‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’
There is a reason why there are 101 versions of this quote or others with similar sentiments. They get referred to and repeated again and again. Simply because its true and its certainly true for the Black Networking Alliance at Dell Technologies in the UK. Our employee resource group (ERG) started two years ago on a mission to go far in driving increased representation of Black and other ethnic minorities within our UK business.
And what a couple of years it has been! A team of extremely talented, passionate, and dedicated volunteers have bought new stories to Dell, extended our brand reach via new networks, collaborated with other internal employee resource groups to ensure intersection coverage, and opened new opportunities to support the less privileged in our communities. All the while, we have increased communication both in and outside of the business to drive membership and external awareness of Dell’s efforts in this space. We’ve been pleased to share testimonials from new starters who were attracted to the company specifically because of the conversations being had on social media affirming Dell was a place that they could thrive in.
The impact has been enormous, but a key learning has been that there is only so much we can achieve alone.
Step in one of our biggest business partners: Computacenter, who have been on their own mission towards racial equality in Tech, and who approached us with a collaboration opportunity for Black History Month.
Led by Seleeta Watson, Enablement Manager at Computacenter, an intimate evening of inspiration and entertainment celebrating Black Excellence was held at the Museum of London. It was a genuine privilege to hear from Serlina Boyd (founder of Cocoa Girl and Cocoa Boy – the UK's first Black children’s magazines), Chris Preddie OBE and Dr. Leroy Logan MBE (former superintendent for the Met police and founding member of the Black Police Association) – to hear their origin stories and how they overcame barriers to achieve so much. And then to hear the sometimes moving, sometimes funny, always clever word play performances from Terrell Lewis and his team of spoken word artists all accompanied by live music, was such a treat.
It was an event that felt so familiar - from the personal experiences shared about navigating our worlds as Black people to the delicious servings of jollof rice and plantains. Yet it was also unfamiliar, in that this night came about from a corporate initiative.
In my experience, the two had never met as well as they did that night and I left feeling truly lifted. The feedback from Dell, Computacenter employees, and their guests was overwhelmingly the same as mine, and the positive impact of that needs to be remembered and nurtured.
So, what next? Well already in December I participated in the CRN Breaking Barriers event as a panellist alongside Computacenter speaking about the importance of ERGs like ours, and how businesses can support them as part of their Diversity and Inclusion programs. But there will be more as we work together to continue to lift, to educate, and drive change.
Our goals are ambitious, but I have no doubt that as a Tech industry we can go far with this, as long as we go together.
Learn more about Dell’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) here
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