Is diversity in an organisation actually important?
Gareth Cullen, talent acquisition director for Dell Technologies in Ireland, shares his view on diversity as it applies to Dell Ireland’s people strategy
There is a clear opportunity to be recognised globally for our diverse and talented people
When we talk about the subject of diversity, what is important is understanding that the objective is to attain a diversity of thought. It’s about bringing people with a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences and abilities together. From a people strategy perspective, we strive to open up and empower a wide representation of talent avenues.
Ireland has a rich talent market, from a gender perspective to ethnicity or socio-economic backgrounds, people who may have a disability or our neuro-diverse population. We have people who may have taken time out from work wanting to return, people on spousal visas, we have partnerships with migrant centers, often these said talent streams display key attributes like resilience and flexibility and high levels of transferable skills. The bottom line is the opportunity for diverse talent planning is significant.
Empowering talent streams is something we should all be excited about. There is a clear opportunity to build on this strength and to be recognised globally for our diverse and talented people. That level of human capital typically leads to increased investment.
There's no doubt that diversity is crucially important: having a diverse thought process typically leads to viewing a subject or situation through wider lenses, which in turn leads to increased levels of innovation and ultimately more successful solutions and outcomes. We have 6,000 team members within our Dell Technologies Ireland family including 55 nationalities and 26 languages. The link between diversity and innovation, is well documented, so not only does it makes business sense, but it also creates a more vibrant work culture.
In Dell, the importance of diversity comes from the top, Michael Dell, who sets the tone. This leadership ensures that we all understand the importance of a diverse workforce for the success of the business. That message then permeates and is reinforced by our leadership right throughout our company.
Making people feel welcome is critical to building a diverse workforce. Knowing you want to have a diverse group isn't enough, there also has to be a plan about how to build a culture that welcomes people. Its imperative that team members feel like they properly belong and know that their voice and opinion are absolutely valued.
Employee Resource Groups
Dell promotes an inclusive culture with a number of initiatives, one of these is through our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Globally we have 13 ERGs, which help in shaping and promoting our inclusive culture, supporting team members in their personal and professional development through avenues such as mentoring, networking, community engagement and much more.
Our Women in Action ERG, enables women and all team members to grow and thrive and achieve their goals at each point in their journey. Our True Ability ERG is designed to educate, drive awareness and serve as a resource for our team members impacted by disabilities or those who may have additional needs.
Many Advocating Real Change
Dell uses MARC, as it's commonly known as, to create awareness around holding privilege and bias, both conscious and unconscious, which could be at play. From a talent acquisition perspective these awareness sessions are invaluable. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking too narrowly and looking for candidates who are similar to us and our stories and experiences.
Looking ahead, the future of work is becoming more agile and flexible in many ways
It’s a Dell female mentorship program built around the idea of 'you can’t be what you can’t see.’ We’ve had more than 300 students participate in this program over the last three years and made some fantastic hires through it.
This is aimed at opening up the idea of careers in technology to female students. They do a fantastic job at reaching so many students annually with 6,000 last year alone.
Sometimes all it takes is a small spark to open up students’ eyes to the idea that a career in technology is accessible and is also diverse in terms of the types of careers that fall under the heading of technology.
Looking ahead, the future of work is becoming more agile and flexible in many ways, which is exciting for perspective talent. It’s promising to know that we are able to offer people the possibility of joining our team regardless of where they might be located. We have had flexible working in operation in Dell now for 10 years, so from both an infrastructure and cultural perspective it is normalised.
From my perspective, the ‘war on talent’ is not relevant here in Ireland. We are a small country with so many fantastic companies. We have a culture of collaborating and working together. We have no shortage of great talent and a great education system. If we continue to widen our talent pools, it makes for a very promising and vibrant ecosystem.
The opportunity we have from a talent perspective, is to build a wider more empowering ecosystem for a better tomorrow, which is what we all aim to do at Dell Technologies Ireland.
To find out more about Dell Technologies Ireland, please see here.