The past month has seen a racial-equality awakening around the world—the likes of which seem to signal real, seismic change.
People from all backgrounds standing together—rejecting racism in all forms and raising awareness of the bias and injustice Black people and so many minorities have faced for generations.
Companies from all sectors have spoken out, committing to investing in increasing awareness and rejecting racism at a policy level.
At F5, our commitment to the fight against racism is a foundational part of our culture as a company. We consider diversity and inclusion part of being an F5er. Today, our F5 Appreciates Blackness (FAB) employee inclusion group, the Diversity & Inclusion team, alongside our Exec Team, shared the steps we are taking as a company, and the pledge we are taking as individuals.
It begins with the learnings we offer and we require. We are continuing our mandatory Unconscious Bias training for all employees. We have gathered anti-racism learning resources for our employees from across the company that range from podcasts to parenting advice. And we follow the lead of our employee inclusion group, as they sponsor learning events and forums for discussion (including tomorrow, in honor of Juneteenth).
Next, we build our skills in order to take action. We have skills-based courses for our employees available on LinkedIn Learning, and our Diversity & Inclusion Team is leading team workshops on race, unconscious bias, and inclusive leadership. Later this summer, our quarterly, company-wide “Zoom Out Day” will be devoted entirely to topics related to diversity and inclusion.
And most importantly, we hold ourselves personally accountable to taking action.
Our recently reinvented hiring program increased our requirements for balanced interview slates, and we are building differentiated leadership development programs for diverse employees, starting with our FAB members.
But no amount of policies or programs will achieve change if we don’t make it personal. Everyday actions are what will truly make F5 a more diverse and inclusive company. I have pledged, as has every member of the F5 Exec Team, to all our employees that we are accountable to these commitments in our words and in our actions.
We are also encouraging F5ers to sign and share this pledge personally. We want their help to hold F5 accountable to making change. We are in this for the long haul.
As I reflect on the past few weeks and all the anger and pain that got us here, I also find myself reflecting on the signs of hope, unity, and real change that defiantly shine through. And it is in those defiant moments of hope, and amidst indications of powerful change, that I also feel an undeniable sense of optimism.
I believe change can happen. I believe change is happening. Because although there is a long arc to history, this just feels like one of those times when history happens faster.
If you share my sense of optimism about the new possibilities—and realities—that change will bring, I encourage you to join in our pledge* too. Just like at F5, all are welcome here.
* A slightly modified copy of our pledge is available here. We removed the references to F5, so that anyone can use and share.