"This moment in history is a call to action for all of us. We must listen, demonstrate compassion, reject discrimination and social injustice, and ensure equality."
Last week, the entrenched injustice of racism and violence against Black people was thrust into public view once again after the senseless killing of George Floyd. People across the U.S. and around the world are reacting with intense emotions from shock and grief to horror, anger and outrage. The chain of inequality extends too far back in history, and ending this systemic injustice is long overdue.
Within NTT DATA, diversity and inclusion are core values that we continue to pursue daily. It is who we want to be and the right way to operate as a global company. We stand for diversity and inclusion, and we know it’s through our differences that we create strength. Times like these remind us that we also must clearly state what we stand against –unequivocally, we have zero tolerance for racism and discrimination in any form.
In the past two weeks, I have spoken with clients, partners, senior executives of other companies and Black community leaders including Mayor Harry LaRosiliere of Plano, Texas. I also had the privilege of speaking with members of our own THRIVE Employee Resource Group, which supports and advocates for Black employees within our company. My goal was to listen first, and then to seek advice on how NTT DATA can constructively engage and contribute to a solution.
These conversations overwhelmed me and pierced my heart as I witnessed their frustration, fatigue, worry and fear for family and friends as they deal with yet another loss of life as a result of chronic and systemic injustice. Each person I spoke with conveyed an acute awareness of the problems as well as an unflinching desire to work together for constructive change.
This moment in history is a call to action for all of us. We must listen, demonstrate compassion, reject discrimination and social injustice, and ensure equality.
In our discussion, THRIVE members shared a wide range of possible steps we could take. Leaders from the company and THRIVE will be refining those options and pursuing near- and long-term steps together. Some actions already are in motion, and overall focus areas include:
Intensifying and accelerating our ongoing efforts to increase diversity at leadership levels.
Career training & development, which has been a major company priority, must be enhanced to create more opportunities and advancement for our Black team members.
Actively supporting mentorship and finding ways to offer more opportunities to team members in minority groups to express their ambitions and demonstrate their skills, capabilities and potential.
Expanding our campus recruiting and outreach to historically Black colleges and universities, and Black professional associations and organizations.
Sensitivity and leadership training, starting with me and our senior leaders, to help everyone engage in constructive conversations about bias, racism, equality and inclusivity.
Continuing to encourage all team members to take Unconscious Bias training to build awareness and promote collaboration with our colleagues. We also have created a Talking About Race site on our employee intranet with a range of information, perspectives and other resources.
Listening more and better, including formal and recurring sessions with our Employee Resource Groups as well as informally with team members throughout each day.
Encouraging more employees to join our THRIVE Employee Resource Group. Like all our ERGs, THRIVE is open to all team members, including allies who support THRIVE’s mission and goals.
These initial steps represent a more intense and demonstrated focus on our commitment to drive diversity and inclusion within NTT DATA.
Racism and the accompanying injustice and inequality are stains on every U.S. state and many countries. We can do better. NTT DATA will do better, and we will be part of the solution. This begins with our daily actions to create a workplace where all team members, partners and clients know they are valued, respected and welcome, and that everyone is empowered to THRIVE in our company, our communities and at large. The spirit of our moving forward is eloquently expressed in this video message from Plano Mayor LaRosiliere.
Let us learn the lesson of this moment and take enduring actions now, including constructive dialogue, participation in civic affairs, peaceful assembly, and being compassionate and understanding. Regardless of our roots, we must work together to create positive change.
June 5, 2020