Retailer Boots focuses on inclusion as it moves to hybrid work, striving to ensure that returns to stores and offices are appropriate for all its staff.

She launched a program called “Inclusive IT”, which her CIO Rich Corbridge explained was aimed at creating “allies”.

“We do a lot of work around DEI [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion] agenda, creating a program known as Inclusive IT to try to create allies for people in IT, “Corbridge began.” We set up business reference groups around different aspects of DEI to try to educate people on topics like neurodiversity. , in an attempt to make sure that returning to work is suitable for everyone.

“The focus is to try to explain to everyone who works in IT what an ally is and give them the opportunity to do so,” he added.

The program is broad and includes providing diversity in recruiting IT staff, mentoring senior executives, and mental health training for all staff.

“It’s a three-hour refreshment on how to take care of your own mental health and how to spot problems you don’t normally know or recognize,” Corbridge said.

He acknowledged that Boots may not necessarily be top when choosing an IT employer, and this program is part of a design to make the organization more attractive, combined with a focus on vocational training and accreditation.

“We are not necessarily at the top of the list of organizations to work for if you want to work in the digital field, so we have come up with ways to become more attractive. We joined BCS [British Computer Society], and receive many people in IT accredited as BCS Fellows. We have also joined the Information Security Forum, a global non-profit organization that aims to improve the way people use cyber and information security students in everything they do.

“We also did some modules to introduce pharmacists to what digital healthcare is in partnership with an organization called HIMSS.”

“We tried everything to give people the opportunity to really spend an hour a week on professional development. We also set up an IT academy with Pluralsight for more training. And we’re working with BCS to create a specific retail chapter. “

Corbridge said the benefits of the above work are already being felt.

“Over twenty percent of new employees put this focus on professional development as one of the reasons they join us. In a recent staff satisfaction survey, we won an additional three points related to these improvements. “

Register now for ComputerThe Women ‘s Festival in IT Technologies 2022to be held in London on 3 November 2022

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