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INSPIRE 20 Podcast: Erik Day, Dell Technologies

Linda Rosencrance Freelance writer/editor
Erik Day

Being an executive at a large enterprise carries a high level of responsibility, notes Erik Day, a senior vice president who leads Dell Technologies' small-business division in North America and Brazil.

And, as an executive, Day thinks he should use his influence for much more than just being a voice for the LGBTQ+ community. It should also be used for being a feminist and being an ally to his black and brown brothers and sisters.

"I believe it is a bigger responsibility that I have, being an ally and being a representation of this group of people, outside just my standard role as a corporate executive," Day says in a recent INSPIRE 20 podcast. "And I think that's what ally-ship is and what it should be used for."

The Inspire 20 podcast series

Day, who co-founded Dell's Pride employee resource group (ERG), is one of the executives taking part in INSPIRE 20, a podcast series showcasing 20 executives from around the world who are making a difference in terms of inclusion and diversity in their organizations, communities, and/or industries.

Listen to the podcast with Erik Day on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, or Spotify. Plus: Listen to all of the INSPIRE 20 podcasts here.

Involved in transgender rights also

In addition to co-founding the Pride ERG, Day founded the transgender task force at Dell, which comprises team members who have transitioned and who help others along their journeys.

Recently, Day was named to the Top 100 OUTstanding LGBT+ Executives Role Model List of 2020 by INvolve, a global network and consultancy championing diversity and inclusion in business. The list showcases LGBTQ+ business leaders and allies who are breaking down barriers and creating more inclusive workplaces across the world.

In the podcast, Day explains that the job of activists and figureheads for a community of underrepresented minorities in the LGBTQ+ community is not just to represent their own community but "to shine the light across an intersectional version of us in other communities."

How to attract a more diverse workforce

Day points out that business leaders who want to attract, develop, and retain LGBTQ+ individuals need to realize that they're likely not the experts in this area.

"What I say is that there are wonderful people within these ERGs that you can partner with, that can introduce you to amazing organizations that will help you recruit in these different areas," he says.

Day also offers some advice to help LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace:

"My advice is—it seems a little bit simple—but if I can do it, you can do it. I will tell you, I struggle in this. I'm very proud that I am the highest [ranked] out gay executive in Dell Technologies' history. I don't want to be the last one."

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