• Symantec Employees Provide 6,000 Hours and $41,000 to Causes in Need

        Oct 27 2017, 6:07 PM

        by Tess Hetzel 0

        Photo: @LRBed Blood donation event in Waterloo, Canada 

        At Symantec, the activism, advocacy, and passion of employees on the ground is what transforms our corporate responsibility strategy into tangible, real-world results. We’re committed to building a culture that enables employees to apply their time and talents to the issues they care most deeply about, and offer programs to maximize volunteer and philanthropic efforts.

        These include our Matching Gift; Dollars for Doers; Nonprofit Board Service; Symantec Service Time Programs, which provides employees with up to five paid working days for volunteering, and Global Service Week, a full week of service during which employees are encouraged to commit to at least 30 minutes (and up to eight hours) of community service with a charitable project of their choice.

        Starting October 9, 1,500 employees across the globe donated their time and talents to make Symantec’s second annual Global Service week a smashing success. With more than 70 events in 11 countries resulting in 6,280 hours with nonprofits and charities—we achieved a 57 percent increase from 2016 efforts. From Saudi Arabia to Reading, Johannesburg to Warsaw, Sydney to Tempe, employees worked together to make a difference in their communities. Global Service Week is one of the many ways we empower employees to help us meet our goal of reaching an average of four volunteer hours per employee by 2020.

        In addition to the hours spent playing games with kids at the Boys and Girls Club, teaching seniors about technology, building solar lights for those in energy poverty, participating in blood drives, donating and sorting clothing for low-income women starting their careers, and serving meals to the homeless, nonprofit recipients also received $41,420 through Symantec’s Dollars For Doers program, which provides a cash grant of $15 USD for every hour of volunteer service up to $1,000 per year per employee.

        Symantec employees chose projects and causes that spanned several different focus areas: 31 percent volunteered with an environmental cause, 19 percent volunteered with a cause that helps women, minorities and low-income populations, and 14 percent volunteered with a cause focused on STEM and equal access.

        Six Symantec sites, our Dublin, Dubai, Johannesburg, Reading UK, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore offices, built solar powered light bulbs in partnership with Solar Buddy. (Cape Town will be doing this next week) The light bulbs are on their way to Papua New Guinea (PNG) where only 10 percent of PNG residents are connected to the electricity grid, leaving seven million people forced to rely on dangerous kerosene, campfires, and expensive battery operated torches. Thanks to the volunteer support of Symantec employees these solar light bulbs will help give children and families living in energy poverty, access. Children will be able to do homework after dark, parents can continue to work on their small business, and women and girls can walk around their villages safely.

        Photo: @Jdeuria Puppy Cuddling in Sydney, Australia

        The majority of employees chose a hands-on project, like Mohsin Najmuddin in Pakistan, who planted fruit trees at a charity school named "Hilal Public School" located in a remote area far from Karachi and provided lunch for the students. “It was a great experience. We taught the benefits of tree plantation to the students and asked them to own those trees and to look after them. We also did a general knowledge question answer session with the students and distributed gifts among them,” Mohsin said.

         Photo: @LouiseRHanlon Solar Buddy event in Singapore

        For June Lee in Singapore, Global Service Week was the first time she heard of Beyond Charity, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children and youths from less privileged backgrounds break away from the poverty cycle. June helped deliver food to families in need and through the process she learned how much the charity did for the community. June had always wanted to volunteer but wasn’t sure where to spend her time or how to get involved. With Symantec’s support and through GSW she found the process to join simple. “I wanted to volunteer, but didn't know where and how. Global Service Week provides the opportunity to reach out to people and now I’m more aware that there are still many people who really need our help,” she said.

        Jeff Reitzes who volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity (HfH) ReStore in Concord, California, also chose a hands-on project. ReStore is a store that sells donated building materials, furniture, appliances, beds, mattresses and other household items, with the proceeds going to fund HfH projects. Jeff put together furniture for display, moved items from the trucks to the warehouse and the store, took sold items to customers' cars and did lots of other odd jobs. Of the experience he said, “I had a great time and worked with a lot nice people. It was VERY nice for Symantec to let me take the day off of work to do this volunteer work. I will definitely do it again outside of Global Service Week.” 

        In the United States, four Symantec offices partnered with Together We Rise, a non-profit that supports children in foster care. One of the organization’s main programs, Build a Bike, provides free bicycles to make the foster care transition a little easier. Symantec employees in Boxborough, Mountain View and San Francisco built bicycles for young foster children to experience the simple joys of childhood, and for foster teens to help get them to jobs and classes. The Washington, D.C. office also worked with Together We Rise, providing Sweet Cases to foster children – new duffel bags filled with essentials like a teddy bear, blanket, hygiene kit and more.

        Photo: @NatalieBlackwel Giving the gift of light in Dublin

        We’d like to congratulate our event organizer winners who each won a $500 award for their efforts: Amber Tarin, who brought a team to the Utah Food Bank, and Benjamin Cook, who organized a blood drive in Melbourne, Australia. Our Twitter Photo Contest winners this year are Charlie Cam, Maqbool Khan, Ajay Kumar, Saad Sheikh, and Nina Singhal, and we’d like to thank all of the employees who shared their experiences with us on Twitter.

        Global Service Week was a fantastic opportunity for employees around the world to come together with old friends and new, to volunteer with a cause they care deeply about. We thank all of our organizers, executives, and employees for their efforts this year and are proud of the tremendous impact made in communities across the globe. 

