Welcome to our series Moving the Needle on inclusive language. In this series, we will be talking to leaders in the cloud native space as they share the inclusive naming initiatives they care about. This will include tools, activities, and results they have discovered along the way.
Ali joined BMC in early 2020 as Chief Product Officer with end-to-end responsibility for BMC’s product portfolio. Before joining BMC, Ali was at Broadcom where he was the head of AI Ops and IT Ops for their enterprise software division. Prior to that, he led the IT Ops division at CA Technologies, and the cloud and virtualization group at Cisco. He has also held leadership roles at Oracle and VMWare. His goals include spurring ongoing innovation and increasing customer value. With over 30 years of industry experience in managing, building, and growing successful software businesses, he is sure to meet them.
What triggered the inclusive language initiative at BMC?
BMC’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team brought it to my attention!
You hold a senior role in the company. Do you think inclusive naming initiatives should happen top-down or bottom-up?
Both. It requires top-down support and leadership and bottom-up effort. It takes a lot of work and collaboration from all parties.
What steps have you taken to eliminate bias from the language you use at BMC? What will keep the initiative moving forward?
For starters, I have been working on personally checking my language. I understand my responsibility as a leader to set an example.
I have also discussed with my direct reports and team members that eliminating bias from our language is not an option, it is a must-have for our business to succeed. I have given them guidance and support in engaging them and their teams through awareness.
BMC is a multinational company. How do you account for the different languages your employees use?
We try to always use English in our workplace interactions, meetings, and business dealings as a standard.
“One measure of leadership is the caliber of people who choose to follow you.” ~ Dennis A. Peer
In this interview, I have found Ali Siddiqui to be an ally of inclusive naming. He is well aware of the biases ingrained in the language we use daily in our workplaces. He takes action at a personal level, by being aware of the words he uses. He deliberately chooses to use inclusive language. He also takes action at a leadership level. He counsels his direct reports, and through them, the respective teams, to adopt the use of inclusive language.
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