DEI JOURNEY TO THE CALIFORNIA STATE CAPITOL By Steve Ichinaga, President
In May of this year, Betty Jones, a co-worker at Hyve Solutions, asked to speak with me about a letter she had written. The letter detailed our DEI journey at Hyve that began in earnest a little over 2 years ago. Back then we were dealing with the challenges of building and shipping servers and networking gear in a COVID-19 world with no vaccinations and with mask and sanitizer shortages. Betty, a Quality Inspector, would often track me down while I was on our factory floor and point out where we could do better in regard to protecting our team members. I’d see her approaching me and knew I would be hit with questions and suggestions. I enjoyed her direct approach and her practical and valuable ideas about how to improve our newly implemented safety and cleanliness protocols. Soon I found myself proactively looking for Betty while on the floor and usually we found a way to connect.
One day, we spoke out in the parking lot about George Floyd and how this was impacting our teams. COVID and George Floyd created a wakeup call that we needed to do more to create a better workplace and culture based on the foundation that we as a company and community work and engage best when we establish a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment. One day, Betty asked if she and others could kneel for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in our parking lot at the next break to acknowledge the need for change. I quickly said yes and soon our parking lot was filled with team members at every level of the organization. Looking around I could see a community of caring and support growing in front of my eyes.
I felt it was important to create a DEI committee that would be open to anybody who wanted to attend. We didn’t know who would show up or what we would accomplish, but we did know that we needed to create a space to share and a place to plan. The weekly Wednesday meeting is the space – and that space filled quickly with voices expressing ideas on how to create the community we wanted and deserved to have. Ideas come, and we do our best to implement all we can. And the more we implement the more we encourage others to take action. The ideas come from every part of our company and from every level of the organization.
Creating the space and trusting our teams is how it started. It’s been quite a journey and yet I believe there is still much more to accomplish.
And about that wonderful letter. I was so touched that somebody would take the time to write such a document. It meant so much to hear it read aloud but then to hear that the letter was sent off to the California LGBTQ Caucus – it was such a surprise. And even more surprising was that the work we did, and do, at Hyve Solutions would be celebrated and commemorated at our State Capitol.
Thank you to the amazing team at Hyve Solutions and thank you to the amazing team at TD SYNNEX, our parent company. Our journey is just beginning!