Journey to Racial Understanding


Amid recent racial tragedies and social unrest, Western Digital chose to re-emphasize our intolerance of racism and our commitment to greater diversity and inclusion.


We launched a 4-Pillar Commitment to Racial Understanding. The action-steps include:

  1. Listening:
    1. Executive/Employee Forums: Meetings for employees – particularly members of employee-led Business Resources Groups, such as the Black Professionals Network – for candid conversations that surface employee perspectives with executives (including the CEO).
    2. Racial Understanding Events: Invited speakers, such as Emmanuel Acho, creator of “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” and Andres Tapia, co-author of “Autentico,” presented on race, culture and identity.
    3. Employee Spotlights: A blog campaign called #ShareTheMicNow, gives underrepresented Black and Latina women an elevated platform to share their personal and career journey.

  2. Learning:
    1. Following Unconscious Bias training that began with senior leaders, we plan virtual training on Managing Bias for people managers.
    2. We plan an eLearning module on Diversity and Discrimination for all non-factory employees.
    3. We developed and posted internally a digital toolkit to help employees understand race and racism.
  3. Giving:
    1. We added “Equality” as a fourth philanthropic category to our Corporate Giving program. In addition to corporate gifts, we matched employee gifts to social justice organizations.
  4. Doing:
    1. Each employee-led BRG is given $50,000 to apply toward volunteer efforts with non-profits dedicated to social justice.
    2. Employees are given paid time off for volunteering with non-profits fighting for social justice.

The CEO has engaged directly with groups of underrepresented employees. Participation in race-related virtual events has doubled. Blog engagement on race (views and “likes”) has increased exponentially. Diversity and race have become topics of discussion at business unit Town Halls. The company has donated nearly $200,000 to social justice organizations through corporate gifts and an employee matching program.


Roger Crockett, VP Diversity & Inclusion

Monique Sakima, Executive Assistant


Racism cannot be accepted. Lack of awareness and silence cannot be excused. We must use the power of our voices and actions to drive change.

David Goeckeler
CEO, Western Digital
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