VMware commits to closing workforce gender gap by 2030

VMware has committed to achieving gender parity as part of its list of goals to reach this decade, COO Sanjay Poonen told CNBC’s Jim Cramer Monday.

The cloud computing and virtualization software company has laid out 30 goals to meet by 2030, and addressing the makeup of the workforce is one of its most important initiatives, he said.

“We want to see more diversity in the workplace. We’re committed to having 50% of our managers be women,” he said in a “Mad Money” interview.

VMware, a global company that offers services to connect apps to the data from anywhere, employs 31,000, according to FactSet. As of the most recent figures released in January 2020, VMware’s workforce is made up of 74% men and almost 26% women. Leadership roles at the company reflect the gender divide with about 24% of those positions going to women and just under 76% going to men.

The racial breakdown of VMware’s U.S. workforce is even starker, with just 3% of roles being filled by African Americans, 5.8% going to Hispanic or LatinX workers and 31% going to Asians, data show. Among leadership ranks, the numbers are 1.5%, 3.8% and 26%, respectively.

Workforce diversity emerged, again, as a hot topic in 2020 in the wake of protests surrounding the widely publicized killings of Black Americans like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, among others, that shook the nation amid a global pandemic.

“We want to hire one woman for every one male that we hire, and really see a more diverse workforce with underrepresented minorities and women,” Poonen said.

VMware shares slid 1.1% to $138.68 on Monday, the first trading day of the new year. Shares declined 7.6% in 2020, closing the year out at $140.26.

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