Allied training reinforces the corporate culture. Here’s how.

  • At Micron Technology, training allies is a key part of an ever-evolving DEI strategy
  • Understanding the different dimensions of diversity is key to recruiting and retaining diverse talent
  • Effective allocation of the DEI budget includes extending it beyond the company into the wider community

Created by Insider Studios with Micron technology

In 2021, a number of global employee resource groups from leading memory and storage solutions company, Micron Technology Inc., came together with a singular vision. Veterans, women leaders, tenured professionals, black and Hispanic professionals, members of the company’s LGBTQ+ community, and others from Micron’s 10 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have joined forces to develop an ally training program that included a wide range of traditionally underrepresented groups. Although the program they developed was not mandatory for Micron employees, 99.9% of Micron’s more than 43,000 employees have taken the training, and more than half of those people have taken courses. additional membership.

“The feedback we’ve received – both from the people delivering the training and from the team members who have engaged – on the impact it has had, the eye-opening experience our team members have experience, have been amazing,” said April Arnzen, Micron’s chief human resources officer. , who has been with the company for 25 years. But one or even two training sessions are not enough. Arnzen believes that a company’s plan for diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) must constantly evolve to be sustainable over the long term.

But what does DEI really mean? Most of us are convinced that we know what individual words mean, but when it comes to the workplace, the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts – and according to Arnzen, that’s where that companies can fail in their interpretation. “Diversity is not just about race and gender. Those things are very important, but people have multiple dimensions of diversity that are both visible and invisible,” she said, citing religion, socio-economic status and level of education. Complexity persists when considering what equality and inclusiveness mean in these different contexts – one approach will not be right for everyone, and a strong DEI program is built on this understanding.

Intersectional Pay Equity is Crucial to Retaining Diverse Talent

Pay equity, too, is often misunderstood. When Arnzen started advocating for pay equity in 2018, she said she started, like every other company, by considering gender. Over the past four years, Micron has gone further: “We’ve added all of our underrepresented groups in the United States and around the world, including, of course, people with disabilities around the world,” he said. she declared. “We don’t just focus on gender and race.” Fundamentally, the initiatives went beyond base pay – bonuses and stock are included in Micron’s pay equity model. As a global company, Micron also started taking into account inequalities in other countries last year. In Singapore, for example, the company identified underrepresented races and ethnicities and added them to its pay equity model.

“It’s not easy,” Arnzen said. “You have to go country by country and really identify where the underrepresented groups are. But that’s just one example of how we’re really striving to be a leader in the DEI space.”

And that “I” is crucial because many companies “just focus on the D,” according to Arnzen. For Micron, diversity without inclusion is not true diversity. “We work to create an inclusive culture, committed to enriching lives for everyone…if you don’t, you won’t be able to retain these diverse talents,” Arnzen said. Inclusion is partly achieved by inviting employees to provide feedback on DEI strategies, such as training allies in 2021. in the process and involving them in the journey has been extremely important,” Arnzen said.

Diversifying the DEI budget has significant benefits

In addition to ally training, Micron conducts leadership training to help managers develop an understanding of the different dimensions of diversity and cultivate the talent they manage. Micron’s employee resource groups also help the company allocate philanthropy dollars, ensuring that money goes to charities that align with Micron’s principles. ERG executives are compensated by Micron through equity awards – a leading practice currently implemented by only 5% of Fortune 500 companies with ERGs.

Yet, for Arnzen, “diversity cannot stop at your doorstep.” The company’s Micron Foundation encourages employees to volunteer in local communities, inspiring students from underrepresented backgrounds to engage in STEM education programs. Similarly, Micron ensures the diversity of its suppliers and invests in minority-owned businesses. In 2021, the company has pledged to invest 3% of its cash investments (approximately $280 million) in minority-owned businesses. It exceeded this goal by investing $300 million and increased this goal in 2022 to $500 million.

Micron’s commitment to DEI not only benefits its current employees, customers and communities. Arnzen points out that DEI is a great recruiting tool for the company, ensuring they attract top talent, allowing Micron to thrive. “Diversity of thought is one of the biggest drivers of our innovation,” she said. “I think companies are realizing how important your talent management strategies are to the success of your business. If you can’t hire and retain talent, your business won’t grow.”

Improvement is a continuous process

So how exactly does Micron measure the success of DEI? The company publishes an annual report on its website, outlining its progress on its six DEI commitments. It also helps to identify opportunities for improvement. In 2018, less than 8% of its vice-presidents were women. By 2021, that number had doubled. “So we got over 16% – but it’s not enough. We need to make more progress,” Arnzen said.

For Arnzen, the journey is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s why she believes it’s so important for companies to stay true to their commitment by developing ever-changing DEI strategies. “Celebrate your progress year after year, but never be satisfied,” she said. “Always aim to make even more progress next year.”

Learn more about Micron’s industry-leading IED program here

This post was created by Insider Studios with Micron Technology