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Building an Inclusive Culture at TEKsystems: Q&A with our Leaders in North America and EMEA 

Find out how our leaders are building an inclusive workplace culture throughout TEKsystems globally

Mark: I’m proud to have spent nearly 30 years at this company, and, from where I sit today, I see how broad the impact of our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy has been and how the commitment level remains high. Whether you work in front office, back office, sales, recruiting or elsewhere across our organisation, our people actively create an inclusive culture where people feel a sense of belonging, and our leaders support those efforts and prioritise activities around DEI. It’s what we’ve been working to build over the years as a company and as a leadership team, but I think it speaks to the character of the people we’ve hired—our employees around the world. I value integrity and hold myself and others to high standards, and I see that our people are truly bringing our core value of inclusion to life. 

I would say to leaders of other organisations that it may seem easy to abandon your DEI strategy when things get tough, but DEI is critical to your organisation’s long-term success because it’s ultimately about your people. You want your people to have everything they need to succeed, including an inclusive workplace with no barriers in their way. We’re proud that we’ve remained steadfast to DEI over the years and we have a solid foundation that has had an extensive impact throughout our company, and our commitment to DEI will only continue and strengthen in the years to come.  

Why is inclusion important to TEKsystems? 

Mark: Two things come to mind for me—relationships and leadership. TEKsystems is a company founded on relationships, and it's hard to have truly authentic relationships without people feeling welcome, comfortable and included. It's essential to foster an environment that allows everyone to contribute freely and authentically. I believe inclusion is a cornerstone of leadership quality. I don't know of any great leader who is not inclusive in some form, and we're a company built on developing leaders. I've devoted much of my career to identifying leaders, and I've always looked for individuals who can connect with different types of people and make them feel comfortable while having the ability to hold them accountable. Establishing an environment in which people feel comfortable yet accountable—I think that's important, and it's what makes TEKsystems unique. 

Franklin: Inclusion is important because it’s something everyone can relate to, the feeling of wanting to belong and be included. To truly achieve diversity, equity and inclusion within companies, inclusion needs to be at the forefront. People start to lean in when they hear and experience inclusion first, which makes efforts more impactful. Efforts to apply more heat and light on diversity without sufficient, if not more, emphasis on inclusion will lead to a revolving door, and the diverse talent you brought in will leave. 

For TEKsystems, our core value of inclusion states, “We seek out and embrace diverse backgrounds, life experiences and individual perspectives because we believe that leveraging differences and fostering full participation of every employee positions us to achieve our goals and create opportunity for all. We practice unbiased empathy to ensure every person feels seen and heard, and no matter who you are, you can flourish.” So being inclusive is not a separate strategy, a program or an isolated project. It’s part of our company’s DNA. It must be for any organisation seeking to create a culture where their people can thrive.  Personally, I know our DEI strategy is making an impact when it comes up when I’m not in the room.

I’m grateful to have spearheaded DEI here at TEKsystems over the past several years, but it must be a part of how we operate, embedded into our systems and nurtured in our people.  

TEKsystems is a company founded on relationships, and it's hard to have truly authentic relationships without people feeling welcome, comfortable and included.

Mark Collins, president

What do you want prospective employees and customers to know about TEKsystems’ commitment to DEI?

Mark: There are two things our company does when we’re at our best that makes us different than most organisations, and I think we’ve done this when it comes to DEI. We work hard, even when sometimes we feel like we’re losing the battle, and we live up to our word. I know these two things sound simple, but they’re not often executed. Many organisations talk about these things, but I think we’ve done them. For example, because of Franklin’s leadership and the work of many across our company, organisations now seek our advice and strategic counsel when it comes to DEI strategy. Our marketplace diversity solutions team works side by side with enterprises to help them with DEI. I’m proud that TEKsystems has been recognised by Seramount Inclusion Index for three consecutive years for the effectiveness of our work. 

At the end of the day, however, it’s about our people. If you want to hear from our employees, hear from them directly. Members of our employee resource groups have shared their perspectives for Black History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Month, Pride Month and Hispanic Heritage Month, and you can learn about our commitment to finding careers for veterans and the military community from some of our military service members, veterans and spouses. In short, we want our employees to show up as they are, achieve their goals and uplift their teams—contributing to the success of our customers, consultants and each other. 

I know our DEI strategy is making an impact when it comes up when I'm not in the room.

Franklin Reed, executive director, global inclusion, diversity and equity

Franklin: We want to empower our people to realise their full potential with no obstacles. While we may not have someone who looks like them in the role they’re striving for, we want our people to believe they can do it, and there is nothing in their way to becoming the first one. Companies often focus on numbers, goals and quotas—and rightfully so—but DEI is about so much more than that. It’s about year-over-year success and constantly evaluating the work and pushing to be better. As Mark mentioned earlier, we see the impact of our DEI efforts have been broad, and commitment level is high, but we’re committed to doing more, learning more and evolving more—making sure each employee thrives. That’s the outlook, the values and the culture you’ll experience at TEKsystems.

An EMEA perspective

While aligning to our global, three-pillar DEI strategy - workplace, workforce and marketplace, our local leaders are work hard to build an approach that best represents and reflects their local markets. We reached out to Rebecca Clarke, director of employee experience and leader of our executive inclusion board for an EMEA perspective.

Rebecca, how are you bringing inclusion to life in the EMEA region this year? 

Our committee and executive inclusion board work closely with Franklin and Mark in North America, building a close partnership and collaborating to embed inclusion within our local people and business strategy. The mission of our DEI committee and employee resource groups is to provide a platform to inspire, educate and empower our people and our business. One of the ways we do this is through our awareness events calendar, a great opportunity to recognise important dates throughout the year including Neurodiversity Week, International Women’s and Men’s Day, Black History Month and Pride. 

Employee experience at TEKsystems is something I am passionate about. As Franklin says, if we don’t nurture diverse talent and provide an environment where everyone can thrive – they'll leave. So, I’m working closely with our talent acquisition leaders with a lens on employee experience to ensure our hiring best practices provide an inclusive experience for all and that we continue to provide a safe space for our people to learn and come to work as their authentic self. 

In the market, we’re building capability within our marketplace diversity solutions team to help our customers achieve their DEI objectives. And through strategic partnerships with organisations like Tech She Can our STEM ambassadors are working to inspire the next generation of talent into a career in technology.

I’m proud of the progress we’re making and excited as we continue our plans throughout the rest of 2024 and beyond.