While still early in our journey, our vision remains clear: for Equinix to be a culture where every employee, every day, can truly say “I’m safe, I belong and I matter,” and for our workforce, at all levels, to reflect and represent the communities in which we operate. We know that teams that represent diversity of thought, identity, experience, culture and backgrounds generate the greatest innovation and business outcomes. We continue to identify new channels and on-ramps to connect underrepresented communities to meaningful opportunities at Equinix. Together we foster inclusion and a feeling of belonging. We acknowledge that we have more work to do to increase representation, yet we are fully committed to advancing Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a critical part of our business objectives and our global commitment to protect, connect and power a more sustainable digital world.
In 2020, we improved our gender diversity across all levels of the organization. Specifically, we increased our representation of women by 1.6%, taking us from 22.5% women to 24.1% overall. We also increased the number of manager positions held by women by 2%, going from 25% to 27%, and the number of women in senior leadership roles by 3.6%, going from 24.6% to 28.2%. We are also fully committed to increasing Black and Hispanic representation and have taken action and made investments in these areas. While we hoped to see more progress in 2020, we remain fully committed to our vision of creating an inclusive culture with diversity at every level in the organization.
We are working to embed DIB into all of our business activities. In 2019, we engaged external experts to assess our DIB health. The results provided vital insights toward our new long-term strategy to achieve our DIB objectives. In 2020, we continued to expand our CEO-led DIB program awareness and participation to all levels of the global organization, facilitated by hiring a team of dedicated professionals with DIB expertise to implement our strategy.
This investment is backed by Equinix leadership. We have steadily built our DIB governance structure. Our CEO and CHRO co-chair our DIB Council, which is responsible for driving Equinix’s DIB strategy and cross-functional implementation. We have also established an Allies Council, a group of over 50 global senior Equinix leaders across functions, who advocate for historically underrepresented communities, invest in their own development as inclusive leaders and lead change throughout Equinix.
We will hold ourselves accountable to delivering our strategy by tracking our progress against concrete and measurable DIB metrics, diversity targets, and affirmative action goals. Our newly developed quarterly placemats provide visibility into the composition and movement at each level and in each function for women globally, as well as for racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. Our commitment to progress is reflected in our expanded diversity metrics reported to the Equinix Board of Directors.
In 2020, 55 of our most senior leaders, including executive staff, the Allies Council, and VP/SVPs and above, participated in a leadership 360 review on inclusive leadership. Approximately 1,000 employee responses were input into the assessment, which culminated in coaching sessions with a third-party expert facilitator and each leader building an inclusive leadership action plan.
We continue to identify new channels and on-ramps to connect underrepresented communities to meaningful opportunities at Equinix that foster a feeling of inclusion and belonging. Our Pathways program, new-to-career partnerships, and expanded talent marketing strategy offer multiple avenues to reach a diverse pool of candidates at different stages in their career journeys.
Our ongoing updates to our talent acquisition process support the attraction, application and hiring of these candidates.
Equinix Employee Connection Networks (EECNs) play an important role in advocating for the needs and goals of communities with common identities, cultures or backgrounds. EECNs drive belonging, talent attraction, career development, and community connections while building an inclusive culture at Equinix. Towards the goal of promoting interconnection across our employees, Equinix supports the formalization of networks that embody our business objectives and values and exhibit the intent to form bonds across the company globally. We aim for global representation wherever possible.
All EECNs are employee led, with a member of the executive staff as a sponsor, and all employees are encouraged to participate in any and all EECNs, regardless of the employee’s own identifying characteristics. EECNs are represented on our DIB Council, providing further awareness and advocacy to drive organizational change.
Our Equinix Women Leaders Network (EWLN), established in 2011, focuses on driving greater business impact by amplifying the voice and visibility of women. EWLN expands women’s contacts, knowledge, experience and influence to surface new opportunities and offers development experiences for women and men that create belonging. In 2020, the EWLN sponsored 100 events globally, including 20 sessions with members of our Executive Team and senior leadership. It also expanded in each region with new representation in Mexico and Bogota, reaching over 2,400 female employees across the organization at all levels. Equinix has seen an increase in the percentage of women in senior leadership (VP, SVP and EVP) from 24.6% to 28.2% year-over-year. In 2020, two women, Sandra Rivera and Adaire Fox-Martin, joined our Board of Directors, bringing female representation up to nearly a third of the Board.
In 2020, PrideConnect leadership led our application to the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index (HRC CEI). HRC CEI is the foremost benchmarking report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality in the U.S. In our inaugural year in the index, we received a score of 90 out of 100, marking an early milestone in our commitment to becoming a leading global employer for the LGBTQ+ community.
