Our commitment to the Microsoft Partner Pledge

What is the Microsoft Partner Pledge?

The Microsoft Partner Pledge is a commitment that Microsoft and its partners make to use digital innovation as a force for good.
The pledge was launched in 2018 and has since evolved to reflect the changing needs and challenges of the world.

Today, pledge signatories support three commitments:

  • Grow talent in our industry
  • Enhance diversity and inclusion
  • Shape a desirable world

Three pillars of the Microsoft Partner Pledge

When did Chorus sign the Microsoft Partner Pledge?

Chorus signed the Microsoft Partner Pledge in 2019, soon after the initiative was launched by Microsoft. At this point, the Pledge covered four critical goals across: Digital skills, Apprenticeships, Diversity and Responsible and ethical AI.

In 2023, the Microsoft Partner Pledge means more to us than ever and we’re committed to its three new pillars following its evolution.

Our company values align closely with the intentions of the Partner Pledge. These are:

  • Embrace the future: We’re not afraid of evolving and welcome the exciting possibilities that come with working in such a fast-paced industry.
  • Champion the truth: We only advise on what we believe in and will always try to find the best approach; our clients’ success, is our success.
  • Stay curious: Technology is rapidly changing, and we thrive by being curious and staying ahead of the curve.
  • Enjoy the journey: Working hard and delivering great results is our priority, but we want to make sure that its enjoyable along the way for our staff, clients and partners.

The Microsoft Partner Pledge is a great way for Microsoft partners to come together with Microsoft, to work in a way that benefits society and the world we live in, as well as the lives of our employees and customers. The pledge’s commitments are closely aligned with our values at Chorus, which demonstrates our shared vision with Microsoft.

Nicola Saner, Managing Director, Chorus

How is Chorus supporting the Microsoft Partner Pledge?

Since signing the Partner Pledge, we’ve implemented a host of initiatives and benefits that contribute towards our shared commitments with Microsoft.

Microsoft Partner Pledge Growing Talent

Growing talent in our industry

We are passionate about growing talent in the industry and helping our people achieve their full potential. We value curiosity, learning, and career development as part of our culture and vision.

Some examples of where we’ve been able to do this include:

  • Service expansion: As part of our value of ‘embrace the future’ we continually evolve our services to adapt to the shifts in our industry. An example was the development and launch of our Cyber Security Operations Centre a few years ago that created a wealth of new job opportunities.
  • Local school talks: To encourage students into the industry, we have been working with local schools to provide career talks about the benefits of working within Cybersecurity and IT in an effort to encourage more people into the sector.
  • Learning & Development: We support staff with training and certifications, across Microsoft exams, industry exams and soft skills. We have an internal training programme and also host regular Lunch & Learns for cross-department knowledge sharing.
  • Internal promotions: We have a clear career paths and KPIs to support internal promotions and reward those who want to learn and grow with us. We have seen many success stories of people who joined us early in their careers and progressed to senior roles within Chorus. We also support lateral moves, giving staff opportunities to work in new areas and are looking to launch an internal work experience program.
  • Apprenticeships: We also support apprenticeship programmes across our business, from IT Service Desk to Marketing. We believe in giving young people a chance to learn on the job, gain valuable skills and experience, and become part of our Chorus family. We are proud of our apprentices and their achievements, and we look forward to welcoming more in the future.

Partner Pledge EDI

Enhancing diversity & inclusion (EDI)

At Chorus, we’re committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive tech sector—and society. We are proud to be a female-led tech organisation with a gender-balanced leadership team. As part of this, we have taken several actions to promote and enhance EDI within our organisation and beyond, focusing on eight key pillars:

Chorus EDI pillars

Some of the actions we have taken are:

