Harmonizing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
At Wind River, we build software enabling billions of intelligent devices around this world and beyond. Many of these technologies form the backbone of today’s society – from collaborative robots to life saving medical devices, connected cars to the connected factory floor — as well as the telecommunication networks that support these applications. However, the sheer breadth of the applications we support means we must remain nimble. And our customers rely on us to deliver secure, scalable, and flexible solutions.
This means we rely heavily on our people to bring forward new ideas, experiment, adjust, and adapt in a rapidly changing environment. Having people with diverse experiences and a safe and inclusive environment in which they can work are the fundamental ingredients necessary to remain one step ahead of the competition. Without them, it’s impossible to have productive debates or come up with truly creative solutions to what are often complex problems.
This is why we promoted Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) as one of our three cultural pillars – as important as customer focus and growth mindset. And let’s face it, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging is a mouthful. But each word is essential. Diversity ensures we’re opening ourselves to the broadest set of ideas. Equity ensures that every person has what they need to succeed. Inclusion means every voice is heard on the merit of their ideas. And Belonging means I can be myself – that I don’t need to hide some part of me to fit in.
The challenge lies in bringing these concepts into harmony. Equity and Inclusion without Diversity results in groupthink. Diversity and Equity without Inclusion creates an environment where diverse people cover their differences and assimilate. And you can have Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion without Belonging where people don’t feel connected to each other and the company’s mission and merely languish.
From a People Team perspective, there’s a lot we are doing to bring DEIB to life. By making minor changes in our hiring process, we open the funnel and capture fantastic talent from a wide variety of backgrounds. By creating forums where people can share their unique experiences, we help build empathy and connection. By addressing bias in moments that matter, we ensure that everyone is treated fairly. By changing the way managers and employees connect, we create space to have meaningful, forward-looking, and inspirational conversations. And by connecting with the business, we ensure our processes are inclusive. The success of these programs is demonstrated in the series of workplace recognition the company has received - most recently earning the esteemed 'Great Place To Work Certification' in multiple regions around the world: United States, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Romania, and India.
But the harmony really plays out in the thousands of interactions people have every day. So, it’s important that people play their part, listen to the collective voices of others, and join in with full-throated enthusiasm.
You’ll know it’s going well because you and the people around you feel psychologically safe, have a shared sense of purpose and meaning, and are confident in showing vulnerability. You’ll see it when team members pay rapt attention to what you have to say. There won’t be interruptions. There will be lots of questions. You’ll see small courtesies and shared laughter. You may even find your team adopts some funny catchphrases.
This DEIB journey we’re all on is a long one. There will be moments of awkwardness. Mistakes will be made. But, if it means we can get to a place where everyone is welcome, everyone can contribute, and we’re more productive, it’s a journey well worth taking.