Our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Here at Cloud9 Insight, we’ve been committed for several years to diversity and inclusion (EDI). It runs through the business like the words inside a stick of Brighton Rock.
We’re a Microsoft Solutions Partner and since 2010, we have provided more than 800 UK businesses with cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics CRM software systems.
That meant attracting talent from the widest pool possible. In turn, this involved ensuring opportunities exised at the company no matter what your race, religion, gender, or sexuality. No matter whether you have a physical or learning disability or disorder.
Women in tech
We have a female CEO in Carlene Jackson and close to 50% of our 40 employees are female, as well as half of our management team. As a dyslexic entrepreneur, Carlene has built a business that is focussed on finding and nurturing women and people from diverse backgrounds.
At all levels, the team understands and embraces the foundational importance of diversity and inclusion. Management encourages all team members to draw up “10 year CVs” and to discuss them with managers.
These provide roadmaps for development that support employees to think beyond any identity-related barriers. They help employees overcome any marginalisation or micro-aggressions they might experience later in their careers due to ethnicities, sexualities, faiths, gender identities, disabilities or disorders.
Turning a challenging start into a good life
Cloud9 Insight has a growing interest in developing young and diverse talent. It founded the Vantage Academy in 2019, a Government-approved Apprenticeship provider and Microsoft Learning Partner. We set it up to support early-in-career and young people with digital skills and mentoring.
The company is also building Cloud9 Connect, a new Platform for digital learning and job creation. The Platform will find new sources of digital talent from among groups who employers traditionally overlook, including educationally or economically under-privileged groups, young women and neurodivergent individuals.
The vision for Cloud9 Connect is that it will support the Levelling Up and Lifetime Skills Guarantees agendas. With a key element of the model being the provision of free educational and informational content, all individuals with an internet-connected device will have ‘a classroom in their hand’.
Taking our message to the media
In recognition for Cloud9’s work with apprentices, Carlene was invited to the Microsoft Digital Skills event as a panellist and keynote guest speaker on the opening day of the event in April 2021. She is frequently asked to contribute to national conversations about an array of D&I topics, including:
- How neurodivergent women can succeed in the workplace for BBC Sussex Radio.
- How to grow UK apprenticeships at an All Parliamentary Committee on Apprentices, as well as for Computer Weekly.
- Why women should not be tasked with “all the childcare” for BBC Business News.
- The vital role diversity plays in the modern workplace for The Digital Insight Podcast.
- Diversity in STEM learning at a Birmingham University panel.
Leading by example
Carlene represents Cloud9 Insight as Board Member for D&I at the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners and writes a regular column on D&I for the Association’s website.
Furthermore, Cloud9 Insight has invested in a visa sponsorship programme. It has supported three families – so far – to relocate to the UK from India and South Africa to build careers in our business.
As a result of all this activity, potential employees, clients and partners of Cloud9 Insight can tell immediately that Diversity & Inclusion is at the core of not only the company’s brand – but also of its purpose.