Interview: Bev Markland, Agilitas’ chief people officer on D,E&I – why should it matter to channel business?

What is the value of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Channel?

 DEI is becoming increasingly important in many aspects of business. As companies across the Technology Channel continue to grow and broaden their products and services, their workforce needs to diversify with them. As a result, DEI has evolved from a concept into an essential strategy in the ever-changing market.

As companies expand and innovate, DEI helps create a dynamic ecosystem where diverse voices fuel collaboration, highlighting the link between inclusivity and success. By embracing DEI as a core ethos, businesses can empower their employees, foster growth and build a culture of excellence.

Why does representation matter in the workplace?

Despite efforts to increase diversity, there is still a long way to go across the Technology Channel. In fact, it was recently reported that only 28% of those working in the technology industry were female. At Agilitas, we are proud to say that 40% of our team is female, which continues to grow year-on-year.

With a notable 30% surge in headcount in recent years, it becomes imperative for us to synchronise our cultural vision with our underlying philosophy, the PRIDE values we uphold, the organisational scale, and our envisioned trajectory for the future. Roughly a third of Agilitas’ workforce is located within warehouses, and their aspirations from their professional journey and the company can differ from those following a hybrid working model or potentially working exclusively off-site. Despite these differences, we aim to ensure that there is equitable representation for all these diverse segments of our workforce.

How has Agilitas embraced diversity and inclusivity?

Diversity is more than just a buzzword; it’s a fundamental cornerstone of our identity. We believe various unique perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences power innovation and growth. Our commitment to diversity isn’t just about meeting quotas – it’s about fostering an inclusive environment where every individual’s voice is heard and valued.

At Agilitas, we have thoroughly reassessed our system of benefits and rewards to align with the principles embodied in our PRIDE values: Passion, Respect, Innovate, Deliver, and Embrace. The communication of these values has been seamlessly integrated into the early onboarding stages for our new starters.

What benefits have you experienced as a result of your DEI best practices?

Just as technology thrives on interconnectedness, so does our workforce. We embrace differences in age, gender, ethnicity, and beyond, recognising that each distinct thread weaves into the vibrant fabric of our company culture. By championing diversity, we’re not only ensuring fairness and equality, but also nurturing an atmosphere where creativity flourishes, enabling us to serve our partners and clients to the best of our ability.

At Agilitas, we’ve not only embraced diversity but leveraged it as a force to propel us forward. As we continue on our journey, we remain steadfast in our commitment to fostering an environment where everyone can thrive and contribute, ensuring that our talent remains vibrant and ever-evolving.

In your opinion, what does the future of DEI look like in the Channel?

It’s fair to say that the Technology Channel has made great strides in terms of DEI, but there is still room for significant growth. With an increasing impact and influence over all aspects of business, it is clear that DEI is crucial to the future of the Channel and the way it operates.

Now is the time for businesses to encourage diversity in the workplace. Not only will they benefit from better opportunities for innovation and smarter decision-making, but they will also see reduced rates of employee turnover and improved business performance due to higher productivity rates.

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