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For Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware and VMinclusion Co-Sponsor, having a diverse and inclusive workforce is not only a value, but a crucial strategy to business success. He calls it, “harnessing the power of human difference.” I recently interviewed Pat for my upcoming book, Differences that Make a Difference in which I speak with top CEO’s and business leaders to discover the power of diversity and inclusion bring to a workforce. Through this interview, Pat reveals how he has intentionally woven this value into the foundation of his company.

VMware strives to aid businesses and non-profits in digitization, taking the best of technology to empower the people who need to use it. Their impact stretches from Silicon Valley to rural African farmers. They aid their clients with computing, cloud usage, networking and security, and revamping their digital workspace.

VMware proudly highlights diversity and inclusion within their workplace as key to their success. Why? Because output, particularly one intended to impact the global community, relies on the values and perspectives each teammate brings.

Pat Gelsinger writes, “Our collective success in 2018 was as much a result of remaining true to ourselves and our values as it was of our business strategy and customer focus. We succeed because of our values, not in spite of them.”

 Interview with Pat Gelsinger 

Yet while these ideals are great to talk about, bringing them into the company is an entirely new challenge.  During the interview, Pat gave me the inside scoop.

“What are some tangible steps that companies can do to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace, to increase diversity and inclusion holistically? As you said it is not just through one person, but through a team…”

With a sigh and “Oh many, many things…” he went on to share these three ideas:

  1. “We have built it into our hiring programs. There is a female on every hiring team. Every candidate pool has at least one female before we make any hiring decisions. So though this we are building in different practices.
  2. “This year we have added D&I to the CEO score card. This way it is at the highest level of company objectives, seen and reviewed regularly by board of directors. For every person on my leadership team, essentially part of their pay is how well we do in that aspect.
  3. “It’s one of those heart problems in Silicon Valley, as I call it, and has taken many centuries if not millennia to get to some of these bad states we are in. So, it requires top down leadership as well as bottom up programs to move the needle.”


Thank you, Pat, for sharing these! Check out my book, Differences that Make a Difference, to join me on my journey of interviewing top CEO’s and leaders to better understand the power of diversity and inclusiveness in the workforce.