As Black History Month comes to a close and Women’s History Month begins, I’m reminded, yet again, that there’s much more to diversity and inclusion than honoring the past and reaffirming our principles. Yes, it’s important to remember and celebrate the people, events, and movements that helped create a more just and inclusive society—but it’s crucial to translate that inspiration into action.

At Citrix, diversity and inclusion is central to our mission to power a world where people, organizations and things are securely connected and easily accessible, to make the extraordinary possible. We believe that organizations produce their best work when people are free to be themselves both at work and at home. That includes the ability to choose their own way to get things done, wherever and however best suits their strengths, and to integrate their professional and personal lives however feels most natural and effective. That kind of freedom sets a tone for the entire business: we respect you as an individual, we recognize the unique gifts you bring to our organization, and we will support and empower you in any way we can. This is inclusion.

It’s for reasons like these that diversity and inclusion is owned by all of us. Organizations now recognize human difference as a key part of their overall people and business strategy, and one of the most important and meaningful expressions of a company’s values. It’s how leaders and team members create a safe, engaging environment where people can do their best work and be rewarded appropriately for their behavior and success. And it’s about having strong, passionate, well-rounded people who embrace and create an inclusive culture.

Living our values

Diversity and inclusion tie directly into our core values at Citrix: integrity, respect, curiosity, courage and unity. In every part of our organization, at every level of leadership, we work to activate these ideals through programs and practices designed to engrain diversity and inclusion into our company culture in meaningful, purposeful ways. For example:

  • During Black History Month, we held events and celebrations across Citrix, including raising the African American flag at our five biggest U.S. offices and bringing in a group to perform Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream” speech, which was live-streamed to all employees.
  • Throughout Women’s Month, we will highlight the contributions of women at Citrix both internally and externally, and invite guest speakers like Brandi Chastain, world champion soccer player, to talk about overcoming adversity and raising kids to think inclusively.

Citrix employees have really embraced and connected with these activities.

Our Black History Month events were the organic expression of our culture of diversity and inclusion. They originated with our own grassroots employee resource groups (ERGs). That’s because fostering diversity and inclusion isn’t just a top-down approach; it’s about creating an environment where people can come together to celebrate their culture and advance the causes they believe in.

In the very first year we developed our ERG charter, more than 15 ERGs formed around the world. At Citrix, we support and embrace their efforts.

The journey never ends

Diversity and inclusion is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not about perfection, it’s about progress. The pace can feel slow at times, but each step you take and each milestone you reach brings you closer to your vision. Last year, even during a time of significant company change, Citrix was named a great place to work, in large part because employees were proud and passionate about our efforts in diversity and inclusion. In our annual engagement survey, Citrix employees reported that people here are treated fairly regardless of their sexual orientation (93%), race (92%), gender (88%) or age (86%).

But there’s always room to do better. Human difference has to be a continual area of focus.

At Citrix, we use a layered approach that includes three elements:

  • Analytical – making data-driven decisions to increase diverse representation and offer programs that meet the needs of our people.
  • Emotional – expressing the values we believe in, both internally and externally, sharing stories, and talking about diversity and inclusion with our people whenever we get the chance.
  • Shaping – enacting programs and practices to further embrace diversity and inclusion, such as banning salary history questions and offering a 16-week paid parental leave for all new parents.

We’re proud of the strides we’ve made over the past year; now, it’s time to go deeper and wider. We will continue to make diversity and inclusion a priority for both HR and the business because it’s the right thing to do, because it aligns with our core values, and because we know it will make our culture and our company more successful.

I hope that you’ll be inspired to continually make strides toward diversity and inclusion in your company. Whether you’re a leader, a people manager, or an individual contributor, you have the power to make a difference. Remember, it’s about meaningful progress, not perfection.