Capgemini sign Microsoft Partner Pledge for an inclusive and sustainable future

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To recognise the impact of transformative technologies and support making a positive societal impact, Capgemini UK demonstrates its commitment to the Microsoft Partner Pledge.

Capgemini UK is pleased to announce we have joined the Microsoft Partner Pledge, a countrywide initiative “helping the UK prepare for the challenges of the future”. This positive programme recognises the impact of transformative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT) and Mixed Reality, while being mindful of the consequences that large-scale change associated with industrial revolution and the rapid adoption of technology can have on the world and our communities, both now and in the future.

Microsoft believes that to thrive in this new world, nations and communities not only need to adopt these technologies in a deep and ethical way but ensure that everyone possesses the right skills and opportunity to make the most of these advancements. The company wants to create a future where the industry better reflects the people it serves, while adopting a culture of lifelong learning, and making the most of an inclusive and sustainable digital future.

As such, the Microsoft Partner Pledge supports making a positive societal impact in five key areas: digital skills, apprenticeships, diversity and inclusion, responsible and ethical AI, and sustainability.

For Capgemini, the Microsoft Partner Pledge is perfectly aligned to our values and brand promise, ‘Get the Future You Want’. We work with our clients and our communities to leverage technology to define the future they want while responding to global events and rapid digital transformation. We are working towards a future that is inclusive, responsible, ethical, and sustainable.

Capgemini’s Microsoft business shares Microsoft’s technology vision and commitment, understanding the pivotal role technology can play in addressing broader societal challenges.

Working with the wider Capgemini Group, we believe signing the Microsoft Partner Pledge is a principled statement of support in making a positive societal impact together with Microsoft, showing our strong commitments to each of the five dimensions of the pledge.

Here are just a few examples of how we work with the pledge in mind:

Digital skills:

Capgemini’s partnership with non-profit organisation, Code Your Future aims to support those from disadvantaged backgrounds, including refugees, to develop their digital skills, increase their confidence and provide support through mentors to fast-track their career in technology.

Tayfun Aydogan joined Capgemini through Code Your Future. He shares his story on joining the company and how Capgemini has helped him.

“I see the margin between now and the future narrowing quickly, and the world is consuming new technology faster than ever. Along with increased use of machines, automation and algorithms, the skillset we need in the workplace is also changing. This evolution is less obvious in some areas, yet regardless of the industry, there are opportunities for anyone adapting to this digital world. I am one of those people who found such an opportunity. 

It was difficult for me to find the right way after a sudden loss of age-long military service career. The question of “Where is the repository of the code for the success in life?” started employing my head. The answer was obvious; equip yourself with the right digital skills to navigate the life and achieve your potential! With this in mind, I joined the award-winning partnership between Capgemini and Code Your Future where they help a wide range of people to reach their potential. Throughout the programme, I felt included at Capgemini, not only upskilling myself at Capgemini workshops and study clubs, but also collaborating on challenges with colleagues. Working with other Capgemini professionals at Hackathon-2020 nailed my decision to join Capgemini. Sharing the same values, transforming the future, I am sure that Capgemini is the right place for me. I am delighted to be a part of this collaborative workforce where we reshape the digitalised future.”

Apprenticeships:

Capgemini has an award-winning apprenticeship programme, which provides all the opportunities required to prepare apprentices for a successful career in the technology industry. They build technical skills in software development and consulting, alongside broader business-related personal development.

Hana Ahmed joined Capgemini as an Apprentice within the UK’s Microsoft team and was given many great opportunities from the onset, while being supported with her development at the same time. She explains:

“Being a part of the Microsoft team within Capgemini offers a unique and blended experience for apprentices. I initially joined with limited experience but was warmly welcomed and supported as I transitioned from project to project. The most striking aspect of working for Capgemini and the Microsoft team, is the emphasis on continuous learning; encouraging us to keep developing and leveraging this to deliver better quality solutions to our clients. 

As an apprentice, I’ve been given numerous opportunities to develop my skillset and build on my experiences, including both technical and functional aspects. I’ve been able to work with several clients, often delivery to strict time constraints. Despite the high pressures that come alongside this, my learning and development was always supported and encouraged. 

Apprentices within Capgemini are offered a variety of pivotal roles. They are never left in the background, but pushed, supported, and encouraged to learn, develop, and grow within the business. It really is a special team to be part of.”

Diversity and Inclusion:

Capgemini has a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and is part of the World Economic Forum’s coalition, ‘Partnering for Racial Justice in Business’. Here, the Group has joined more than 50 other organisations leveraging their individual and collective power to build equitable and just workplaces for professionals with under-represented racial and ethnic identities. Together with partner companies, the coalition is committed to putting racial and ethnic justice on board agendas, taking at least one firm action, and setting a long-term strategy to become an anti-racist organisation.

Capgemini in the UK is already a signatory to the Tech Talent Charter (bringing industries together to drive great inclusion and diversity in technology roles) and Active Inclusion is our programme making sure everyone feels able to bring their authentic self to work.

As part of our actions to foster a culture of anti-racism, we are also committed to examining the language we use at work every day. Dharminder Chahal, our Alliance Director for Microsoft, is part of our UK inclusive naming working group; following in the steps of Github, Google and others, working with our teams, partners and clients to replace terms that may cause hurt or reinforce bias (e.g. master/slave) with neutral inclusive language for future generations.

Responsible and Ethical AI:

Neil Parker, a Managing Solution Architect working within Capgemini’s Insights and Data practice speaks about the ongoing Research and Development relating to the importance of ethical AI and specifically, cognitive bias:

“As part of our ongoing Research and Development activities, the Capgemini Insights and Data practice has undertaken research topics into the broader cognitive factors that can cause unethical outcomes in the application of AI. Recently, we investigated the topics of cognitive biases covering areas such as anchoring bias, availability heuristics, confirmation bias, conservatism bias, band wagon effects, outcome bias, pro-innovation bias and survivorship bias. In each case, the objective was to understand the psychological shortcomings in terms of human thinking, and how this can unintentionally impact technologies, including Machine Learning. A particular focus of this work has been to highlight the real-world human implications of cognitive bias, including the inheritance of racial discrimination in the application of AI within the justice system. Within R&D forums, we are endeavoring to educate our consultants in the human fallibilities, which can easily influence emerging technology such as AI – with very real consequences. In addition to highlighting the risks, we have also outlined coping strategies to help our consultants identify when any bias is being introduced, and how it can be mitigated.”

Sustainability:

Climate Change and Sustainability is right at the heart of Capgemini’s business priorities. Capgemini Group has released its Environmental Sustainability statement, committing to be carbon neutral by 2025, and net zero by 2030 and has it has almost hit year-one on its net zero transformation has recently shared it’s progress against this.

By focusing on both business operations and business services, the company is not only driving down its own impact but also is working in conjunction with clients on their own sustainability challenges. Activities include the reduction of plastics in the supply chain, monitoring and decreasing business travel and commuting, thinking differently about energy in offices and data centers, and managing waste effectively.

Together, we can achieve amazing things. The positive shared values and priorities between Microsoft and Capgemini in the UK form an integral part of how we work and achieve success today as well as into the future.

Author


Paul Harrison

Head of Microsoft Applications and Cloud Engineering

Paul is the UK Head of Microsoft Applications and Cloud Engineering, developing propositions and offers, enterprise transformational Microsoft delivery and client advisory.

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