BlackConnect was already in the planning stages and fortuitously was able to launch at the onset of the 2020 Calls for Racial Justice because of civil injustices in the U.S. Kicking off the first global Equinix Courageous Conversation, founding BlackConnect members, alongside Executives, spoke about life experiences and how they shape actions, perspectives, and socio-economics. Profoundly moving testimonies provided an avenue forpromoting ongoing difficult conversations within Equinix communities.
In December, GenteConnect sponsored The Power of Empowered Women Presented by Equinix Mexico. The panel discussion highlighted leadership, women allyship, and encouraged the advancement and professional development of Latina women.
interASIANconnect celebrated its inaugural October Community Impact Month event: Kitchen Talk with Chef Brandon Jew. In this great discussion and cooking demonstration centered around identity, food and professional development, Chef Brandon shared his insights and support for One Fair Wage. Participants were able to use Impact dollars to donate towards any organization in Impact Exchange. This network held events to honor the Lunar New Year and share in traditions. The bonds created across this group were strengthened as the community faced increasing anti-Asian racism in the U.S. Solidarity events were held with both BlackConnect and GenteConnect to offer support, increase awareness, and raise money for AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) groups.
VetConnect timed their launch with Veterans Day in the U.S. The team expanded the awareness of both the challenges and value that veterans bring with a panel discussion with veterans, spouses and allies. Equinix Talent Acquisition established a partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD), and creating the DoD Skillbridge Internship Program. The program supports Active Duty Transitioning Service Members in an internship for up to 180 days. The DoD pays for the internship and Equinix benefits from the talented hailing from our different U.S. service branches.
In February 2020, Equinix held our first Days of Understanding event, inviting all employees to join small group conversations over three days focused on inclusion. Over 3,000 employees voluntarily participated in the conversations, helping us to define our Equinix vision for inclusion and engagement. This vision has since been modeled through innovative connectivity approaches, including our “Nothing Left Unsaid” internal employee blog series and “WeConnect” 24-hr live virtual event.
“Nothing Left Unsaid” was created during the early months of COVID-19, when routines shifted and balancing the responsibilities of home life and work became more challenging. With the invitation to see each other as people first and colleagues second, the series seeks to give voice to challenges not often discussed in a work environment. Employees have contributed their thoughts on a multitude of meaningful topics, including depression, anxiety, racism, addiction, domestic violence, parenting and more. Posts are published biweekly and have garnered engagement in the thousands – demonstrating just how much these conversations are valued.
For 24 hours in June 2020, Equinix leadership held our first-ever WeConnect: 24 Hours Uniting in Change, a live broadcast of one-hour panel discussions, workshops and other activities, many led by employees from across our global company. More than 1,800 employees tuned in to WeConnect Zoom meetings at any and all hours to listen, learn, share experiences and reflect on others’ lives, united in conversations about how we can work together to build a world with unequivocally equal human rights.
By building a safe and affirming atmosphere for everyone, we help one another—and our company—succeed.
Equinix is also aware of the importance of regional representation and the employee communities built through proximity. In 2020, we launched regional WeAreEquinix Local groups of 8-10 employees who aim to create and promote purpose, belonging, service, sustainability and fun for their location. These groups were launched in the UK, Singapore, and Germany as a mechanism for employees to take leadership roles in continuing the conversations started during the Days of Understanding event.
Members include representation from EECNs, Community Impact, Well-being and Green Teams to ensure a broad combination of interests. Through live and virtual events, campaigns and communications, these groups act as channel for corporate program engagement.
WeAreEquinix UK rose to the occasion during UK Black History Month. In collaboration with our BlackConnect EECN, the groups hosted several events such as a “Let’s Talk About Race” workshop, Black History Month Panel and a generational interview discussing Black identity across different generations. These events were a strong indication of our employees’ passion and commitment to celebrating diversity and fostering an “I’m safe, I belong and I matter” workplace.
We are a committed, long-standing sponsor of Paradigm for Parity, a coalition of companies focused on achieving a new normal in corporate leadership; one in which women and men have equal power, status and opportunity. Our CEO is part of the Fortune CEO Initiative and in 2020, he committed to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Equinix also joined the group’s CEO Action for Racial Equity Fellowship. The program identifies, develops and promotes scalable and sustainable policies and corporate best practices that address systemic racism and social injustice to improve societal well-being. Exceptional individuals from member companies spend up to two years dedicated to the program full-time. In 2020, three Equinix employees joined the inaugural cohort of the fellowship.
We will continue to partner with organizations that can connect us to diverse candidates and communities, including FairyGodBoss, Stonewall, Women in IT, Women’s Tech Forum and Veterans Aid.