Aug 11,2023

Take Pride in Diversity & Inclusion

Hear from one of our Pledge partners…

Trustmarque is a Microsoft Partner and Partner Pledge signatory who is actively and successfully pursuing their journey to enhance Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in the workplace and community. During Pride month, Trustmarque were honoured to stand alongside the LGBTQIA+ community in their pursuit of love, acceptance, and equality.

As one of the UK’s most accredited IT solutions providers, they are committed to fostering an inclusive workspace where everyone feels valued and respected. But as they enter a re-energised chapter for Trustmarque, with new leadership, and a new strategy, how can work in progress, progress?

Meaningful Pride presence

For one very special Saturday in June, the historic streets of York were awash with colour as the annual Pride parade wove around the city. But this year also marked a historic moment for Trustmarque. They embraced their home city’s LGBTQIA+, and for the first time they sponsored the event.

So, why has it taken so long? Mindful of their contribution, and also the presence of corporate flag-washing and tokenism, Trustmarque’s Responsible Business team worked closely with the organisers to ensure funding had a meaningful impact on the event and the whole community.

Inclusivity and accessibility are core to their values and the sponsorship also facilitated the accessibility area at York Pride, which included seating and soft drinks for those who wish to enjoy the event but cannot or would prefer not to complete the route. The area contained seating, hoists, accessible toilets, and hearing aid loops making this the most inclusive accessibility space of all the UK Pride events. Greg Stephenson, Event Director & Sponsorship Director at York Pride received glowing feedback from the eventgoers.

Greg explains, ”Sponsorship support from Trustmarque has enabled us to deliver our most inclusive Pride event to date, this included full BSL sign language on our main stage, over 200m of accessibility trackway on site, raised viewing platform and provision of 2 x on site accessible toilets with hoist – we’ve received great feedback on how accessible York Pride 2023 was and are grateful to Trustmarque for helping make this happen.”

Turning vulnerability into a super power 

By being your authentic self, you can be the catalyst for change. But how can this be made a reality in the workplace? During this month’s Trustmarque Fusion, diversity, equality and inclusion took centre stage as Trustmarque looked inwards to identify their gaps.

In an exclusive panel chaired by Donavan Hutchinson, Trustmarque’s Chief Revenue Officer, Trustmarque employees heard from tech powerhouses already leading the way by delivering actionable D&I to their employees and communities. As a global leader in DEI and a PrideLife Global Advocate, Donavan has already made a significant impact across Trustmarque since joining earlier this year, including the Pride sponsorship and being an advocate for the company.

During the panel, the topic of conversation not only focused on sexuality and acceptance in the workplace, but also gender stereotypes and attitudes to personal vulnerabilities. Openness and transparency rang true as the panel discussed their own experiences and how they have embraced their vulnerabilities during their careers, from homophobia, to cancer and remission, and also social mobility.

Place D&I at the heart of everything you do

Microsoft has been leading the way for Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), and are now mobilising their network of 400,000 partners across the globe to do the same. Eleri Gibbon, Director, Services Partners at Microsoft attended Trustmarque Fusion, spoke about the DEI progress which has been made within the partner network, including the introduction of the Microsoft Partner Pledge.

During the discussion, Eleri shared how we can work in tandem with Microsoft and the Partner Pledge and implement strategies to ‘place DEI at the heart of everything you do’, including:

  • Actionable ally initiatives
  • Employee resource groups (Top-down awareness and where to start)
  • Breaking the stigma around taboo subjects such as mental health, menopause.

Key Learnings from Trustmarque

“What was clear from the session and our speakers is that we, at Trustmarque, are a work in progress. We know that diversity and inclusion is a commitment made by everyone, from the person who joined yesterday to our Chief Operating Officer. We’re dedicated to driving equity, equality and diversity in the tech industry, by placing DEI centre stage at corporate events and community activities. We are working with our senior leadership team, and our vendor network to develop plans to ensure that we level the playing field at Trustmarque to make sure we’re a great place to work. For everyone”.

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  • Guest contributor

    Senior leaders and subject matter experts from across Microsoft are regularly invited to contribute to the Microsoft Partner Network blog. They explore relevant topics and provide valuable insight into the strategies, tools, trends and differentiators that help our partners thrive.