While international digital solutions provider Logicalis enables the digital transformation of its 10,000 clients around the world, it’s also focusing on transforming itself into a pillar of responsible business.
Keen to scale up its commitment to sustainability and diversity while also contributing to the communities in which it operates, Logicalis created a new role, Group Head of Responsible Business, to which it appointed Charissa Jaganath in 2021.
“This is a brand-new portfolio,” she explains. “It came through this recognition that diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), sustainability and corporate responsibility are of immense value for us as an organisation, and that we need to start stepping up to modernise our organisation.”
Logicalis has set up a Global Inclusion Council, for example, which is dedicated to building diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a focus on improving communication and training in particular. On the sustainability front, it has committed to being carbon neutral by 2025, along with other ambitious goals in areas such as ethics and labour.
Taking a more strategic approach
When it came to communities, Jaganath realised after joining the company that, while many individuals at the company were doing fantastic work in their communities, the company itself lacked an overarching strategy in this area.
“We decided to focus on education,” she says, “as it spoke to our core business as a tech company. Within that, we’ve identified three specific programmes we are going to be supporting across the group, and the first of those is STEM education to empower disadvantaged communities, which includes things like a STEM ambassador programme where employees volunteer their time to support learning in schools.
“Our second programme is around diversity in technology, where we are supporting women and minority groups to enter the industry, and the third is around skills for technology, which is an area we are talking to Microsoft on to support upskilling adults in declining industries on Microsoft technology so they can find new jobs.”
Embracing the Partner Pledge
To further underscore and develop its work as a responsible business, Logicalis also signed the Microsoft Partner Pledge, which entails a commitment to using technology as a force for good.
Along with committing to reporting on the progress of Digital Skills, Diversity, and Inclusion, Responsible and Ethical AI, and Sustainability, Logicalis also attended the Microsoft Partner Roundtable on Sustainability shortly after signing the pledge in early 2022.
“It was a really great forum to attend, as Microsoft had invited guest speakers to talk about sustainability,” says Jaganath. “It was a really great opportunity to discover some of the trends in the market and what some of Microsoft’s other partners are doing. It was a very positive interaction.”
While a responsible approach is the only appropriate path forward for Logicalis when it comes to its impact in the world, Jaganath and her colleague, Practices & Portfolio Director, Paul Stapley point out that it also makes smart business sense to pursue a more considered approach to issues such as sustainability and diversity. These have become a key focus in requests for tenders and bids, for example.
“Organisations are looking at their supply chain and bid responses,” says Stapley. “Obviously, you must meet the technical requirements and the pricing agenda in procurement. But shareholders are pushing back on companies, saying: “Well, what part are you playing? What part is your supply chain playing?”
“If you haven’t got a message in each topic area and also the evidence to back that up, then you lose credibility and you may also lose scoring points. Customers also think about PR when it comes to considering who they work with,” he adds.
Improving recruitment and retention
Responsible business is also now a key concern of candidates in the increasingly competitive job market, he says.
“People under 35 in particular want to know, ‘What good does your organisation do?’,” he explains. “They want to work for a modern company where the values match their own values. If we want to hold on to good people and attract good people, we need to get it right. What sort of organisation should this be and what sort of values should it have? That drives us all on really.”
Corporate commitment to topics such as sustainability, diversity, and inclusion will only become more important as suppliers, shareholders and staff seek it out, he concludes. “This work has to be done for that reason, as well as for the main reason of being a good corporate citizen.”
Learn more about how your business can become more responsible with the Microsoft Partner Pledge.