Perhaps you noticed that the Western Digital logo looked a little different this June? I am quite pleased to share that we decided to introduce a rainbow version of our logo for the month of June, also known as Pride Month. The rainbow is a powerful symbol showing support for the LGBTQ+ community, and the company’s leadership team was proud to fuse it with the brand name that has represented our company for almost 50 years.
Our rainbow logo represents Western Digital’s ongoing commitment to diversity, acceptance, inclusion, and equal opportunity – a commitment we encourage every day. This is especially important to us because our global workforce includes people from all walks of life, and a variety of backgrounds and cultures. We believe that innovation as a technology leader hinges on the utilization of our diverse skills, thoughts, and ideas.
Throughout June, we used this logo in conjunction with other Pride programs and initiatives we either organized or participated in as part of our ongoing pro-diversity charter.
Built for Employees, By Employees
I would like to highlight that many of our employees participated enthusiastically in the Pride parades and other activities taking place near our company sites in Orange County and Silicon Valley. But I’m beaming with, well, what else but “pride” for our employees who showed such respect to the LGBTQ+ community, and who really are the driving force behind so many of our diversity and inclusion programs at Western Digital.
Much of the advocacy behind these programs comes from We.EQL, a Western Digital employee resource group for LGBTQ+ employees and allies. This group’s mission is to build a culture of belonging, where employees act as proponents in advancing equality in the workplace and Western Digital’s communities.
Meagan, the employee leader of We.EQL, cites the creation of this group as one of her proudest professional experiences. When she was asked to help launch and lead the We.EQL group she reached out to one of her mentors, Peg Corley, Executive Director of the LGBT Center of Orange County for advice. Peg told Meagan, “At the end of the day, we either have a voice and a platform to help others, or we could use a little help ourselves.” The We.EQL group creates the voice and platform to support the LGBTQ+ employees here at Western Digital and provides a network for mutual encouragement and support.
Prideful Steps in the Right Direction
Meagan and her colleagues have worked extremely hard to advance the company into new territory. We.EQL has advocated for Western Digital to join the Business Statement for Transgender Equality, and fostered partnerships with many LGBTQ organizations including the LGBT Center OC, the Billy DeFrank Center, the Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG and Out & Equal. We.EQL was also the driving force behind Western Digital earning a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.
Someone recently told me that as much as anything else, Pride Month is about showing respect for our corporate community of LGBTQ+ employees. I couldn’t agree more. Even after the final days of June expire and the rainbow is gone, I hope you can find a way to continue celebrating and respecting the difference of every individual at Western Digital and beyond.
“It’s so important for anyone to be themselves at work. From personal experience, I know hiding oneself can be a separate job in itself. Being my true self at work has enabled me to build better connections, grow and succeed both personally and in my career.” –Cristi G.
“Here I have a supportive environment where we as employees can share our expressive selves. There’s no need for a façade or to hide who we are. I enjoy interacting with my peers, management and leaders because they encourage me to be myself. This inspires me to leverage the resources I have available, continue to grow and become an inspiration for others.” –Raul P.
“We.EQL is, for me, a crucial cornerstone of the DNA at Western Digital that contributes to a better working environment and a more rewarding workspace. The team has been able to create a setting where I feel at home and can help create an environment for others where we ignore the differences and instead, accept the potential and strength those differences can bring to the bigger Western Digital. We.EQL has also contributed to influence and adjust company HR policies not only to improve benefits for same-sex couples, but for the whole Western Digital community. It tests the waters of what is considered the norm and what are considered the outliers, while emphasizing that in the end we are all equal in our own way.” –Stefaan V.
“I have an opportunity to educate, share positive feedback and correct stereotypes. What many don’t realize is that gender identity is different than sexual preference—who you sleep as is different than who you sleep with. I love who I am and I’m proud of my journey. We.EQL gave me the opportunity to voice my unique outlook, and leadership supported me in helping others understand.” –Pauline C.
“I am so proud of We.EQL and have personally witnessed the commitment and passion of the founders, members, advocates, and champions. Individually and as a team, they have challenged and educated leadership. They have created a voice of influence that goes beyond the walls of Western Digital.” –Giselle P.
Roger Crockett is Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion at Western Digital.