The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) recently partnered with global technology firm Leidos to convene a group of experts to explore the topic of Social Value. In this blog, we’ll look at the origins of the concept, the role of diversity and inclusion (D&I), and ways that you can learn more about this emerging area.
What is Social Value?
In general terms, social value refers to the wider financial and nonfinancial value created by an organisation through its day-to-day activities in terms of the wellbeing of individuals and communities, social capital created, and the environment (Local Government Association).
The term Social Value is defined through the Public Services (Social Value) Act (2013). Since 2013, all public sector organisations (and their suppliers) have been required to look beyond the financial cost of a contract and consider how the services they commission and procure might improve the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of an area.
Social Value and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I)
The core motivation of the Social Value movement is to ensure that public funds serve a bigger purpose and create a sustainable, fair society. For this reason, it is clear that D&I practices play a much needed and necessary role in this movement.
The Social Value model outlines five core themes, and diversity and inclusion is closely related to many of them. For example, Theme 2 (tackling economic inequality) focuses on creating new businesses jobs, and skills, as well as increasing supply chain resilience and capacity. This can be seen via strong fair recruitment processes, diverse supply chains, varied business creation, and career pipeline development. Theme 4 (equal opportunity) focuses on tackling workplace inequality and reducing the disability employment gap.
Due to the close alignment, Social Value methodology and D&I practice can be used to provide useful insight and foundations for an impactful Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) strategy for the private sector, especially in terms of measurement.
Exploring this topic
In November 2022, partnering with global technology firm and TTC Signatory Leidos , the TTC convened a group of major contractors, service providers, and industry experts with deep experience in the areas of Social Value and D&I. This focus group explored best practice, areas of need, and opportunities for development that arise at the intersection of these topics. The group also identified recommendations and areas for exploration that will further the maturity of Social Value practice.
As a next step, the TTC and Leidos will share some of the key themes from this focus group discussion with TTC Signatories and the government. We will follow this with further discussion of Social Value in our annual Diversity in Tech report, which will be released on 1 March 2023.
The TTC has collated a broad Open Playbook of D&I resources that can be used to support organisations to include a D&I lens in their Social Value activity. For example, we have chapters on hiring diverse talent, creating an inclusive culture, and promoting, developing, and retaining diverse talent.
If you would like to explore what Social Value can look like in real-world settings, Leidos has shared a compilation of their UK Social Value stories. These stories explore how Leidos is focusing on Social Value concepts both internally and in external community settings.
There are also a considerable number of external resources available, should you wish to explore this topic more generally. This includes:
- In-depth guidance from the UK Government on the Social Value model
- Blogs from Thrive, including What is Social Value? How can I measure it? and Finding Social Value within existing business activities
- Hudson’s blog - Social Value and Tendering
- UKGBC’s framework for defining Social Value
Continue exploring emerging topics with the TTC
The TTC was created in 2015 to address the diversity and inclusion problem in tech through collective effort and action across organisations, industries, sectors, and regions.
We are a government-supported, industry-led membership group that brings together almost 700 Signatory organisations and equips them with the networks and resources to drive their diversity and inclusion efforts. If you employ tech talent or are part of the tech ecosystem and are keen to build a diverse and inclusive talent pipeline, then join us. Together we will create solutions, take action, and share best practices.
If you are already a TTC Signatory, please join one of our upcoming Signatory forums or share and learn sessions to discuss emerging and top-of-mind topics with TTC Signatories and subject matter experts.