Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
At Equinix, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) are foundational to our values. In 2019, we invested to expand our, CEO-led, DIB program awareness and participation to all levels of the organization, globally. We partnered with experts in the field of diversity and inclusion to build a long-term strategy to achieve our DIB objectives. We stood up a DIB governance structure, which included the launch of a cross-functional and global DIB working group, led out of the Office of the CEO.
At the executive level, the team commitment included the appointment of two senior executives to co-chair an initiative to drive Equinix’s DIB strategy and implementation. This initiative included the formation of a cross functional global working group that meets on a weekly basis. The membership of the Allies Council, a group of senior Equinix leaders across functions and geographies who advocate for underrepresented communities, has doubled and will continue to be a key driver in implementing our DIB strategy.
Engaging with employees in what DIB means and how we create a workplace where all employees feel “I’m safe, I belong, I matter,” is an integral part of our approach. We are engaging with our senior leaders through the Allies Council and other facilitated forums with the Executive Team to leverage their unique responsibility to model, guide and recognize this culture. In 2019, we engaged an external consultancy to assess our DIB health. This assessment included a review of our policies and practices, an all-employee values survey, interviews and focus groups. With the assessment data, we formulated and invested in a multi-year DIB strategy. We plan to hold ourselves accountable in delivering our strategy and tracking our progress against concrete and measurable DIB metrics and goals.
We are continuously making updates to our talent acquisition process to support the attraction, application and hiring of a diverse pool of candidates.
Because we know that language can attract or discourage different types of candidates, in 2018, we began utilizing an augmented writing tool to enhance our job descriptions and help us attract a more diverse candidate pool. This tool utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to accurately predict how job descriptions will perform in each market. It suggests changes that eliminate unconscious bias and helps us to measure gender tone. In 2019, the use of this tool generated the following improvements to our hiring process:
We also created a global central library of all our job descriptions, allowing for consistency across all regions for every role within the company. This tool has helped us build job descriptions that directly reflect our culture and values in hiring a diverse global workforce.
Training our hiring teams included best practices in the resume review, interview and post-interview discussion phases of a candidate’s engagement to give all prospects a more consistent and equitable review process. This includes having diverse interview panels and conducting the candidate debrief discussions in a format that promotes an unweighted sharing of input and feedback by all interviewers.
Equinix is proud to actively recruit and hire military veterans into all areas of our business. Corporate support and sponsorship of various organizations that assist veterans on their journey back to civilian life Mission Continues, American Corporate Partners, Headstrong Project and Boulder Crest have proved to be valuable relationships in our talent acquisition process. Through these sponsorships, Equinix engages in outreach to the military veteran community. In 2019, we improved our Military Friendly employer rating from bronze to silver and were accepted as a DoD Partner in the Military Spouse Employment program. We also created a military landing page as part of our digital recruitment and improved our verbiage to speak in a way that we hope resonates with veterans and their unique needs.
In the United Kingdom, Equinix has 35 ex-service leaders (10 of whom are people managers). Last year, 11% of the UKs new hires were ex-military and Equinix was awarded the Silver Award by the Armed Forces Covenant.
In the United States, 20 new hires were veterans, making up 4.4% of all hires in 2019, and 20% of Operations hires in the Americas were transitioning military service members and veterans. Last year, 211 of our employees were veterans, 45 of whom are managers.
“When it comes to diversity and veterans, I believe Equinix is the number one company in how they treat people. You might say I’ve found my civilian tribe at Equinix.” – Patricia Cole, International Business Exchange, (IBX) Site Engineer at Equinix and former U.S. Air Force, E4/Senior Airman.
If you hear the word “veteran,” the picture that usually comes to mind is a returning male war hero, and popular culture reinforces this idea. I personally experienced a bit of this culture when I went to a conference in Austin last summer. A veteran parking spot was empty. While I don’t usually take advantage of privileges like that, I thought, “Wow, that’s pretty amazing,” so I decided to park there. As you might imagine, I got a lot of stares when leaving my car. So yes, being a woman veteran can come with some unique challenges…
Equinix continues to evolve its university relations and new-to-career programs globally. We support organizations and participate in activities, recruiting events and conferences. We also generate leads and make connections with organizations including the Society of Women Engineers, Grace Hopper and Girl Geek. We’re going onto campuses to meet with groups of potential candidates, focusing on schools with larger talent pools of diverse individuals.
In addition, we’re increasingly inclusive of diverse audiences in our marketing and recruiting efforts. We’re feeding our job listings into boards with diverse candidates. For example, Equinix is a proud member of fairygodboss.com, the largest career community online for women—and the page is driving monthly referrals to the Equinix jobs page.
To celebrate the diversity within our workforce, Equinix encourages the formation of Equinix Employee Connection Networks (EECNs) with common interests, cultures and backgrounds. These networks play an important role in articulating, promoting and supporting the needs and goals of these communities including building awareness across all of Equinix. Desiring to promote interconnection across its employees, Equinix supports the formalization of those networks that embody its business objectives, values and exhibit the intent to form bonds across the company globally.
We have a robust Equinix Women Leaders Network (EWLN) focused 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 2019, the EWLN sponsored 137 events globally, including 26 sessions with members of our Executive Team. It also expanded in each region with new representation in Tokyo, Madrid, Dallas and Warsaw, reaching almost 2,000 women full-time employees (FTEs) across the organization at all levels. Equinix has seen an increase in the percentage of women in senior leadership (VP, SVP and EVP) from 23% to 25% YOY. And in 2019, Sara Baack, Equinix Chief Product Officer, was recognized by Data Economy as one of the “World’s 50 Most Powerful Women in the Data Economy.”
“In June of 2019, we launched Pride Connect, an LGBTQ+ and allies network, sponsored by our Chief Customer and Revenue Officer, with local leaders across many Equinix sites. As part of our commitment to support LGBTQ+ employees, we set a goal for Equinix to become a leading global employer for the LGBTQ+ community by the end of 2022. Last year, we made charitable contributions based on employee input to several LGBTQ+ advocacy and support organizations around the world, including Rainbow Railroad, Trans Lifeline, Larkin Street Youth Services (San Francisco), Oogachaga (Singapore), SPoD (Istanbul), and Casa 1 (São Paulo).”
“True happiness is when we can live openly and authentically around the people in our lives. These relationships have taught me to learn, grow and cherish those whom I can proudly call “friends.” I have seen them embrace diversity at its fullest. My hope is that their energy, combined with the efforts of Equinix LGBTQ+ and allies’ network, can be spread across the world so we can truly have an open and diverse culture that celebrates everyone.”
– Ada Ho, Director, Global Customer Advocacy
“Pride to me is the ability to be yourself and be accepted for it, and never be questioned because of who you love. As of this moment, Pride for me has been expanded to include Equinix – I am proud that we are enabling everybody to be themselves, to belong and to be happy.”
– Dallas employee
We have begun working with our leaders to form additional Employee Connection Networks that promote awareness, inclusion and belonging.
We are a committed, long-standing sponsor of Paradigm for Parity, a coalition of companies that are focused on achieving a new norm 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 has committed to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, which is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We will continue to work with organizations to connect us with diverse candidates, including Stonewall, Women in IT, Women’s Tech Forum and Veterans Aid.