Remembering Marian Anderson and Diversity

Seventy-five years ago today, internationally renowned contralto Marian Anderson sang in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.  She sang here because she was forbidden from performing at her first choice, Constitution Hall.  Marian Anderson was an African-American woman in an age of segregation.

But Anderson’s 1939 performance achieved an historic milestone in breaking down barriers.  Her Lincoln Memorial concert was attended by 75,000 people of all colors.  In later years, she performed for two presidential inaugurations and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Anderson was not an activist, but she believed that “We cannot live alone.”

In the same year as Marian Anderson’s historic performance, Agilent’s predecessor company Hewlett-Packard was born.  Agilent is proud that our success is built on a 75-year history of diversity in the workplace.  “One of our core values is respect for our employees,” says President and CEO Bill Sullivan.  “No matter what your gender, your ethnicity or where you live, every person in this company is treated with the exact same respect.

“It’s good for our people and it’s good for our company.  I have seen over the years that having an openness to accept everybody and their values results in better ideas and better innovation.”

For more information go to:

Denied a Stage, She Sang for a Nation (National Public Radio)

Marian Anderson Sings at Lincoln Memorial (video)

Agilent: Diversity & Work/Life

Agilent Corporate Citizenship Report