SAS signs pledge to grow talent, diversity and sustainability

SAS, the global leader in analytics, has signed up to the Microsoft Partner Pledge to collaborate and share best practices on growing talent in the technology industry in a diverse and inclusive way, and to ensure its actions are sustainable and responsible.

To support growing talent SAS has become an ambassador of Microsoft UK’s digital skills initiatives, and will raise internal awareness of the digital skills initiatives, take advantage of all opportunities to provide staff with new skills training and promote the digital skills initiatives to customers. SAS will also consciously seek to attract new talent to the technology industry.

SAS will aim to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce through strategic planning to improve inclusion with executive sponsorship, ensuring managers have a deep understanding of this culture and adopting inclusive recruitment, promotion processes and practices to support the development and retention of a diverse workforce. As well as addressing racial and gender inequality in the workforce by striving for strong representation at all levels it will build solutions and services with accessibility practices, to empower employees and customers with disabilities.

The focus on sustainability and reducing carbon footprint will be delivered by making sustainability part of supplier and enterprise customer engagement, embedding sustainability into strategic alliances, and increasing transparency around the carbon footprint from services and offerings. SAS will also utilise tools to enable customers to better monitor and manage their carbon footprint, for example using the Microsoft Sustainability Calculator.

There is a further pledge to build AI in a responsible and ethical way, consistent with design principles such as fairness, accountability, reliability and safety. AI systems should also be secure and respect privacy, as well as being inclusive and transparent.

SAS already has initiatives underway that support these opportunities. The SAS STEP Programme provides free online learning for jobseekers, with courses ranging from basic data literacy to advanced data science. It recently achieved Gold status as part of its Armed Forces Covenant to help current and former Armed Forces personnel and their families pursue analytics training and employment opportunities. Its solutions are also deployed across numerous Data for Good initiatives, which include sustainability programmes such as tackling deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

“These initiatives are in line with the values, culture and ambition SAS already displays, but I’m delighted to formalise what we’re trying to do in these key areas by signing up to this pledge with our strategic partner Microsoft,” explained Roderick Crawford, Senior VP SAS Northern Europe.

“We are acutely aware of the skills gap in our industry and a great way to help resolve that is to attract more people into technology that are currently under-represented. We also have a duty to continue to push boundaries in the adoption of sustainable practices and solutions, to help protect the planet.”

“We welcome SAS’ decision to sign the Microsoft UK Partner Pledge and look forward to working together on the programme’s core pillars of growing talent, enhancing diversity and inclusion and shaping a desirable world,” said James Chadwick, ISV Director, Microsoft UK.

Last year SAS was recognised as Microsoft’s Global Independent Software Vendor Partner of the Year, for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of customer solutions based on Microsoft technology.

SAS signs pledge to grow talent, diversity and sustainability

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