Diversity drives our ambition at Sage. We are proud to have 48% gender parity, a third of our workforce are millennials and we live and breathe the business benefits of a flexible workforce. To sustain this, we have committed ourselves to a programme of continuous improvement led by our Diversity Director - and driven by every single one of our colleagues. We strive to create a culture of opportunity and inclusion and are devoted to encouraging more talent into our sector.
We are acutely aware that there is a very sought after talent pool in the technology sector and we have to do whatever we can to increase the size of it if we are to enable our business to thrive and if we are to enable this country to become a digital nation of significance. Specific emphasis is on challenging ourselves to do more and we have vigorous communities inside our business which initially supported STEM subjects for after-school clubs but are branching out to include mums and dads too! More and more we are realising that rather than waiting for the children in the car, dragging parents into the classroom too could be the way forward – and stimulating their continued engagement is a way of creating interest and involvement across the whole family. The power of having access to subject matter training whilst their children are doing their own learning is a massive opportunity.
So with that context, Sage is extremely proud to encourage women returners and working parents by offering a number of flexible working options, part time hours, between school hours 10-2pm, term time working and the opportunity to work from home when required in many roles. We offer childcare vouchers via a tax efficient scheme to both male and female employees to support early years and after school care. Never one to shy away from policy issues, we also work alongside government to promote and highlight the accessible childcare agenda hosting business and government events in our London Bridge office to discuss the issue and to drive more action around the initiative to champion the cause of diversity and inclusion.
We recognise that confidence can be an issue when returning to work. So, experience has taught us to offer comprehensive inductions and training programmes – for example, for all telephone-based roles, with full product training is provided, so that even if women have been out of work for a while (sometimes years), if they have basic IT skills we can develop them to be confident and successful. Grounded in the North East, we pride ourselves on being highly practical and inclusive and we work very hard to encourage applicants from all backgrounds and ages to join us.
Also on offer is a comprehensive apprentice programme, which from 2017 won't just apply to young people but to anyone who wants to start a career in technology. We’re also showing our passion and belief in this area with the recent introduction of a shadow board from a group of our apprentices and rising stars to challenge the direction of travel for the business and we are certainly learning a lot! #FeedbackIsAGift
In this changing world, these are exciting times – to do the right thing, and to create opportunity for all.