Diversity & Inclusion at Atos
Rachel Edwards, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Atos UK & Ireland
Rachel leads Atos’ UK & Ireland Employee Experience initiatives, positioning Atos as a fantastic employer and a great place to work. She also drives the We are Atos programme in the UK&I, supporting our employee social value initiatives, wellbeing and life@work. Her ambition is to create a culture which supports employees to be fulfilled, productive, and resilient.
Rachel is also overseeing our Diversity & Inclusion strategy in the UK&I, supporting our diversity networks and promoting a more inclusive working environment for all.
In 2018, I was lucky enough to take on the role of Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Atos. As our first UK&I lead, it was an exciting challenge for me and I couldn’t wait to get started on such a vital area of the business. Diversity drives progress and companies with diversity and inclusion as core values continuously outperform their competitors. Research from McKinsey & Co shows that a commitment to D&I helps to attract and retain key talent, improves decision making and increases innovation; all of which drives customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Over the last two years I have worked closely with the senior leaders of our business, our diversity and inclusion networks, focus groups of cross functional employees, and our employee representative group ‘MyVoice’, to develop our Diversity and Inclusion strategy. It was important to Atos that this strategy was designed with the support and feedback of our employees. I am hugely proud of the work that went into this, and excited to embark on the next stages of implementation.
Now available for all to read, we are delighted to share this strategy. It is built around eight key focus pillars, and we’ll be looking to track and measure our progress as we continue to grow in these areas.
It’s important to us that our strategy is driven by data and analytics, which is why we included a pillar on monitoring. We need to foster a culture of trust and empowerment, so that our employees understand why we ask them to share their diversity data and feel it’s the right thing to do. We have worked to help our staff learn more about how we use this information, to identify where our actions can have the most impact and track our success.
As part of our focus on driving inclusive policies and benefits, we have completed gendered language reviews. We have also launched new policies, with the support of our D&I networks, like our Carers and Menopause policies.
These policies and process improvements are an integral part of our strategy, underpinned by a drive for inclusive leadership behaviours. It’s been suggested that inclusive and compassionate leadership skills will become most important following the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s down to organisations to encourage this culture and reward good leadership practice.
We recognise that Atos’ scale gives us the opportunity to engage with those outside of our own business, so we encourage the adoption of best practice around diversity & inclusion, through hosting an annual D&I expo which is available to customers, suppliers and employees. You can read about last year’s expo and register your interest in attending this year. As well as this, we are continually looking for ways to support wider economic growth by hiring diverse talent and supporting underrepresented groups through community-led mentoring and fundraising.
Establishing role models and empowering supporters are key elements of our strategy. Our seven Diversity & Inclusion networks have already been a huge success and they will continue to be an integral part of our D&I work going forward. But now we want to go further. With this in mind, we launched our ‘We are Allies’ programme in June 2020. Through this we will be able to further embed an inclusive culture, while at the same time identifying role models throughout our business who can carry this process forward even further.
We are Allies
Through our Allies programme, employees can demonstrate their personal commitment to D&I in the following ways:
• Signing our Allies Pledge
• Outlining a D&I objective in their goals
• Digesting and sharing the D&I strategy internally
• Learning and educating themselves about D&I – as part of the programme, our allies have access to a range of training and resources to support their learning, such as anti-racist toolkits and webinars on how to communicate inclusively.
Our allies also have a responsibility to make the programme itself more visible. Employees can demonstrate their involvement by using our branded materials, such as photo frames on their company picture or branded lanyards. This forms part of our campaign of viral change, driven by our hope and desire to reach and ultimately engage all our employees. To date we have 385 allies signed up.
We hope that you’ll be interested in finding out more about our journey and the steps we’re taking in this crucial area. This has been a huge source of personal pride for me and I’m thrilled to have been part of its development with Atos. I am inspired and excited to see us continue to work on these actions, driving best practice in our company and across our industry.