Tech Data (Nasdaq: TECD) recently hosted its inaugural Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Conference at the company’s headquarters in Clearwater, Fla., aimed at educating and inspiring Tech Data’s more than 14,000 employees across the globe. The event featured top industry thought leaders from Cisco, IBM and Oracle who shared how D&I impacts their workforce and business, as well as the future of the technology industry.

“Today marks a milestone for Tech Data as we host our inaugural D&I Conference,” said Beth Simonetti, executive vice president, chief human resources officer at Tech Data. “This important event not only reinforces Tech Data’s longstanding commitment to building a diverse and inclusive environment for our employees, it also exemplifies our commitment to all the people we serve. Our Diversity & Inclusion program is making a difference in our communities and is helping to set Tech Data apart as a top competitor and employer of choice.”

Each full day of educational courses featured insightful keynote speakers and topical workshops, equipping employees with the tools and knowledge needed to apply D&I strategies to positively impact business outcomes. Day one highlights included conversations with industry leaders, such as Cisco’s Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer Shari Slate, IBM’s Global Thought Leader of Diversity, Inclusion and Talent Management Tony Tenicela, and Oracle’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategist David Ortiz. The Winters Group President, Mary-Frances Winters, concluded the day by sharing research that documents the importance of employees feeling safe and comfortable bringing their “full” selves to work and how it directly impacts their capacity to innovate.

Day two of the conference began with a workshop led by Tech Data’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion Cal Jackson, followed by the launch of Tech Data’s new Black employee resource group (ERG). The first African American member of the Tech Data Board of Directors, Danone Specialized Nutrition CEO Bridgette Heller, led the launch and shared the business case for a diverse and inclusive workforce. The conference culminated with a community expo, with booths featuring representatives from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Equality Florida, Boys & Girls Club and many other community partners.

“The concept of diversity and inclusion is to sustain a harmonious work environment with a diverse workforce,” said Jackson. “It has been proven that when employees who share the same affinity have an opportunity to connect and share their experiences in the workplace, employee morale improves and innovation is sparked. Our new employee-led ERG will serve as a guiding resource for Black employees, highlighting successes and illuminating opportunities.”

Tech Data’s new ERG for Black employees joins three other successful ERGs: Ladies of Tech Data, the women’s employee resource group; TD Patriots, dedicated to military veteran employees and military families; and Spectrum, which serves the LGBTQ community and its allies.

While Tech Data launched its formal D&I program three years ago, inclusion has been deeply rooted in the company’s culture for decades. The company’s commitment to inclusion has earned Tech Data the ranking as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for 13 years and as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune for eight years.

For more information on Tech Data’s D&I efforts, visit

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