HomeDiversityWhat Black History Month means to us

What Black History Month means to us

What Black History Month means to us

HP moves into Black History Month with a powerful message from our Chief Diversity Officer, Lesley Slaton Brown and after recently wrapping up our 2nd Annual HP HBCU Business Challenge. 


A message from HP’s Chief Diversity Officer

“My grandmother reminded us that somebody worked incredibly hard for us to get where we were, and we better not forget that. I never have.

That’s what we do during Black History Month. We reflect, celebrate, and honor the vital contributions of African Americans who have come before us—in our families, our company, our nation, and our world.

This Black History Month honor the past by being present with each other. For this month and throughout the year, I want to challenge you—like my grandmother challenged me—to learn.

Reach out to someone who’s different from you and learn more about their experiences. Learn more about great African American innovators and the impact they’ve made on society, or support or invest in a Black-owned business or startup.


Don’t wait for someone to hand you a broader worldview. Go get it.”

Lesley Slaton Brown, HP Chief Diversity Officer


Don’t wait for someone to hand you a broader worldview: Go get it.

Following Lesley’s advise, we reached out to our HP colleagues to learn about their perspective on the actions they see within HP or in their current role that is creating an impact for the African-American community.

This is what they said:


Jared Palmer, Solution Architect PPS Custom Services, HP-HBCU Challenge Team member.

“This Black History month be the voice of yesterday to make a difference today”

What I love most about being a part of the HP HBCU Business Challenge Project Team is giving top talented students the exposure to top executives that may have been overlooked or not considered due to the University or College they attend.

Being a part of this Project Team for the last 2 years has been nothing short from amazing. Our team consists of 7-10 members and the relationship and bondage created over a short period of time is phenomenal.

Each team member brings a different perspective and vision to the project team which allows us to improve the challenge each year.


Judy March, Smart Fleet Solutions Project Manager, HP-HBCU Challenge Team member.

My favorite thing about working at HP is hands down the people. Every day I get to say I work on cool technology with amazing people. They are my family away from home.

Over the past year, I have had the pleasure of working on the second annual HP HBCU Business Challenge.

It was truly inspiring to be part of HP’s diversity initiative. Equally as inspiring, was working with such talented students and hearing their fresh ideas and perspectives.

It felt great being part of a large initiative that helps shape the culture of my company and the lives of up and coming talent.



Don Williams, Device as a Service Technical Consultant, Houston Black Employee Impact Network Co-Chair

To me, Black History Month means pausing to remember and commemorate those who sacrificed everything to make it possible for me and generations after me to achieve anything.

I’ve been really impressed at HP’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusion.  Internal initiatives such as the HBCU Business Challenge, HP partnering with external STEM and educational programs such as Black Girls Code, and being intentional about celebrating and acknowledging Black History Month are just a few examples of HP’s commitment to the African-American community.

From the day I was hired, I couldn’t help but notice a workplace culture that invites, celebrates, and cultivates individuality, diversity, and inclusion.  These are not just buzz words.  This is a part of the fabric of this company and a big part of the reason why I am proud to be an HP Employee.


Kyhia Bostic, Technical Learning Program Manager, HR Talent & Learning

“Black History Month is motivation to keep pressing forward”

We’re consistently looking for ways to include others and increase diversity at every level in HP. We’ve made progress but can never stop pressing forward.

As a technical learning program manager, I partner with Diversity and Inclusion to enable HP innovators to build technology solutions that make life better for everyone, everywhere.

My journey begins before I was born, with the African-American men and women to tirelessly pressed forward in business and society, who blazed a pathway for my future.

During Black History Month we must continue to press forward, making a way for the next generation of African American students and innovators to find their way to a successful career at HP


Jade McNorton, Corporate Communications Specialist

“To me, Black History Month is a time to recognize the sacrifices made, struggles overcome throughout history, and great achievements that make it possible for me to be who I am today.”

Working in communications, we have a unique opportunity to shape the narratives that drive our company – it’s motivating to know that at HP people matter.

We prioritize all cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives to help shape the narrative.




Careisha Whyte, Financial Analyst,  Finance Business Intelligence Team

“Black History Month reminds me that I have to know where I came from in order to know where I am going.”

This knowledge is empowering and inspiring. It makes me dare to dream and working at HP is the realization of one such dream. Here, I am not self-conscious about my chocolate-colored skin, or the accent that accentuates my speech. No pun intended. I am unapologetically Black…Caribbean Black to be exact.

But, more importantly, I am an individual who adds my flavor to the melting pot of my company’s culture. As we celebrate individuals who changed history, I encourage you to consciously accept your own individuality and respect the individuality of others.”



Black History Month: 3 of the organizations HP supports

The HBCU Business Challenge

”Life-changing.” “Invaluable.” “Sensational.” These are the words that our interns used to describe the HP-HBCU Business Challenge, one of our many actions for impact.

The annual HP HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Business Challenge was a business case competition open to 80+ HBCU institutions, where teams propose solutions to a real-world HP business challenge.

Twenty-two schools participated and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams were awarded prizes. It was a great event and serves to strengthen relationships with HBCUs, increase awareness of students about career and intern opportunities at HP, and increase HP’s diverse hiring pipeline.

But don’t just take our word for it, listen to their full testimonial here. 

HBCU Business Deans Roundtable: Students are looking for jobs, and HP is looking for talent

In June 2018, HP sponsored the summit for the National HBCU Business Deans Roundtable.

The Roundtable represents 85 campuses in 22 US states and the Virgin Islands, accounting for more than 250,000 enrolled students.

The annual summit is an opportunity for the deans to come together and discuss how to enhance their academic programs in partnership with public and private organizations.

Our partnership with the Roundtable helps ensure students are better prepared for their career after school and gives HP access to qualified, diverse job candidates.

blackcomputeHER: Supporting a conference that furthers black women in STEM

Pronounced “black computer,” this organization works to give black women greater visibility and opportunity in technology. The group also oversees the annual #blackcomputeHER Conference, which is dedicated to supporting computer science, STEM education, and workforce development for black girls and women.

HP is proud to have been a sponsor of the 2018 #blackcomputeHER Conference.

Our involvement with this organization is an important way HP connects with black women in tech and helps us attract more diverse talent to our team.

As a member of their advisory board, Lesley was honored to be a part of a panel alongside Brenda Darden Wilkerson, AnitaB.org president, and Chief Executive Officer, during the 2018 #blackcomputeHER Conference.

Reinventing Mindsets

When qualified for a job, African-Americans are 3x more likely to experience a denial. And we are committed to change that.

Our Reinvent Mindsets campaign is aimed to make everyone aware that we are dedicated to becoming the employer of choice for underrepresented groups seeking careers in the tech industry.

HP is hiring and TALENT is our ONLY criteria. Visit our Global Diversity and Inclusion page for more.


Get inspired by other stories: HP Military Veterans: Welcome to HP!

#ExploreHP: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn | Glassdoor

Share With: