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Letter from our CEO

Guo Xiao

This past year has forced all of us, companies and individuals, to reckon with the challenges we face as a society and the urgent need for change. Whether it’s the health and financial burden caused by the ongoing pandemic – a burden which has not been equally shared – or the groundswell of protests against racial injustice in the United States and globally, inequalities are being exposed and demanding our attention in a way not seen in decades.

 

The conversations that these challenges have prompted are difficult, and often uncomfortable. But in them I see many reasons for encouragement, and hope. The causes at hand – social, economic and racial justice, and diversity across all dimensions – are causes we have been working on, and outspoken about, for over a decade. Having an inclusive culture has been a priority since our founding. We’ve built a diverse community of passionate technologists that is global in presence and outlook, and fiercely committed to applying their skills to make positive change in the world.

 

As this report shows, around the world, every day, many Thoughtworkers are using technology to directly confront and resolve deep-rooted problems and inequalities. But we also recognize that technology can create or exacerbate these problems as it becomes more pervasive. We constantly reflect on our own practice and privilege, and ensure that when we seek to create social impact, it is always in the service of local communities and partners.

 

Until 2020, much of our diversity, social change, and sustainability work was developed and led within our regions – an approach that we felt was critically important because of the cultural context required to do this work right. But we also realized that our growth necessitated more focused coordination, to ensure we were looking at our global business strategy through these lenses as well. To that end, in October 2020, we launched the new global office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Sustainability and Social Change (DEISSC). The office acts as a center of excellence supporting and uplifting the many projects our people are executing throughout the 17 countries in which we operate, while driving global strategy for our goals in diversity, equity, inclusion, sustainability and social change.

 

We believe that issues like gender inequality and climate change can only be resolved through global solidarity. So, while the majority of our project work is managed regionally, everything we do is connected to both local needs and the broader global effort.

 

All of this demonstrates our determination to put these issues at the heart of our organization. Our culture, values and focus on social change are not slogans tacked on a wall. They define us, make us different, enable us to attract and retain exceptional people, and are integral to our success as a business. They give me, and the rest of the team, confidence that as we grow, despite the magnitude of the challenges we face as an organization and as a society, we will continue to create positive impact for our stakeholders, the countries where we live and work, and the world. 

Our social change approach