Last month, Splunk’s Chief Diversity Officer, Suzanne McGovern, discussed the results of our latest D&I report. Suzanne also shared Splunk’s overall diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs within the organization including our Million Data Points initiative, which is created based on the belief and the importance of intersectionality. One of our pillars in our D&I strategy is to continuously cultivate a culture of inclusion within the workplace.
In our efforts to be transparent and inclusive, we asked one of our Splunkers to discuss our D&I activities. In his own words, Christopher Russell, Product Marketing Manager and BEAMs@ERG member, talks about D&I and his own Million Data Points.
I am a Million Data Points. Some of those data points include: intelligent, a curious traveler, witty conversationalist, I like a minimal and orderly bedside table (does it spark joy?), and I’m a Black American cisgender male. I can also be a number. Using my race as a lens, I represent 3% of Splunk employees and my individual income is more than 2x the median household income for Black Americans. With numbers like that, it sounds like I’m breathing some rarified, Black-folk air (which seemingly I am). There’s always a tension between one’s individual self—one’s million data points—and the statistical breakdown of your existence. It’s the awareness of this tension that I navigate each day. At Splunk, we’re doing great, innovative things with our products and, through our culture, we continue to focus on how the growth of our workforce begets thinking about how we respond to larger societal and social structures that impact all Splunkers.
On the one hand, I navigate the individual-societal tension through pursuing personal fulfillment in my work as a product marketer (it’s equal parts strategic and creative!), as well as seeking out stretch assignments that are bigger, deal with more stakeholders, and function on greater ambiguity than projects I’ve accomplished in the past. And while my individual professional needs are met, I play on the other side of that tension by asking myself, what can I do to create change within my lane? ‘Change’ relating to creating space for and elevating others, and ‘my lane’ being a working professional in Silicon Valley.
In big ways, I’ve stepped outside my typical job role to conceive and co-produce Splunk’s #MillionDataPoints cultural branding, and in smaller acts of justice (albeit of the corporate variety), I’ve genuinely internalized our HR Breaking Bias trainings and have made it a point to elevate my colleagues’ ideas. I could write a whole blog on self-advocacy, but put succinctly, elevating more voices speaks to the general spirit here at Splunk: When an idea is good, people will generally respond with, tell me more and how could we make that happen?
I’m excited that Splunk has a focus on finding great talent; I’m emboldened that we are redefining what ‘great talent’ looks like; and I’m thrilled to be part of convincing you to rethink what a tech company looks, sounds, and works like.