  • EDI committee: we’ve created an EDI committee which is open to all employees and meets regularly to discuss and implement EDI initiatives. The committee organises various events and activities, such as guest blogs, webinars, lunch-and-learns, and awareness campaigns, to educate and empower our staff on topics related to religion, gender diversity, LGBTQI+, mental health, and more. You can read some of the examples of our EDI thought leadership here.
  • Women in Tech: Our Managing Director, Nicola Saner, has been actively involved in the Women in Tech community, and has been a role model and mentor for many women aspiring to enter or advance in the tech industry. She has participated in various platforms, such as podcasts, articles, schools visits, and coaching sessions, to share her insights and experiences on being a female leader in tech. She was also nominated for the CRN Women of the Channel Awards in 2022 for her outstanding contribution. Additionally, Chorus joined the Bristol Women in Business Charter last year, which is a pledge to support gender equality in the workplace. You can learn more about our commitment to this charter here.
  • Recruitment: To remove the potential for unconscious bias, we’ve moved to blind CVs which is where we can screen job applicants without knowing certain pieces of personal information. This ensures that the candidate’s skills and qualifications are the focus when hiring. We also ensure we have two people on every interview. Again, this helps avoid individual preferences or prejudices from influencing a hiring decision and ensures multiple perspectives and feedback on the candidates.
  • Prayer & relaxation room: We’ve created a prayer & relaxation room in our office, which provides a dedicated space for people of different faiths or beliefs to practice their rituals or meditate in peace. The room can be booked by anyone who needs some quiet time or religious practice.
  • Employee wellbeing: We’ve invested in our employee wellbeing and mental health, by providing a range of benefits and support services. These include counselling, helplines, flexible working hours, wellness programmes, yoga and meditation. We also have trained mental health first aiders who can assist anyone who is struggling with their mental health or emotional issues. During Mental Health Awareness Week, we organised daily sessions on various topics related to mental health, such as stress management, mindfulness, resilience, and self-care.

These are some of the examples of what we are doing around enhancing diversity and inclusion at Chorus. We also sponsored the Inclusion and Diversity award at the 2022 Business Leader Awards, and while we are proud of our achievements so far, we also recognise that there is always room for improvement. We are constantly looking for new ways to foster a more inclusive and diverse culture at Chorus, and we welcome any feedback or suggestions from our staff, customers, partners, and stakeholders.

Shaping a desirable world

At Chorus, we believe that every business has a responsibility to contribute to the well-being of society and the environment.

The Partner Pledge’s third commitment “Shaping a desirable world” aligns well with one of our five strategic objectives: “to enrich the lives of our staff and communities in which we live and work”. We have been doing various activities to fulfil this objective, such as:

  • Local charities: Every year we have a nominated charity of the year that we support, which is chosen and voted by our staff. We raise funds through various events and challenges, such as skydiving, kayaking challenges, charity running events, and video gaming marathons. This year we have raised over £6,000 supporting our charity of the year, St Peter’s Hospice, and additional charities. Alongside fundraising, we also have a volunteering commitment as part of our business strategy. Staff can take part in volunteering days during working hours that support our local community – such as beach cleaning or gardening at a local hospice.
  • Sustainability: We’ve looked at ways we can be more sustainable to reduce our environmental impact. We’ve launched a new tree planting initiative this year, where we plant a tree for every sale and employee birthday. This way, we can try to offset our carbon footprint and create a greener future for everyone. We also have further initiatives in progress, such as an electric vehicle policy and charging ports at our offices, recyclable boxes and branded environmentally-friendly packaging tape.
  • Hardware and waste: We donate used hardware to local schools, giving children access to technology that they might not otherwise have. We believe that technology can be a powerful tool for learning and creativity, and we want to share this opportunity with the next generation. All the other computing hardware we dispose of is processed by ethical methods designed to minimise waste and promote the maximum reuse of resources where possible.

Have you signed the Microsoft Partner Pledge?

Are you a Microsoft Partner and yet to sign the pledge? If so, take a look at the Microsoft Partner Pledge and consider how your organisation could contribute.

We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved as a business, and we can attest to the positive impact that these have had not only on our employees, but also for our charities, partners, clients and local communities.

If you want any advice or inspiration on ways you can make positive changes in your organisation, get in touch with us and we’d be delighted to discuss this with you.

Ready to help make a lasting impact and create a better future for everyone? Let’s do this, together!