Driving Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Pure Storage’s Jason A. Riley shares the exciting new DEI and hiring updates revealed in this year’s ESG Report.


I am often asked how a company drives Diversity and Inclusion. Is it from the top-down? From the bottom-up? Or somewhere in between? My answer: All of the above. 

The factors that lead to a homogenous workforce must be acknowledged and addressed for an organization to create a culture of diversity, inclusion, and belonging. Building a heterogeneous, inclusive, and diverse workplace is not only the right thing to do, it results in greater innovation, a better culture, and a stronger bottom line.

In our second Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report, released this month, we share how far we’ve come since our first report: the growth and diversity of our people, the results of programs we’ve implemented, and the work of the Pure Storage community outside the Pure Storage community. 

Below are some highlights I’ve personally been looking forward to sharing from this year’s report.

What Is The DEI Center of Excellence (CoE)?

An important part of Pure Storage culture is diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). I lead our DEI Center of Excellence (CoE), where we develop and implement company-wide strategies around three key pillars: diverse representation, equitable policies and practices, and inclusive culture. 

We know that our company and industry have more work ahead to advance DEI in the workplace, but we are extremely heartened by our momentum—much of which you’ll see reflected in this recent report.

Diverse Representation 

As a company, we continue to lay foundational practices, driving better accountability and building upon existing momentum to further advance our DE&I journey. This includes ensuring we have the programs, governance, and cultural expectations to support a diverse and inclusive environment grounded in equity. 

In 2022, we grew our talent footprint by 22% and continue to expand our hiring and location strategy to ensure we attract the right people for the right roles and have a global mindset with diverse perspectives. Nearly 40% of all Pure Storage US employees are from ethnically diverse backgrounds (Asian and underrepresented groups), a 14.3% increase from our last ESG report. We’ve also increased gender representation across all levels in FY23. The percentage of women directors (31.5%) also grew by more than a 2% point increase YoY.

We are committed to improving gender and ethnic representation while also ensuring equity in our practices and policies. To support a diverse candidate slate and interview panels to mitigate unconscious bias from our hiring process, we regularly provide training and resources for hiring managers to hone the skills needed to manage an objective candidate assessment process. We also participate in a variety of external conferences and events focused on diverse talent recruitment.  

The Inclusive Leadership Index: Advancing DEI from the Top

In FY23, we launched the Pure Storage Inclusive Leadership Index (ILI), which guides and measures our senior leaders (VPs and above) on how to drive diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The ILI was recognized by Gartner as a top DEI practice.*

The intent of the program is to ensure our leaders have access to a measurable and transparent method to own and inform their DEI progress and priorities. It focuses on seven key criteria that we believe are integral to ensuring a diverse and inclusive workforce, including a leader’s: 

  • Diversity of their direct reporting line team
  • Employee engagement among diverse team members
  • Acquisition of diverse talent within the leader’s organization
  • Retention of diverse talent
  • Promotion rates of diverse talent within the leader’s organization
  • Visible sponsorship of employee resource group initiatives
  • Completion of learning and development around DEI imperatives

We coach leaders on how to advance the seven criteria within their organizations, including sharing research and best practices and providing HR and enablement support. Leaders who have high scores are recognized, as are those who improve their index scores quarter over quarter. What better way to demonstrate to our employees around the world that we are all in this together!

From Our Employees

Just as important as building a diverse team is having an engaged team. And we’re proud that our most recent employee survey engagement scores improved among women and members of underrepresented groups. When asked if they would recommend Pure Storage as a great place to work, both groups had a 5% year-over-year increase in favorability, to 96% and 93%, respectively. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • 92% of employees surveyed rate Pure Storage as a great place to work
  • 85% employee engagement—a 2% point increase YoY

Our talent strategy is rooted in helping our employees deliver strong business results while also fostering a culture that enables each employee to enhance their skills and accelerate their career development.

Pure Storage Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

The employees who lead Pure Storage ERGs, affinity groups, and allies under the “Pure Equality” umbrella help drive inclusion and create a workplace where we can all thrive. Our ERG leaders and members create inclusive experiences that connect us as one Pure Storage family globally, including:

  • Women@Pure
  • Coalition (people of color)
  • Veterans
  • Rise (early-in-career professionals)
  • Pride
  • Able (differently abled)

Our ERGs also create ongoing opportunities for the Pure Storage community to connect and inspire each other, through weekly virtual Pride lunches, podcasts and webcasts, panel discussions, book clubs, and volunteer opportunities organized by our Pure Good Foundation.

DEI Processes and Programs

Diversity and Inclusion is sustained and reinforced systematically through formal processes and programs. 

  • Our Talent Acquisition team is leading the charge to ensure we have diverse talent pools for every open role.
  • The Benefits team has focused on providing individualized offerings that reflect the unique needs of our people.
  • Our Learning & Development team has designed learning experiences to help employees and leaders deepen and broaden their knowledge and awareness so that we can increase representation, enrich our culture of belonging, and have a “think global, plan local” inclusive mindset. 

There’s a lot happening at Pure Storage to drive Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging throughout our global family. We have great momentum already with this journey we’re on, and we’re excited about the direction we’re headed. 

Explore the report to learn more. 

*Gartner article: How Product Leaders Can Transform Their Organization’s DEI Results to Enable Growth, February 28, 2023.