EngagementDiversity & InclusionHR Distinction Spotlight: Enhancing a diversity and inclusion strategy at Atos

HR Distinction Spotlight: Enhancing a diversity and inclusion strategy at Atos

In this weeks HR Distinction Spotlight, HRD Connect looks at how Atos has enhanced its diversity and inclusion strategy through technology and culture.

Many organisations strive to go through a transformational journey and guarantee global success. To overcome these challenges, businesses must undertake numerous changes over many years. This can heavily impact culture, talent, and strategic focus.

Through these monumental changes, HR plays a key role in maintaining and aligning a consistent experience for their workforce in times of uncertainty. This week, we look at Atos’ vision to unite people through culture and technology.


Atos recognise how important its people are and are committed to being an inclusive employer. The whole workforce takes personal responsibility for inclusivity, which not only underpins business decisions, but is essential to growth.

In 2017, Atos launched the ‘We are Atos’ website to showcase and recognise employees who are involved in a whole range of initiatives, such as its diversity networks, gatherings, and charity challenges. The website also highlights the activities and behaviours that they deem the most important.

“’We are Atos’ has become our strapline and Hub for how we recognise, celebrate and share the individual value that every one of our employees brings to help make Atos a great place to work,” said Cheryl Allen, HR Director – Transformation, Atos.

Atos’ diversity and inclusion strategy focused on four pillars: accessibility, generation, gender, and culture. The diversity networks support Atos’s goals by recognising and developing awareness around diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The six networks Atos prioritise are:

  • Aeon – ensuring all age groups are supported at work.
  • Armed Forces – supporting serving or armed forces veterans and reservists.
  • Adapt – enabling employees with physical, mental disabilities, or health conditions to manage their impairments whilst contributing to work.
  • Aspire – a group of employees – of all genders – striving to get “gender on the agenda”.
  • Pride – supporting all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) employees in the workplace.
  • Together – ensuring everyone, regardless of their cultural background or beliefs, can thrive at work.

“The networks were designed to focus on the pillars of the strategy, although they have expanded in scope since then,” continued Cheryl.

“Alongside educating employees, they support minority groups, provide a network of role models and resources, drive inclusivity, and help retain our global talent base.”

The diversity networks were initially set up in partnership with employees within Atos who had a personal passion in these areas and wanted to make a difference. Since 2015, the networks have grown in strength and have an international membership across many of the 73 countries that Atos operates in.

Each network has a separate agenda; however, all networks are truly engaged in how Atos makes decisions, drives actions, and engages with its people. Since 2015, the Networks have helped to shape HR policies, improved job descriptions, and developed various training materials.

“Launching ‘We are Atos’ in 2017, gave us a platform in which every employee could connect and celebrate their value,” continued Cheryl.

“We believe in doing the right thing for the right reasons: whether that is meeting our legal obligations or finding new ways to publicly and actively support our employees and suppliers. It’s the right thing to do.”

To further enhance its diversity and inclusion strategy, Atos hosted a Diversity Expo, bringing together their worldwide workforce. This event was live streamed in over 25 countries, generating over 16 million impressions through the hashtag #inclusiontalks.

2017 saw the introduction of gender pay gap reporting. This allowed Atos to use their pay gap insights and truly focus on underlying factors of gender imbalance.

Atos has achieved positive results in its diversity and inclusion journey. The business has been recognised as one of ‘UK’s Best Employers for Race 2018′. Its Pride Network Co-Chair has been recognised for the great work she has done by being included in the ‘OUTstanding 50 LGBT+ Future Leaders’. Additionally, several Atos colleagues were nominated in the ‘Women in IT Excellence Awards’, with Jo Shepherd scooping the ‘Team Leader of the Year’ award.

“Whilst we are proud of these achievements, they are only one way in which we measure success. We believe that many of our actions, particularly through the networks, have impacted the lives of employees across the world,” continued Cheryl.

“Our diversity journey continues to evolve, and we are now exploring the concept of ‘2-D diversity’

A person with 2-D diversity has at least three inherent and three acquired diversity traits. According to Harvard Business Review, employers that have a 2-D diversity approach are 45% likelier to report growth in market share over the previous year.

Businesses like Atos continue to demonstrate the true value of prioritising diversity and inclusion. Employers that choose to embrace this approach to inclusivity through distinct methods could reach the great achievements that Atos have accomplished.

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