Microsoft’s global vision is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. It’s an ethos we share at Egress. We believe cybersecurity technology makes people’s lives easier – it’s there to empower, protect and educate, rather than police.
We’ve joined Microsoft’s partner pledge because we share their aim to maximize the social benefits of technology while minimizing any undesirable impacts. The partner pledge focuses on five critical goals – all of which Egress is already working towards.
As Chief People Officer at Egress, I’ll personally be driving us forward to achieve even more under the five goals over the coming months. It promises to be an exciting and rewarding journey!
Five critical goals of the Microsoft partner pledge
Here are just a few ways we’re already making positive contributions to the five partner pledge goals.
1. Improve the diversity of the UK tech workforce
We work hard to build an inclusive culture and make sure our demographics reflect the cities we work in. This includes adopting inclusive recruitment and promotion processes and practices to support the development and retention of a diverse workforce. To help achieve this, we conduct regular training for our hiring managers.
We also ensure everyone in the organization regardless of race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or other relevant protected status feels included. Our Diversity and Belonging Forum, known as The Culture Club, is open to everyone, with the goal of fostering an inclusive culture and empowering people by respecting and celebrating what makes them different.
The more voices we have represented and amplified in Egress, the more we will all thrive, contribute, and succeed! You can see some of the stats behind our diversity and inclusion efforts.
We also have a great mechanism for measuring the success of our diversity strategy through the Great Place to Work survey, where we’re named in the top 70 for wellbeing and UK’s Best Places to work for Women.
2. Commit to sustainability
Another goal of the pledge is for organizations to commit to sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint. For Egress, this includes endeavoring to make sustainability a part of every supplier and enterprise customer engagement moving forward, and embedding sustainability into strategic alliances. We’re publicly committed to reducing our carbon footprint after becoming a signatory of Tech Zero.
One example is our initiative with Ecologi, where we’ve planted almost 100,000 trees and achieved over 6,000 tons of carbon reduction through support of their projects around the world. Egress is also working closely with local environmental organizations, to help improve the areas directly around our offices.
We’re following a philosophy of “do what you can, with what you have, where you are” which recognizes the need to bake sustainability decisions into our business as we continue to scale. You can see our full list of sustainability partners here.
3. Create more apprenticeships in the UK
Welcoming new students into Egress each year is always one of the most exciting times for everyone across the business. Coming sixth in the medium-size employers for the National Undergraduate Employability Awards shows our commitment to investing in those at the beginning of their career journeys.
We offer a diverse selection of business and technical 12-month placement roles – all designed to give a unique insight into what it’s like to work at one of Britain’s fastest-growing technology scale-ups. Placements are also offered to US students in our US offices.
We have also been rated the top small-to-medium sized employer on Rate My Placement for the last two years running and are proud to hold a Great Place to Work Certification™ and to have been named one of the 2021 UK’s Best Workplaces™ In Tech.
4. Ensure AI is developed responsibly
A key goal of the partner pledge is to ensure AI is developed and implemented in a responsible and ethical way, as set out in Microsoft’s AI for Good campaign and The Future Computed eBook. Egress plans to always use AI in a fair and ethical manner, consistent with AI design principles such as:
- Fairness: AI should be used to drive efficiencies while protecting dignity and guarding against bias.
- Accountability: Decisions made by AI must be accountable to citizens and consumers.
- Explainable: AI must be explainable and understandable.
- Ethics: AI must assist humanity and respect rights, such as privacy.
AI requirements are something that Egress will be keeping a close eye on as regulations begin to appear in the near future.
5. Boost digital skills
This goal is all about helping people to prepare for the future through Microsoft’s Digital Skills program. We plan to do this by raising internal awareness of the Digital Skills initiatives and taking advantage of all opportunities to provide staff with new skills training. Egress have recently appointed a new Director of Learning and Development, Lavu Njobvu, so this a space where we expect to see plenty of exciting developments over the coming months.
As a community of organizations, we have a responsibility to make sure the future of technology is fair, safe and works for everyone. Working together with partners such as Microsoft can have a powerful impact in making this happen – it’s a shared journey we’re looking forward to taking.