Katie Williams, Talent Acquisitions Specialist at Cloud Technology Solutions (CTS), reflects on the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) achievements to date, and why the focus will continue to be on “creating meaningful inclusion, rather than ticking tokenistic boxes and chasing statistics.”
Hi Katie, can you tell us about your new DEI strategy and how it’s helped your business?
In 2021, we rolled out a new DEI strategy within CTS. While we are still at the beginning of our journey and have a long way to go, it’s crucial now more than ever to take action.
We wanted to focus our DEI strategy on meaningful inclusivity rather than ticking tokenistic boxes and chasing statistics. Earlier in 2021, we took our first step towards achieving that goal by rolling out our DEI strategy. We created an internal DEI community and rolled out DEI workshops. Our aim with these workshops is to bring crucial conversations on DEI to the forefront and a place to share knowledge, grow awareness, and build confidence for all employees. The results we’ve seen have been incredible: 70% of the workforce at CTS have now attended one of our DEI workshops and we’ve seen an increase in conversations on the subject of DEI in the workplace and an important openness and willingness to learn from all employees.
Our DEI community, which was created as an internal action group focusing on driving an environment of inclusion at CTS and influencing change in the diversity of the tech industry, has also worked on some great initiatives. We are incredibly proud of our parental leave policy, which is now completely non-binary, and revamping our induction process to be more inclusive for new starters, for example highlighting ways CTS can support employees with disabilities, establishing CTS as a safe space for all from the offset.
Back in April 2021, we also launched our Elevate program, an intensive year-long initiative with the aim of providing a diverse group of colleagues with the tools to become future leaders. The program was built from our entrepreneurial nature; it gave people the opportunity to build on a business idea – with support through training and coaching – all the way through to the opportunity to pitch the idea to the board, and even receive investment in implementing the idea.
Our proudest achievement is our nomination for Best DEI strategy at the Engagement Excellence Awards 2021. While we didn’t take home the award, it was a rewarding feeling to be recognized for the important work we’re doing at CTS. It’s brilliant to know our efforts to make life more safe and inclusive have been validated by such a prestigious jury.
There will always be more that we can do and that’s something we’ll always strive for,but I’m really proud of CTS and how far we’ve come in just a year since our strategy was put into action during January of 2021.
What have you got planned for this year?
We will continue to do everything we are doing and more. It’s crucial to us that we foster a working environment that will encourage us to listen and learn from one another.
Our DEI community has already got great ideas for 2022. For example, we are continuing partnering with organizations that support underrepresented groups (like myGwork), reviewing our policies at CTS regularly to ensure we’re being as inclusive and supportive as possible to our people, and continuing to encourage CTS employees to get involved in mentoring URGs who’re interested in stepping into tech for the first time. In 2022, we also plan to run an ‘Intro to Google Cloud Platform’ course with the aim of bringing diverse talent into the tech industry. We’ll also take a fresh cohort of employees onto Elevate 2022 in April.
What is one thing you would like your organization to do this year to improve LGBTQ+ inclusion?
As someone who considers themselves to be part of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s really important to work in an open and accepting environment. I don’t want to have to leave certain aspects of myself at home when I come into work every day. No one should have to hide themselves around their colleagues.
One thing I can confidently say about CTS is that they have a very accepting culture that nurtures their staff regardless of identity. Inclusion has always been a natural part of CTS’s culture even before our DEI strategy was even created. That’s because inclusion is part of the DNA at CTS. Our whole strategy is based on our company value of “appreciating others.” Treating each other as equals, considering our actions and how they will impact others around us. We celebrate each other’s successes and lift each other up.
Part of our ethos at CTS is looking inwards. Going forward into 2022, one thing I would like CTS to continue doing is regularly addressing how we handle diversity and inclusion. We should always be investigating where we can improve and where we can listen to each other more. Meaningful change happens when we hear each other.
More About CTS
Cloud Technology Solutions (CTS) is the largest dedicated Google Cloud practice in Europe and one of the world’s leading cloud transformation experts. We offer a unique full stack Google Cloud solution for businesses, encompassing cloud migration, transformative working, and IT infrastructure, through to machine learning, big data, and app development.
CloudM is our market-leading software brand. The CloudM platform is designed to help our customers get the most out of SaaS applications like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, automating time-consuming tasks like IT admin, onboarding and offboarding, archiving, and migrations. Our SaaS data management platform has been used by over 35,000 customers in 107 countries including the likes of LinkedIn, Uber, Netflix, Booking.com, and Spotify. We have a brilliant team of more than 230 people in offices in Manchester, Edinburgh, and Utrecht, as well as across our globally remote workforce.