sclerosis. Several of our employees shared reflections on mentorship, and another detailed his battle with overcoming an addiction to alcohol and drugs. In 2023 we are hoping to create in-person opportunities for employees to share stories through a newly debuted "storytelling booth."
Our Listening Session program continues to evolve. The program was created in 2020 in response to employee reactions to George Floyd's murder and a call for increased engagement between employees and executive leadership. Our leaders answered that call, and we formalized our Listening Tours, which have evolved into our Listening Session program. We continue to host twice-weekly sessions with executives and small groups of employees. 2022 topics ranged from what's going on in our communities, to employee engagement, DEI, business outcomes, Integrated Management Leadership concepts and whatever is on the mind of our employees in every region. This year we began integrating ERG-related content with our ERG executive sponsors hosting sessions on disability in the workplace, women navigating the corporate landscape, LGBTQIA+ representation at WWT and a session called Opportunity, Equity and Access: a Juneteenth Discussion. We are constantly pursuing feedback from both the executives and employees to make the sessions as impactful and inclusive as possible.
In 2021, WWT was invited to join an experiment designed by Great Place to Work called The Great Transformation. The project was a bold new initiative focused on "cracking the code on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging." The program is comprised of 11 companies who have committed to sharing information and best practices to maximize DEI outcomes across their organizations. In 2022, we wrapped up year one of the three-year program. In October, WWT was invited to attend the GPTW4All Summit where myself and Ann Marr hosted a breakout session focused on our Storytelling and Listening Session programs. The conference was attended by WWT leadership, our extended DEI family and our ERG leads. The summit was an opportunity for personal and professional development, and we are grateful to Michael Bush and GPTW for the opportunity to attend and participate.
As the title sponsor of the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, WWT hosted a week of events, breakouts, education and networking in Mayakoba during the championship. The program featured DEI content throughout the week, including a Career Discovery Day at the K'inn Beh School, a bilingual non-profit school established for local children and the children of the employees of Rosewood Mayakoba Resort in Playa del Carmen. During the Career Discovery Day, 60 high school students met WWT employees, participated in activities with mentors, including doing a skills assessment, resume writing, public speaking, and goal setting. WWT also hosted a panel with APGA players Kamaiu Johnson and Andrew Walker moderated by myself and a CEO panel moderated by GPTW CEO Michael Bush to discuss strategies for implementing a successful DEI program in your organization and the importance of supporting diverse suppliers.
Since our inception, WWT has prioritized partnerships with small and diverse organizations that enable transformational business outcomes to drive inclusion and economic growth in our communities. As part of our Supplier Diversity mission, we strive to mentor, educate, and develop small and diverse business relationships. WWT continues to be committed to increasing our year over year annual spend with diverse small businesses, including but not limited to African American and Latinx-owned organizations. In 2022, we increased our diverse supplier spend. We also increased our commitment to the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC), which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. We continue to expand our partnership with global Minority Supplier Development Councils, including Minority Supplier Development UK (MSDUK) and Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC). In 2023, we look forward to piloting a new Supplier Development and Tier 2 Programs.
WWT's Global Community Impact (GCI) team made a tremendous impact in 2022 as they continue to strengthen the community by supporting organizations that provide education and career readiness, promote physical and mental wellness, and provide human services to address society's most significant needs. In 2022, 2,000 employees volunteered their time either with the organization of their choice or during a team-sponsored "Day of Caring."
The GCI team implemented a new tool, Benevity, to capture volunteer and donation information across the company which will better help measure against our goals. Some of the key GCI events the team hosted or participated in this year include WWT's 1st annual May of Caring, sponsorship of Global Citizen Live, NASCAR Cup Race STEM Lane, and WWT's annual United Way Campaign. WWT also sponsored the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) and the Women of Color Awards.
In addition to sponsoring, several WWT employees were honored at both events. 2022 BEYA honorees included Javon Coleman, Antonio Demerett, Chris Foster, Milu George, David Keen and Anthony Robinson. WWT Women of Color honorees included Jaime-Christie Garrett, Shay Gillespie, Ashley Harris, Melinda Hines, Karishma Varshani and Lani Sabol.
The Employee Engagement arm of the GCI team launched the Engagement Advocates program which features "culture champions" across our global community to foster employee engagement and culture advocacy. This program is complementary to our DEI Advocates program formed in 2021. The Employee Engagement team also grew our Mission Possible program, which shines a light on the accomplishments of WWT employees who go above and beyond in their roles.
2023 is shaping up to be a busy year for the DEI team, as we pursue continued growth and development in all areas of the program. At the end of the 2022 the DEI team experienced a re-organization, as Emily Robinson was promoted to DEI Manager and Shannon Lassen moved into a new role fostering engagement with Supply Chain and Order Ops globally. Sabrina Townsend, our DEI Director who joined WWT in September of 2022, will lead the group.
In just the first quarter of 2023, we will finalize our DEI strategic plan for 2024-2026. We plan to send out a company-wide survey to gather specific qualitative and quantitative data about our program, ensuring all employees have a voice in shaping the future of DEI at WWT. We are embarking on another phase of The Great Transformation where we will put much of what we learned in the first year to shape measurable change across our organization. In July, we will host WWT's first annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit at our global headquarters.
There is much to look forward to in the coming year and much work to be done. I am grateful for the support of WWT employees, partners and customers across the globe who have enabled our success. Continuing to drive an organization that is diverse, equitable, inclusive and fosters belonging for all is an effort and requires dedication. I am thankful for that dedication, and I believe the future is bright for DEI at WWT.