Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology



August/September 2011

Diversity/Careers August/September 2011 Issue

Native Americans
ChEs & EnvEs
Medical devices
Business intelligence
Defense contractors
Great Minds in STEM
Grace Hopper
PhD Project

WBEs in technology
News & Views
WBENC connections
Regional roundup
Supplier diversity

Diversity in action
News & Views

GE Healthcare Advertisement
Telephonics AOptix Technologies
Office of Naval Research ITT

Diversity In Action

HP is building on its long commitment to diversity

"Energetic, passionate, team-oriented people integrate well with HP's collaborative culture and values," says the chief diversity officer

HP has 324,600 employees worldwide working in printers, personal computers, software services and IT infrastructure. They are part of a corporate culture with a long commitment to diversity.

"Our employee resource groups (ERGs) have been in existence for more than thirty years and were formally chartered in the early 1990s," says Jennifer Rickard, chief diversity officer. "Our work-life programs have been evolving over time, but many were introduced in the mid-1980s."

HP's 120-plus global ERGs include groups focused on African Americans, Hispanics, Pan-Asians, women, LGBT folks, people with disabilities, and generational and multicultural populations. About 15,000 employees actively participate in at least one group, Rickard says.

"HP's commitment comes from the belief that diversity and inclusion are key drivers of creativity, innovation and invention. Throughout the world we are putting our differences to work to connect everyone to the power of technology in the marketplace, workplace and community."

The company "continues to see strong demand for technical hires around the world," Rickard says. Desired skills range from hardware and software development to programming, design, architecture and more. There are key openings in almost every area of the company, from admin to supply chain and ops.

"Strong candidates demonstrate experience with the core skills of the position, and we also look for folks who are customer-centric, results and performance driven, with business acumen and leadership capabilities. Energetic, passionate and team-oriented individuals integrate well with HP's collaborative culture and values," Rickard says.

There's a special need for developers, designers and architects with "hot" skills like application modernization, firmware, business transformation optimization and more, as well as web-OS developers with a wide variety of skill sets.

The company needs entry level as well as experienced talent, so it recruits on university campuses including minority-serving institutions and HBCUs like Morgan State, Howard and North Carolina A&T.;

HP reps attend conferences of NSBE, NACME, SHPE, SWE and NAAAP, and they're a big presence at Anita Borg Institute events like the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. The company looks for veterans and people with disabilities through web-based forums like Getting Hired, conducts a targeted referral campaign via its ERGs and promotes opportunities through social media.

HP offers online tools and training to help teams improve their ability to operate across cultures and countries, Rickard says. A global diversity advisory board of senior leaders throughout the company drives the diversity-and-inclusion strategy.

"They're also the chairs of our executive diversity forums," Rickard notes. "For example, an African American senior VP is chair of the black executive forum that provides leadership to the black ERGs. It's a cascaded leadership model," she explains.

One interesting inclusion offering is a mentoring program where LGBT employees work with senior leaders who aren't gay themselves but want to create a more inclusive work environment.

HP reaches outside the company to encourage young people from diverse and economically challenged backgrounds to pursue STEM careers, filling the technical pipeline for HP and other tech companies. In 2010 the company started the National Lab Network and Citizen Schools, two new relationships focused on student achievement in the STEM area. National Lab Network, Rickard says, connects volunteers with technical skills to K-12 classrooms across the U.S.

HP has partnered with Citizen Schools (www.citizenschools.org) in Boston and more recently in several California cities. Citizen Schools supports classroom STEM programs and introduces middle school students to tech careers.

HP is a long-time supporter of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI), providing financial support, board leadership, conference sponsorships, employee mentoring opportunities and even office space to the group.

The company now offers its support to other local nonprofits. In 2010, "We launched a pilot program that included opportunities for technical employees to conduct IT assessments for HP's key nonprofit partners in the Bay Area," Rickard reports. "Our goal is to broaden this effort into a formal program.

"Creating a diverse, inclusive environment has been an ongoing journey of continuous action for many years," Rickard concludes. "Today, our diversity vision is one of global proportions."


Hewlett-Packard Company

Headquarters: Palo Alto, CA
Employees: 324,600
Revenues: $126 billion in FY 2010
Business: Technology for printing and personal computing; software services, IT infrastructure and more

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