A photograph posted online by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) exec Mark Farrington of the new graduates joining the company has caused an online stir due to its absence of women.
The photograph - which shows a number of young men sitting at a table - sparked a debate on gender diversity in the comments section.
"I cannot help but notice that the faces are all male? Hopefully the female grads are out of shot??" one poster said.
"All male?! #TomorrowsNext #ModernBusiness It is 2018! #HPEfail," another person commented.
"Totally in favour of the grad scheme. But lots of males, quite a few of whom seem to be on their smartphones!?!" another poster asked.
It is clear from the shot that not all of the 19 new recruits are pictured, nor that many of them were aware a photo was being taken.
Peter Mansell, Intelligent Edge services director at HPE, took to the comments to reassure posters that HPE was committed to diversity, but added that there was a lack of female applicants to the role.
"Great initiative and looking forward to welcoming a number of this group into the Intelligent Edge services business. Important comments on the gender mix - reality is we had very few female applicants across the entire apprentice hiring programme. Definitely something we need to change so this industry and programme appeals to a wider audience," he posted.
Nicki Aitkin, inclusion and diversity officer at HPE, added that the vendor has a number of active initiatives around diversity and several more planned.
"We do have various initiatives running [and] in pipeline but [we are] always keen to learn from others on those initiatives that run wider than gender - creating a diverse workforce is ensuring everyone has a voice and opportunity to bring their whole self to work. We all have a role to play to ensure no one in our sphere of influence is excluded," she wrote in reply to a fellow poster.
The 19 recruits include just one woman, but Farrington stated in the comments that there were only a total of two female applicants to the scheme.
A HPE spokesperson told CRN that the company is committed to achieving greater gender balance, but that there is still a lot of progress to be made in the area.
"We continue to focus on efforts to build a more robust pipeline of female talent and promote an inclusive culture," the spokesperson said.
"We are proud that HPE's UK leadership team is represented by one third female executives with ambitions to grow this figure further.
"Additionally, our executive diversity champion is represented at board level to ensure we continue to represent diversity and inclusion at the highest level.
"This role includes responsibility for HPE's Employee Resource Groups that represent women, early career, LGBT and black and minority ethnic employees.
HPE is one of the signatories of the Tech Talent Charter, which is aimed at driving and promoting diversity in the industry.
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