Jason Conyard — Chief Information Officer Talks PRIDE & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at VMware

May 5, 2021 10:30 AM ET

At VMware, we celebrate people from a wide variety of dynamic backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. We deliver transformative IT solutions by harnessing the power of human difference and building a community that is inclusive and diverse. Recently, we sat down (virtually) with Jason Conyard, Chief Information Officer and Executive Sponsor of the Pride@VMware POD (Power of Difference) at VMware. Read on to get to know Jason.

VMware Careers: Jason, you are an Executive Sponsor of the Pride@VMware POD, can you share with us what this means to you?

Jason Conyard: Absolutely! It’s an honor to represent and support our Pride POD, but it is also deeply personal for me. I know I’m privileged to work at a company where I can be my authentic self – a married gay guy, a space geek, and a supporter of long-term sustainability – all these parts make up who I am. Being an Executive Sponsor of the Pride@VMware POD also comes with a responsibility to make our company, our industry, and hopefully the world more inclusive and equitable.

VMware Careers: How does VMware support LGTBQ employees?

Jason Conyard: Words and symbols are important, but so are policies and actions. I love that we have so many PRIDE month activities planned every year, an active and visible LGBTQ+ POD, and an inclusive EPIC2 culture. Our values are reflected in our corporate policies too, including our VMware employee benefits – that’s why we’ve scored 100% for the last five years on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Index. We’re committed to making sure our benefits and programs are supportive and equitable for all our employees regardless of who they love or how they identify.

VMware Careers: Why would you encourage a member of the LGTBQ community to join VMware?

Jason Conyard: It’s important to know your company has your back. I said that publicly back in February when VMware announced its support for the Equality Act. I think we all share a need to feel supported. Being a part of the VMware family means feeling included and encouraged to be your full authentic self. It means working at a place where you can make an impactful difference in a culture that values community and innovation.

VMware Careers: What does upcoming Pride month mean to you?

Jason Conyard: Time to haul out all that rainbow gear! Pride month is a time of celebration, for sure. But it’s also a time of reflection on the past and rededication to improving the future, especially for members of the LGBTQ+ community in places that lack basic freedoms. It’s important to celebrate progress while understanding there’s work ahead of us to make the world a more inclusive place for everyone.

VMware Careers: Are you doing anything special for Pride this year?

Jason Conyard: While many activities will be virtual this year, we will catch up with friends and family, attend several pride events and talks, and enjoy some great food. Maybe I’ll even dress up!

VMware Careers: OK, without thinking about it too much share with us your favorite movie, book, and band!

Jason Conyard: Easy! My favorite movie would be The Princess Bride. My favorite book is anything by James Baldwin and my favorite band would have to be Yazoo. Side note, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a performance by Panti Bliss, a self-described ‘painfully middle-class’ drag queen, and accidental gay rights activist.

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