Political events and uncertainty had a significant impact throughout 2019, impacting businesses and individuals alike. Following the election there may well be more certainty for the UK as a whole, but Scotland’s constitutional future is likely to dominate political conversations here in the coming weeks and months, and there is no sign of this trend ending anytime soon.
It is at times like these that we need to emphasise the importance of making a positive impact that matters on society, employees and clients; and that is why I am proud that a sense of purpose is the driver behind all that we do.
Before we enter a new year and the start of a new decade, it is always worth pausing to reflect on the efforts of our fantastic employees and teams across the business.
For us, a key pillar of making a positive impact is our contribution to people and society. This year, Deloitte continued the success of One Million Futures, our social impact initiative, by adding Move On and Aberdeen Foyer as two new charity partners. These incredible and life-changing charities joined Children 1st who has been a partner in the programme since 2016.
Social Bite is also a social enterprise supported by our One Million Futures programme and once again, we supported them in this year’s World’s Big Sleep Out. The event highlighted just how difficult conditions are for those who have no place to call home. I’m proud of the amount of money the firm has raised for this important issue, and of the way in which we’ve been able to deepen our partnership with all our charities in Scotland.
It was also impossible to miss the brightly decorated statues of Oor Wullie which lined the streets of Scotland over the summer weeks. Deloitte was pleased to be a partner in Scotland’s first national public art trail to raise awareness and vital funds for Scotland’s children’s hospital charities.
At Deloitte, we are committed to ensuring that our people reflect every part of society, and we were proud to support of the 2019 Diversity Conference awards, which emphasised that diversity and inclusion are far more than simply buzzwords. To that end, Deloitte in Scotland made further moves in this space, supporting the inaugural Women’s Tour of Scotland, which marked the first time a women’s race has been brought before a men’s race, and the first time prize money for an equivalent men’s race has been matched from day one.
Throughout the year, we continued to work with employees and industry to identify solutions for challenges facing society. Our annual Datathon, for example, addressed the theme of productivity which has been central to the UK Government’s industrial strategy. In March, participants from all backgrounds including industry, students and academia joined us in our Edinburgh office and worked to establish a meaningful link between data and trends to tackle issues facing contemporary society, with a focus on social wellbeing.
In Aberdeen, we have just launched our fifth annual UK upstream supply chain collaboration survey report, in partnership with OGUK. What is clear is the three key pillars for successful collaboration are strong industry commitment to improve collaboration by shifting mind-sets and business culture, a collaboration strategy that includes leadership and workforce incentives and streamlined contract and procurement processes between operators and suppliers.
Technology and its associated sectors are set to remain key industries across Scotland and with the growth of our fintech and cyber teams, alongside Deloitte Digital, the firm is in a strong position to support these sectors in the coming year. Meanwhile, our commitment to Scotland is stronger than ever; 2019 saw 109 people join the business across our offices in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow, all with the skills and expertise required to help our clients succeed in the future.
Despite the continually shifting political landscape here in Scotland, our commitment to society, our clients and our people in Scotland is our most important priorities. In 2020 this won’t change and we will continue to act in ways that drive a positive impact across the societies we live and work in.