How Hitachi Solutions has shaped its CSR and DEI initiatives over the last nine months
Eighteen months ago, Hitachi Solutions didn’t support a charity, have a volunteering policy, or have an internal Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) lead.
At the time, I was a freelance CSR specialist and was approached by Hitachi Solutions to help find their first charity partner.
Whilst everyone was doing their best, there were areas of CSR the team couldn’t focus on. Hitachi Solutions recognised this and responded by creating a brand-new role ‘CSR Manager’ which attracted me, their external consultant, to join the business to make a difference.
Fast forward to now, Hitachi Solutions is nine months into their first ever Charity of the Year partnership with Young Lives vs. Cancer, having raised almost £10,000 and simultaneously working on a pro-bono project. Over the course of the partnership, employees have taken part in a London to Paris bike ride, a 10-mile walk across London and many other activities to fundraise for the amazing cause. Seeing the camaraderie across the organisation is unlike anything I have seen elsewhere.
We now have a structured volunteering policy, Matched Funding, and our Community Fund programme for 2023. As well as developing our CSR Focus Group to help meet our Social Value commitments, Hitachi Solutions created my role to lead and drive all this activity.
We made great progress with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), launching our Focus Group in 2021, another group of amazing internal volunteers who help us better represent a diverse, fair and inclusive workplace community. It became clear that the something special here at Hitachi Solutions is undoubtedly the people.
Since July 2021 the Group have set up a DEI Framework, launched our DEI Policy, and led internal ‘Identifying & Recognising Current DEI Problems’ sessions to identify current issues and plan how to address them. An ‘Inclusive Mindset’ course has been implemented as mandatory training for all employees.
I’ve never felt more purpose in my entire career than I do in my role at Hitachi Solutions Europe Ltd, and that’s following over a decade of working for some of the country’s top charities.Christina MacKay
We celebrate and raise awareness of DEI through our monthly EnLightening Talks where employees and external speakers talk about a key subject, including International Woman’s Day, Volunteering to Save Lives, Pride and LGBQTIA+, Islam and Ramadan and Black History Month attracting around one hundred and thirty people each time with regular feedback saying how inspiring and thought-provoking the content was.
With the development of these areas, our staff feedback has improved remarkably with ‘DEI’ and ‘Pride in the Company’ featuring in our top five ‘favourable’ categories and 97.9% of employees agree ‘The people I work with are respectful irrespective of race, gender, religion, national origin, age or disability, and 90% agreed ‘My company makes an effort to recruit diverse talent’.
Aside from Hitachi Solutions employees, we have also been recognised on a larger scale as a great place to work as we won the ‘Best Microsoft Partner to Work For’ at the Digital Revolution Awards 2023. To be recognised as best in class amongst such incredible talent is an honour and we continue to grow in the right way, treating our people with respect and dignity whilst providing opportunities for everyone to shine in the workplace, regardless of your role, tenure and background.
Whilst a win is always great, we continue to look at innovative ways we can deliver additional social value through our business and partnerships. Overall, I’ve never felt more purpose in my entire career than I do in my role at Hitachi Solutions Europe Ltd, and that’s following over a decade of working for some of the country’s top charities.