Published on in Responsible Business

This year I was delighted to be promoted to Fujitsu’s Head of Public and Private sector, but many may not know that I originally joined the company as a graduate.

My career journey was not always easy – although saying that I’ve yet to meet anyone who thinks theirs was straightforward!

Despite my career ups and downs, I have never felt that my background has been a barrier to my success – and I’m passionate about ensuring that is the case for everyone in the technology industry and beyond.

With that in mind, I am part of Fujitsu’s Cultural Diversity Network which strives to make the company a more diverse and inclusive community for everyone. For the past two years, I have been proud to be the Network’s Executive Sponsor. In that time I have seen a transformation: not only in the visibility of the network, but in what it has achieved across the business.

This is why it gives me great pleasure to announce that Fujitsu has been recognised as a BITC Top Employer for Race 2018. This marks a significant step forward in our 2020 strategy: ensuring that everyone is able to be completely themselves at work, regardless of their ethnic, cultural or religious background.

Small changes can make the biggest impact…

Over the past year, we have achieved some important milestones in our cultural diversity and inclusivity programme.

Improving the diversity of entrants to our graduate scheme has been a huge focus.  We revamped our recruitment process by removing all UCAS points and degree classifications as entry requirements for the graduate scheme. Importantly, we found no reduction to graduate in-role performance with these changes, which is a powerful endorsement of their validity.

As a result, we have raised the representation of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) graduate talent from 13% in 2016 to 26% in 2017.

We also created a new bespoke situational judgement test aligned to real Fujitsu graduate experiences. This improved BAME graduate candidate experience: in 2013 40% of applications from BAME candidates were left unfinished; in 2016 this number dropped to 32%, meaning we are now keeping more BAME talent in the process.  For me, this is the biggest achievement.

We have also addressed our wider recruitment processes. By working with managers and our recruitment specialists, we introduced 50:50 shortlists for all roles in sales which has helped to improve the diversity of our final candidates.

All of this has contributed to an increase in the percentage of BAME employees from 12% to 13% in Fujitsu UK and Ireland, bringing us in line with the national average. There’s still further to go, but this is a brilliant start.

You can’t achieve success alone

We achieve great success as a team working together for a shared goal: creating a more diverse and inclusive organisation.

However it’s equally important that we look outside the business, to hear about other people’s achievements and the barriers that they have overcome.

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of presenting the Gender Equality Award at the Fujitsu sponsored Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Awards, hosted at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

So many civil servants have gone above and beyond their everyday roles to bring the Civil Service closer to becoming the most inclusive employer in the UK by 2020.

I was energised by listening to the nominations and seeing how much effort and passion had gone into each initiative to make a real difference in the organisation.

I’m very proud of what we have done at Fujitsu, but the event also underlined that when we work together and share our success across departments, organisation and sectors, we will make a real difference to the society in which we live.

Becoming a Top Employer for Race 2018 is really only the beginning for Fujitsu – and I’m looking forward to announcing more successes in the future.

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Rupal Karia

Head of Public & Private Sectors at Fujitsu UK & Ireland
Rupal leads Fujitsu's business serving public and private sector organisations in the UK, encompassing Retail, Hospitality, Public Sector & Government, Manufacturing, Utilities, Telecoms and Services.

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