What happens when your company celebrates what makes you, you?

May 15, 2023
identity at work

We all know that loving your work is one of the keys to a rewarding and satisfying career.

But what happens when you pair this passion with a company that actively celebrates not just your work, but also all the different aspects of your identity?

Spoiler: Everyone wins big.

Not only do you end up doing great work and enjoying the people you work with, but the company also gets positive results from people who truly enjoy being there. This, in turn, leads to your customers getting quality products or services made with attention and care.

Neeta Patel – a Bid Centre Manager at Softcat – knows exactly how this feels.

Since joining Softcat three years ago, she has grown tremendously in her personal and professional life – thanks mostly to the support and benefits that Softcat has been providing her.

From the day she started until her recent return from parental leave, Neeta has always felt seen and supported by Softcat.

Neeta’s story is an example of what happens when your passion for your work is complemented by a company that truly values and supports your fulfillment.

Here’s a quick look at how she was valued and celebrated for who she is.

Putting people first

Before joining Softcat, Neeta already had the idea that it was very different from other companies.

“I thought Softcat was a fun and positive place to work because they had great staff retention. I thought it indicated a healthy place to work where employees were considered integral to the success of the business.”

But what she didn’t know back then – and what really surprised her soon after – was just how seriously the company took employee satisfaction and making sure they’re supported.

From day one, Neeta knew she was somewhere special.

“Within my first week, I had the chance to visit our offices across the UK and was met with the same warmth and desire to collaborate everywhere.”

This culture of community, collaboration, and camaraderie has been integral to Softcat’s success and is the reason why its employees feel like they belong.

When we asked her what truly set Softcat apart from others, Neeta answered:

Neeta Patel Softcat

“Our people-first ethos – the belief that if people enjoy and care about what they do, they’ll provide a better service for their customers (internal and external). They really support you as an individual and everything that makes you, you!”

And part of celebrating what makes every employee unique is embracing their different cultures, histories, and heritage. 

“We celebrate all the religious festivals of our colleagues, through events in our offices, where we would have food from that culture (e.g., Diwali, Eid, Lunar New Year). We’ve also had Black History Month, where we engaged in topical discussions, celebrating Pride Month with the Pride Network, and more.”

Meaningful parental benefits

If there’s one thing Neeta feels truly grateful for at Softcat, it’s the way they have supported her before, during, and after her recent parental leave.

She explains:

Softcat provides fantastic support to working parents, offering good parental leave that allows them to focus on their children and families without fear of compromising their careers.”

Neeta would know – she was promoted to her current role just before she started her parental leave.

“I successfully interviewed for my role of Bid Centre Manager before I went on parental leave. I am totally grateful to the company for recognizing my potential to fill the role and not letting my parental leave affect their decision.”

Softcat also holds ‘Keeping in Touch’ days – KIT days as they call it – which enables those on parental leave to catch up with their teams to stay in the loop and ease their transition once they come back.

“The KIT Days helped me understand who was in the team currently, what my team was working on, their priorities, and the progress made. So, when I came back, I was already acquainted with the new members and had an idea of what we were working on – it helped me to hit the ground running when I returned.”

At the end of her parental leave, the company provided a phased return, which made the transition even easier for Neeta. 

Neeta Patel Softcat

“I believe Softcat is a great employer for women with children. I’ve been given great opportunities and have not been discriminated against for having a young family or going on parental leave. They truly support women at every stage of their careers and empower them to be the best versions of themselves and find career paths they love.” 

And all this support and investment in their people is paying off for Softcat, especially in Neeta’s case. 

“It has instilled a sense of loyalty and hard work ethic in me. I want to reciprocate the support and loyalty they’ve shown me.”

Softcat offers flexible work arrangements, outstanding parental leave benefits, and a genuinely diverse and inclusive culture that makes it a top choice employer for women in technology solutions.

Learn more 

Inclusive support systems

Building a sense of community and celebrating every employee’s personhood involves supporting the many different aspects of their lives.

This is why Softcat has a variety of support groups for its employees – many of which Neeta herself is part of and active in. These support systems include groups like its Family Network, the Supporting Women in Business (SWIB) Network, Ethnic & Cultural Diversity Network, Faith Network, and more.

Groups like these empower employees to meet, learn from, and connect with like-minded people who share similar values or circumstances.

Neeta shares:

“The Family Network did a panel where women in the business shared their experiences on parental leave, how it felt to return to work, and how they structured their leave. It was insightful to hear other people’s perspectives and prepared me for my upcoming parental leave.”

identity at work

“I find the Family Network beneficial, especially the open forum discussions, where parents and carers discuss the challenges of managing work and family life. I love the open honesty of the group – people voice their concerns and get real-life answers from parents who have been through similar challenges. It helps us all get perspective and realize that lots of people experience the same things.”

When a company recognizes the different circumstances that people face and provides appropriate support networks for it, then employees can feel empowered and appreciated for who they are.

A match made in (professional) heaven

Not every organization provides the same level of support and appreciation that Neeta receives at Softcat. But more companies are now realizing the value of recognizing and celebrating these important aspects of people’s lives.

And as Neeta’s story has shown, when you do find such a place – it can be nothing short of magic, both for your personal life and your career.

Want to learn more about the benefits of a career at Softcat?

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About the Author

Jacynta Clayton’s career started in recruitment advertising and employer branding, working with global clients to create and deploy strategic and creative content. Now she combines her industry experience with the knowledge from her psychology and professional writing degrees to write unique and resounding stories. As a WORK180 storyteller she relishes the opportunity to elevate the voices and experiences of so many amazing people, while also empowering and educating audiences on how to choose a workplace where they can thrive.

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