Advancing Life & Work

Sharing History and Celebrating Contributions during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which celebrates Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) across the United States. At HPE, we are proud to continue to celebrate the contributions of the AAPI community within and outside of HPE. We also recognize the recent increases in hate crimes against this community, and continue to stand with our AAPI colleagues.

HPE celebrates APAH MonthHPE celebrates APAH Month

Our Asian Pacific American Heritage Month theme is focused on speaking up boldly, educating, and breaking down barriers. It culminated this week with two live webinars for HPE team members, in addition to other education and spotlight series content and discussion.

HPE CEO, Antonio Neri, kicked off the first event, which featured special guest, Jerry Won, Founder and CEO of Just Like Media and Host of the podcast series “Dear Asian Americans.” In a discussion moderated by our HPE Global Asian Network ERG Co-Chairs, Jerry shared his personal story, including his decision to depart from a more traditional MBA career path in business and consulting to create a public platform to tell the often untold stories of Asian Americans. Jerry discussed the power and impact of storytelling. We hope his message will inspire all of us to share our own stories here at HPE and to listen more closely to our colleagues' stories.

Following the marquee event, I had the opportunity to moderate a dynamic panel of Senior Executives at HPE: Rishi Varma, SVP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary; Rashmi Kumar, SVP & CIO; Shin-Wen Kuo, VP, Corporate Strategy; and Donna Grothjan, VP, Worldwide Channels, Aruba. These HPE leaders shared stories on their career paths, offered career advice, outlined how being part of the AAPI community has informed their approach to business, and discussed what they are doing to help push for better and further cultivate HPE's culture of inclusion and diversity.  The panelists shared the importance of cultivating a career and a life in tandem, the power of listening, the power of building your network, and the concepts of code-switching and of formation of our intersectional identities as they originate both via external context and internal creation.

Activities will continue throughout the month with “Stories that Matter.” This live, informal book club discussion and networking opportunity will feature various fiction and nonfiction works by Asian American and Pacific Islander authors.

Extending our commitment to being unconditionally inclusive and making an impact in the communities where we live and work, we also featured a giving opportunity for HPE team members. Through HPE Gives, employees can provide financial support for two important organizations standing with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Asian Americans Advancing Justice works to advance civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all. Ascend Foundation advocates for, enables, and assists Pan-Asian individuals to become the leaders of today and tomorrow through scholarships, academic and program sponsorship, community support, and research.

For many AAPIs--including myself--the time period from March 2020 to the present has been a pivotal moment for deep self-reflection about, and celebration of, my AAPI cultural heritage, what my identity as an Asian American (and, in particular, as an Asian American woman) means to me, and how it interweaves with the other intersectional identities that I and everyone else hold.  I am proud to be Asian American, and I am proud to be part of a company like HPE that celebrates and advances diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

A big thank you from ERG Co-Chairs Jennie Hou and myself to Global Asian Network Leadership team members and volunteers Kenneth Ngo, Catherine Ha, Estella Pok, Izumi Yamamato, and Jason Pitts Teng for the months of behind-the-scenes planning and logistics to implement our fantastic APAH Month programming, as well as a special thank you to fellow AAPI Priya Blackledge for the beautifully designed APAH Month celebratory visuals and virtual backgrounds and to Kathy Gu for helping to inspire and lead our book club discussion.  Also a big thank you to the HPE I&D team and to Aruba for generously co-sponsoring this month’s celebratory events. 

Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!  We encourage you to continue to celebrate the diversity of cultural heritages here at HPE, and to continue to speak up boldly!

HPE's Deanna KwongHPE's Deanna KwongAuthored by: Deanna Kwong
Deanna, serves as Co-President of Asian Pacific Bar Association of Silicon Valley.  Founded over 35 years ago, APABA Silicon Valley's mission is to foster professional development, advocacy and community involvement for Silicon Valley's Asian Pacific American legal community, and to promote justice and equality for all.   

She also serves as the Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chair for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the national umbrella industry association for AAPI lawyers. 


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