Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a time to reflect upon and celebrate the accomplishments we have made in the United States. But to truly appreciate this month, it’s important to understand who and what it represents.
In the United States, there are 330 million people - 22 million self-identify as Asian or Pacific Islander. ‘Asian’ is a pretty broad description that encompasses a large population. Asia is filled with many different cultures and backgrounds, and someone living in China will have a completely different experience and heritage than someone in Singapore or Japan.
When we launched our Asian/Pacific Islander (API) employee resource group (ERG), one of our goals was to ensure we are inclusive of each of the countries and cultures we represent. Our ERG is driven to create pathways for sharing our cultures and unique experiences with the Extreme family. We also aim to encourage the retention and advancement of Asian employees at Extreme, inspire our communities, and foster a network for professional development. As the leader of our API ERG, I am excited to share some of the initiatives we’ve been working on as well as our AAPI Heritage Month celebrations.
One of our goals for this month is to educate others on what it means to be Asian: the good and the bad, the successes and the challenges, and the achievements and the struggles. The biggest part of appreciating different cultures is understanding what we have overcome throughout history and what issues we still face today.
Our ERG has crafted a range of opportunities to showcase various Asian communities. Internally, the API ERG is highlighting Asian art, music, food, history, storytelling, and prominent figures, as well as hosting a trivia and photo contest to inform employees about our different cultures. Additionally, we asked some of our ERG members to share their thoughts on how we can further diversity and inclusion as a society, and I’m pleased to share them with you.
As many of my colleagues have expressed, the successful path forward for greater representation, identity, diversity, and understanding is going to take an effort from all of us to step up, eliminate unconscious biases, and be the best version of ourselves. While we take this month to celebrate the cultural impact that Asians and Pacific Islanders have had on the US, our influence is year-round, and we should always look to support one another. To truly be an inclusive organization, enterprises need to create a community where everyone feels welcome to voice their thoughts. It is so important that we are able to communicate with candor and know that others are open to hearing what is being said without automatically passing judgment. It is great to have an audience that will listen, but we need to nurture ally relationships with those who seek to understand and to create opportunities for everyone to speak their minds.
At Extreme, we celebrate our differences and capitalize on the wide variety of strengths our diverse group of employees has to offer. Everyone has a voice, and we strive to make sure that voice is heard no matter what background we have or position we are in. To further our diversity and inclusion programs, Extreme is creating employee resource groups, deploying global inclusion training, rolling out sponsorship and allyship programs, and more.
If you’re interested in joining Extreme Networks, I encourage you to visit our careers page and learn more about our diversity and inclusion initiatives at Extreme Networks. And stay tuned for more updates from API ERG, Extreme’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, and the many other Employee Resource Groups at Extreme.