Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. It’s also a time to reflect on the road traveled and the bright future ahead.
It’s especially significant to Oracle’s Ravi Sharma. As a director in our Database Product Management organization and co-lead of the Oracle Professional Asian Leadership (OPAL) employee resource group (ERG), he’s well-placed to see the impact that empowering professionals from diverse backgrounds can have.
Inclusion is key to success, but the message can get lost in the day-to-day demands of professional life. Ravi was a latecomer to the realization, but now is one of its strongest advocates.
“Although I belong to a minority community in the US, it wasn't until later in life that I truly grasped the immense value and power of diversity and inclusion in the workplace,” he shares.
He became involved with OPAL shortly before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The local Pleasanton chapter had invited him to speak, and afterwards, he was asked to lead and develop the Phoenix chapter.
“Since then, along with my co-lead, we have organized numerous events, including a talk on physical and mental health by a renowned doctor and a session on public speaking by a communication coach. Additionally, we recently hosted a hike and lunch event, among other activities.”
Right now, he’s planning to present a talk on unconventional leadership as part of an OPAL leadership training series, further contributing to the group's mission and fostering a sense of community.
He also thinks similar involvement from others can have real benefits across the organization.
“It is essential for employees to get involved with ERGs as it allows them to develop their leadership skills, network with colleagues, and contribute to a more diverse and inclusive workplace.”
After more than two decades at Oracle, the difference empowered ERGs like OPAL make is clear to Ravi.
“In my 23 years at Oracle, I have seen remarkable progress in promoting diversity and inclusion within the company. While I have been involved with OPAL for just three years, I have already witnessed numerous successful community events that foster a sense of belonging, inclusion, and recognition for all members.”
“The participation of non-Asian individuals in these events is incredibly encouraging, as it demonstrates the inclusive nature and success of ERGs like OPAL. They will undoubtedly contribute to a more inclusive, innovative, and successful workplace at Oracle, shaping the future of the company and the tech industry as a whole.”
It’s only natural then that this shift in attitudes has led to some incredible career opportunities across Oracle’s Pan-Asian community.
“Oracle's commitment to diversity and inclusion for the Pan-Asian community has made it a very supportive workplace, in my opinion. This inclusive environment not only attracts diverse talent but also empowers Pan-Asian employees to overcome any mental barriers and aspire to greater leadership positions. The promotion of deserving Pan-Asian leaders to prominent roles further reinforces this effort, fostering career development and demonstrating the organization's commitment to diversity.”
All this has left him with some unique insights that he’s eager to share with Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and other POC who aspire to tech careers.
“It is crucial to acknowledge the unique talents and perspectives you bring to the table. In today's globalized world, technology is not just about the technical aspects; it encompasses the entire process from envisioning, building, and selling to supporting products and services. This requires diverse skill sets and perspectives like yours,” Ravi says.
“Embrace your distinct background as a powerful asset in fostering innovation and driving success. Next, actively promote diversity and inclusion within your workplace to create a more inclusive environment that benefits everyone.”
We value and empower the diversity all our people bring. Explore our open roles and come create the future alongside inspirational leaders like Ravi.
The editorial team is comprised of members of the Oracle Talent Advisory group, with a wide-range of employer branding responsibilities. They partner with employees across Oracle to capture stories that showcase our company, culture and career opportunities, and help candidates envision their #LifeAtOracle.