What does this new world we’re inhabiting mean for diversity, both at work and in our communities? I caught up with Sharawn Connors, vice president of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion to find out.
Connors was quick to point out that her guiding principle remains unchanged: All people should be able to bring their authentic selves to work and have the same opportunity to make a difference. Studies show that people are more productive and more innovative when they can be authentic.
Working from home these days has benefits and challenges. We used to talk about work-life balance. Now we’re dealing with work-life integration. The effects can be empowering — we used to expect those working from home to mimic the office environment and be “professional.” Now if the dog jumps up on your lap, nobody thinks twice about it. As Connors puts it, “It’s a beautiful opportunity to show our authentic selves.”
On the other hand, the “digital divide” is a problem. Unless they have good computers and internet connectivity, kids can’t learn from home and adults can’t work from home. Micron’s own employee resource groups have created a program to donate needed supplies to other team members. We’re also donating funds to both the San Jose Digital Inclusion Fund and the East Oakland Youth Development Center to ensure increased internet access and resources for underrepresented groups and help with the growing problem of food security which demonstrates Micron’s commitment to equality.
And what advice does Connors have for teams at other companies? The answer is to communicate, communicate and communicate! Leaders must tap into the diversity of their teams; they must recognize that team members may need different things to stay engaged and productive. As she put it, “You can’t overconnect.” We’re using the power of technology — and the power of openness — to be more in touch than ever before.
You can learn more about how Micron is supporting our worldwide communities at www.micron.com/covid-19.