My belief in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging didn't start with current events. It's rooted in my desire to create better value for society and my organization. Let me explain.
Early in my career, I learned that the best ideas always come from diverse thinkers. By this I mean people who can bring unique perspectives that spur fresh thoughts; ideas that come at issues from a new angle. And the best way to attract and encourage diverse thinkers is to make them feel comfortable sharing their candid perspectives. Another truth I learned is that a great idea can come from anyone. In fact, frequently those great ideas come from people who don't look, think, or act like ourselves.
If I were to surround myself only with like-minded people, I would never have new ideas to consider from others. Limited input, limited insight, and creativity. Now, if I as a leader, my colleagues as a company, and we as a society, create environments that encourage people to be themselves and share their opinions - opinions that aren't diluted or forced into a predetermined group mindset - good things happen. And oftentimes the results will be better than you could ever imagine.
That's why at Broadcom we take both a broad and targeted approach to encouraging diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging. A great example is our Vitality Program. We started it to open doors and attract fresh talent to pursue careers in mainframe, regardless of background. As a result of these moves, we attracted great candidates - an overwhelming majority were minorities - who are now working in the industry.
But we aren't embracing diversity just for diversity's sake. We're embracing it because we recognize it brings real business value, helping to attract more talent with fresh ideas that have the power to take a growing industry to its next chapter.
Thinking beyond the walls of Broadcom and our customers, we got more focused. Following some thought-provoking conversations with colleagues, our team seized an opportunity to initiate and drive the "Making our Strong Community, Stronger" program. Now backed by Broadcom, IBM, Open Mainframe Project, Rocket Software, Virtual Z, and TechChannel, this joint initiative is accelerating fresh ideas and inclusivity in the mainframe industry. From those gains, we're sure to see new ideas and innovations to benefit mainframe customers and new skilled resources to support the platform's future.
Over the last twenty years, I've seen first-hand how diverse people and companies can come together to change both business and society for the better. When it comes to attracting diverse thinkers, acceptance and awareness are key.
On a personal level, I've also learned better empathy and understanding through experiences I've shared with loved ones. Experiences that made each of us reevaluate what we thought we knew, what we assumed, what we expected. When that happens to anyone, I believe we open up to even more ideas and ways of doing things. It makes us more aware of others' perspectives and feelings. And that makes us better, more diverse thinkers.
I've learned much over my career and, though I know I still have much to learn, I'm confident I'll know a lot more by the end of it. Suffice it to say, I'll continue to be an ally of change and will work to help improve the situations for all.
I want our employees to feel safe and even more valued for being different. The truth is, we need them to speak up, and be comfortable doing so. As difficult as it is, it's the best way to help enlighten our team and make them more aware and empathetic of the thoughts, feelings, and ideas of those they work with -- as well as those they're trying to appeal to as an organization.
Our goal is to ensure that every voice matters, that we foster an environment that instills a genuine sense of belonging, and that every person knows that they can make a difference. As an organization, we are determined to listen to and welcome different perspectives. Through our Vitality Program, we've already hired an empowering number of diverse individuals to make the mainframe industry not only more diverse, but better for our customers.
If we can make one person at a time feel more comfortable at work, that's worth it. That's how we can make a difference moving forward. Diversity initiatives should not be about diversity just for diversity's sake. It's about diversity for diversity's value -- for me, my employees, our partners, our industry, our customers, and our society.
Greg Lotko is the General Manager and Senior Vice President for the Broadcom Mainframe Software Division, with more than 30 years of experience in application development, application outsourcing services, software development and infrastructure. Email: Gregory.Lotko@broadcom.com