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How does working at Xpand IT creates an impact in society?
Tempo de leitura: 4 minutos

How does working at Xpand IT creates an impact in society?

By Sílvia Martins, Business Intelligence Developer @ Xpand IT

I’ve been at Xpand IT for over 2 years. I joined the Business Intelligence unit one month after defending my master thesis in Computer Engineering. Until that time I only participated as a volunteer in an international initiative in partnership with the university, aiming to raise awareness among young women about IT career opportunities.

During those years I organized lectures, activities, and events for high school and university students, parents, teachers, and other agents of society. It was a very enriching experience, but when I started working at Xpand IT I left it aside and some time later I learned that there were open registrations for a solidarity group within the company and I decided to register right away.

Initially, I made the decision because I had never done more serious volunteering, but the truth is that one year has passed and I decided to continue in the team. What it feels like to organise internal activities, listen to requests from institutions and respond to their needs is beyond explanation. I realised that by giving my time, I would also be receiving, receiving smiles, thanks and taking part in an incredible experience. I have always loved investigating, discussing and discovering new opinions and ways of working, and this group has brought that: we are Xpanders from different areas, with different visions and it is always very rewarding what we learn from each other.

Xtend: our group of volunteers to create an impact in society

Currently, the Xtend group meets about 8 hours per quarter in order to discuss new initiatives to be organised. Many of our donations include the company’s employees, with a view to developing the organisational culture and also the soft skills of each one. At the end of 2020 we organised a solidarity week, which coincided with the date of the International Volunteering Day and GivingTuesday. For 4 days we challenged Xpanders to share photos of toys, participate in a gym class and an online game night. The number of participations in these initiatives converted into monetary donations. During that week we were able to make 11 donations, including toys, essential goods, hygiene and cleaning products, personal protection materials and tablets.

In the future, we want to invest in long-term support and enter into partnerships with institutions that help to have an impact at a national level. We have been investigating orphanages and foster homes that accompany young people of different age groups in order to help them offer a better experience of life and education and so that in the future we will have more educated, involved citizens, who may have a taste for technology.

As a volunteer and collaborator, it is very enriching to be part of the organisation of these processes and of a company like Xpand IT. These solidarity actions bring a very significant institutional and personal return. An example of this was the donation made at the beginning of the pandemic to hospitals and firemen in Portugal of personal protective materials, ventilators, beds and defibrillators. For a few days we looked for materials that were available for immediate delivery and exchanged some emails with hospitals and suppliers to be able to deliver everything in time and, fortunately, we were able to make the donations on time. It’s incredible to know that we can effectively make a difference and we can act at a national level!

Some good tips to be part of social responsability actions

There are several associations and solidarity groups looking for all possible help and you can contribute whenever you want. If you want to be more involved in volunteering and social responsibility actions, I share with you some good practices that I personally use:

  • Always clarify with all those involved the fundamental points so that the initiatives are carried out successfully. It is important to give feedback to everyone involved as often the solution to problems lies in dialogue.
  • It is essential to respect the rules established by each other in order to have a good relationship. There are different cultures and everyone needs to be treated with the greatest respect.
  • More than offering help, the ability to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and act in solidarity with them is essential if we are truly to make a difference. Most of the time, we are far from understanding the real needs or difficulties that a particular group experiences.
  • There will always be obstacles, but as you start to see initiatives move forward it will be easier to find the right motivation to help others. You have to be persistent and define well the motives behind your desire to help.
  • It is important to be available to help in any way necessary.
  • Having the initiative and being proactive are two characteristics that come together, are fundamental for obtaining good results and make all the difference in any activity. Always being attentive and taking the initiative will help the work of the whole team.
  • Creating a decision support model will ensure guidance and that we are fair. It’s never going to be possible to reach everyone no matter how hard it costs.
  • Taking the work seriously. If we commit to working on a project we should see it through to the end because we are being counted on to help.
  • In addition to teamwork, it is important to have discipline and humility to understand that we are not all equal and that it is the union of all that makes the difference.

About Xtend

Xpand IT joined in 2017 the 1% Pledgea global movement that seeks to bring together companies of all sizes and industries, encouraging them to donate part of what is their success to the community to support social solidarity issues. This movement, founded in 2014 by some of the world’s largest technology companies such as Atlassian and Salesforce, encourages companies to donate 1% of their product, 1% of equity, 1% of profit or 1% of employee time to social causes that companies want to support.

With the increase in the number of initiatives, Xpand IT felt the need to form a group of volunteer employees who came together for the purpose of organising and leading solidarity activities within the company, resulting in donations and/or projects where technical expertise is required. In 2020, the group Xtend (‘X’ for Xpand IT and ‘tend’ for caring and/or treating) officially emerged, which I joined with other Xpanders.