Social Impact Month at Softchoice

This July, we celebrated our third annual Social Impact Month.  

At Softchoice, July serves as a rallying point for every person in the company to generate meaningful impact. With the unprecedented events of this year, it was more important than ever that we looked to better support the communities in which we live and work while building a more giving and compassionate culture.  

Although our employees are working remotely, we found many ways to get involved and support our people and communities virtually.  

What social impact means at Softchoice 

Today, we are living through a global health crisis, an economic emergency and a staggering increase in unemployment that will continue to intensify social and economic inequality 

For many of us at Softchoice, the climate around racial injustice has even further highlighted the need for our organization to further improve diversity and inclusion. We aspire to be a place where anyone can be successful and where everyone feels that they belong.  

At Softchoice, responding to the issues that matter most to our people and communities – what we call “social impact” – is one of the most important ways we bring our values to life.    

Every July, Social Impact Month puts these priorities at the forefront as we encourage every person in the organization to participate in education sessions and volunteering events organized by our Social Impact team, employee-led Softchoice Cares BoardEmployee Resource Groups (ERGs) and a passionate community of ERG and Orange Ambassadors across North America. 

These events are intended to provide opportunities to have an immediate impact. To this end, our Social Impact Month programs are designed around 3 pillars:  

  • Enabling our people to make a difference in their local communities in a way that has meaning to them.  
  • Hosting mentoring and career discovery workshops to help women, newcomers and members of the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities who have been struggling to build careers in technology.  
  • Joining in the fight against inequality through ERG-led panels and education sessions where we learn to acknowledge and respect others’ lived experience, identify non-inclusive behavior and create a shared understanding of inclusion.  

 Social impact during the pandemic   

In the face of health, economic and social crises, it was critical that we continued to support Social Impact Month activities, while social distancing measures made it necessary to pivot from in-person to virtual volunteering.  

This effort wasn’t without challenges, including:  

  • Pivoting from traditional, in-person volunteering to virtual events, while continuing to support people and our community in meaningful, impactful ways 
  • Creating enough virtual events to provide 2,000 employees with opportunities to participate 
  • Identifying the best technologto support different types of events 

We encouraged everyone to participate in a minimum of 4 hours of virtual volunteering or education throughout the month of July. team of employee volunteers created a full calendar of event options for both during and after work hours.  

Some of our Social Impact Month highlights included:  

Virtual volunteering and staying connected 

  • The Caring and Connecting Pen Pal Initiative Program which had volunteers write letters to a person who resides in retirement home or long-term care facility.  
  • Employees and their families wrote messages  and created artwork for the St. Joseph Learning and Innovation Centre, Toronto’s Gratitude Wall to provide inspiration for healthcare workers.    
  • Participation in Missing Map sessions that map the most vulnerable places in the developing world, to assist local and international NGOs and individuals to better respond to crises affecting areas in need. 
  • Employees volunteered with one of our partnered charities, Future Founders, to mentor local high schoolers and their entrepreneur business ideas. 
  • A facilitated 2-part event that had volunteers develop 21st-century learning content for marginalized people around the world for Rumie, a technology non-profit making life-changing learning possible for people worldwide.  
  • Employees and their families came together to decorate 150+ lunch sacks for Kids Food Basket, who provide nourishing meals to children living at or near the poverty level.   
  • Held a call-down session to thank more than 500+ donors to Childhood Cancer Canada. 
  • Employees from across North America shared their talents during our virtual talent show to raise funds for some of our amazing charity partners. 

 Mentoring and career discovery 

  • More than 80 employees volunteered for our Mentoring & Career Discovery event series to improve employment outcomes for people in historically disadvantaged groups. We worked with almost 200 job seekers through virtual events in partnership with NPower Canada, ACCES Employment and Skills for Change.   

Joining the fight against inequality 

  • The 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Program focused on mobilizing our ally community to complete one action every day to further their understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression and equity. To support this program, our ERGs curated a list of readings, podcasts, videos, observations and ways to form and deepen community connections. Weekly check-ins allowed program participants to ask questions, discuss key themes and develop plans of action. 
  • Hundreds of employees were involved in discussion panels hosted by our ERGs that addressed the unique challenges  the transgender community faces on a daily basis, accessibility gaps in employee experience, the ways racism manifests itself in the IT industry and how women can manage their careerduring COVID-19.  

 How you can have an impact 

Interested in joining a community of professionals making an impact every single day?  

Visit our Careers page to find exciting career opportunities across North America at Softchoice.  

About Softchoice Cares

Softchoice Cares is an employee-inspired and employee-driven philanthropic program that reaches across borders to show our caring in a very tangible way. Since inception, Softchoice Cares has raised more than $1.5 million to enhance opportunities for education and personal advancement so that people of all walks can achieve their potential.