by Claire Hastwell, Content Marketing Manager for Great Place to Work
World Wide Technology (WWT) was already committed to diversity and inclusion before the Black Lives Matter movement’s surge in the summer of 2020. The company had spent ten consecutive years on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list and was ranked #36 on the 2019 Best Workplaces for Diversity™ list.
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts were included in the company’s integrated management leadership curriculum, which trains leaders on company culture and values, and ensures those values are spread to every employee within the organization.
But the global racial reckoning that followed George Floyd’s murder pushed WWT to do more and do it fast.
“We wanted to move quickly, but we didn’t want to just respond to things. The D&I program was not something we were only dealing with for 2020,” said Jim Kavanaugh, co-founder and CEO of WWT, in our recent CEO Conversations session.
“We are committed to building this into the DNA of the company, so that 10 years from now, it is part of the foundational piece.”
Organizations must listen and learn
WWT’s executive team agreed the best way to achieve real change was to take a step back so they could listen and learn, then act. Otherwise, it’s too easy to fall into common DEI mistakes.
“Managers and leaders don’t go to school for this,” said Jim. “The feedback that we’ve received from employees, just by knowing that we care and by asking how they are doing and taking the time to listen, it’s been incredible.”