STACK Infrastructure, the digital infrastructure partner to the world’s most innovative companies and a leading global developer and operator of data centers, was honored to host its first Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Groundworks Conference in Zurich last month.

More than 80 attendees from diverse backgrounds, regions, and roles participated in the pioneering event which welcomed guest speakers from around the globe including founders, educators, political figures, industry leaders, and social justice activists who shared their experiences, vision, and ideas. Among the speakers was Fawzia Koofi, First Woman Deputy Speaker of the Afghan Parliament & Women's Rights Activist, who shared about her life growing up in Afghanistan, activism, and the importance of women’s rights and access to education globally.

An array of panels also took place including Putting Words into Action: Shaping Policies and Practices to Drive Greater Inclusion; Creating Safe Spaces: Unveiling the Power of Belonging in the Workplace; Leading with Intersectionality: Strategies for Managing Diverse Teams; and The Talent & Skills Gap: Strategies for Accessing Diverse Talent.  

STACK is committed to fostering change within the data center sector and wider tech community. Minority groups are significantly underrepresented in technical and leadership roles in the data center industry and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion strategies are crucial for talent retention and attraction. Research has shown that 67% of jobseekers prioritize diversity in the workplace, and the top quartile of diverse companies are 35% more likely to have higher returns.*

During the conference, STACK detailed its ongoing roadmap to promote and develop DEI initiatives. The company has already incorporated DEI principles in its education strategy by establishing a data center course for 200 young students in Switzerland, provided educational tours of our data centers to more than 500 students, hired eight new Critical Operations apprentices at our Milan campuses, and reinforced links with four higher education institutions.

STACK also unveiled its participation in a pioneering scholarship program, supporting access to education and social mobility. Beginning with the 2024-2025 academic year, STACK will fund the entire academic studies of selected female students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, including the full cost of tuition fees as well as living expenses. The scholars will also be given access to mentorship, internship opportunities, and attendance at leading data center industry events.

In the future, STACK will continue to invest in education and apprenticeships aligned with its DEI principles, revise recruitment practices to attract a diverse talent pool, and roll out robust training programs.

John Eland, Chief Executive Officer, STACK EMEA, said, “Our position is clear: every perspective valued, every individual feeling safe, and we are dedicated to turning this vision into a reality. Our company remains dedicated to the wellbeing of every employee, but dedication means nothing without action.”

“This is the beginning of the journey where we educate, evolve, and incorporate what we're doing into our practices, culture, and policies,” added Michillay Brown, Vice President of ESG, STACK EMEA. “Our initial goal for the Groundworks Conference was to promote the importance of DEI within STACK and the wider data center sector, and create a tangible strategy for positive change.”

Highlights of the conference are available here.

*Sources: McKinsey, Glassdoor