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      • A Safe and Secure Shelter

        Oct 13 2017, 1:21 AM

        by Tess Hetzel 0

        Product donation is Symantec’s largest mechanism to support the nonprofit community and help nonprofits fulfill their missions. In partnership with TechSoup, each year we provide cybersecurity solutions to more than 25,000 organizations across 55 countries worldwide, allowing them to secure their most important data wherever it lives. Since launching the software donation program in 2002, Symantec has helped more than 93,000 nonprofits solve today’s biggest security challenges and protect against the ever-evolving threat landscape.

        Founded in 1976, Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse (CAPSA), works to provide safe, caring, and confidential shelter, advocacy, and support for victims of physical and emotional domestic violence and sexual assault; and to reduce incidents of abuse through prevention education. Serving a small community in Northern Utah, the organization is up against significant odds—nationally one in four women, and one in seven men, will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes.

        CAPSA is an organization that continually has more needs than resources in trying to help those suffering from abuse. Even with limited resources and funding, the nonprofit is able to provide advocacy, counseling, safety planning, and both temporary and long-term shelter for almost 1,000 people each year. The group also educates thousands of youth a year, channeling tens of thousands of volunteer hours towards this cause.

        Above: CAPSA owned housing, built by volunteers and clients, which help keep clients safe as they begin the process of rebuilding their lives.

        Data security is critical for CASPA

        With this type of work, CAPSA has some demanding computer, network, and information system challenges and needs. According to James Boyd, CAPSA’s Development Director, “The feeling of safety and security is something we’re trying to provide our clients. We’re dealing with people who sometimes come in afraid for their lives, afraid someone will find out their location. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention put out a study that indicates when someone leaves an abusive relationship, the chances of being killed increases significantly. We have a safe and secure shelter, we teach people safety planning, and as an organization, we need to know our data is secure. Maintaining the security and safety of our confidential and sensitive data is a big part of what we need, and a big part of what we need to be able to provide our clients.”

        James went on to describe how a data security breach would affect the grants that sustain the organization financially. “If our data was breached, I’m confident that most, if not all, of our grants would pull out. That would mean immediately losing services for clients—thousands of people each year wouldn’t get support or services they need,” he said.

        CAPSA began using Symantec's Endpoint Protection (SEP) for small businesses a couple of years ago after experiencing considerable downtime as workstations became compromised. Due to limited funds, in the past they used free or trial versions of anti-virus software, and were continually hit with malware attacks. Their email accounts were hacked, sending out private information and spam emails, negatively affecting their reputation, and more importantly, putting lives in danger.

        Their part-time information systems manager David Sullivan spent multiple days after each attack reinstalling a clean version of the operating system and software. This tedious and time-consuming process also left employees without their computers for several days. David then started looking for a solution that would protect their confidential information, keep the organization running smoothly, and could be both deployed and maintained easily.

        David chose SEP, through Symantec’s software donation partnership with TechSoup. “Symantec’s Endpoint Protection has done a superb job of keeping our sensitive and confidential information safe, preventing malware and other issues that cause down time in our computers and systems. The ease in which I was able to deploy SEP, and the way it can be centrally managed through an online portal has been wonderful. It has helped our staff stay focused on the individuals and families they support, and has helped me focus on providing the information systems improvements that help them best do their jobs.”

        Saving lives one-by-one

        James also estimates that through SEP, each year the organization saves $1,000—which directly equals sheltering one more individual per year. That one person is someone like the young mother who walked through the snow and slush barefooted with her two children last winter to escape abuse. “Luckily she ran into a stranger who knew about us and was able to get her to CAPSA. We helped her work to overcome barriers that often times cause people to go back to violent situations. We helped her get a job, helped her get housing, and gave her and her older child therapy. She’s now living in a CAPSA-owned house and she’s doing well. To see that whole cycle is amazing,” says James.

        Domestic violence happens more than we realize: according to CAPSA half of all homicides in the U.S. are domestic violence related. In Utah, CAPSA relies on Symantec to keep their systems and their clients’ information secure, while the organization and its volunteers work tirelessly on their mission of providing safe, caring, and confidential shelter for victims of abuse, ultimately saving people’s lives.

        Learn more about some of the many nonprofits utilizing Symantec products through Symantec’s partnership with TechSoup:

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      • Why Business Needs the Global Goals

        Oct 20 2017, 8:47 PM

        by Tess Hetzel 0

        By Delphine Millot, MPA, VP and Head of International Public Affairs at Grayling

        As a member of the UN Global Compact, Symantec was included in a new report by DNV GL highlighting companies pioneering progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Symantec was praised for its outstanding work towards gender equality (SDG #5) through unique efforts to recruit women to Symantec’s board of directors and women-specific education programs in cyber security.

        The clock started ticking 18 months ago to start delivering on the 2030 Global Sustainable Development Agenda. Efforts are based on the so-named SDGs, a list of 17 goals and 169 targets covering the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development embraced by the 193 member governments of the United Nations.

        Governments are calling out businesses directly to play an active role in achieving the SDGs, as their success relies heavily on action and collaboration by all actors. None of the SDGs will be met without increased efforts from all sectors, and the trend on several goals, such as climate change and inequality, is actually going backwards. This is where business can make an impact – as a capable actor with the resources needed to deliver the SDGs alongside governments.

        If the global goals need business, the opposite is also true: business needs the global goals. The Business & Sustainable Development Commission found that achieving the SDGs could be worth at least US$12 trillion a year in market value by 2030 and create 380 million jobs in the process. Recognizing and capitalizing on the connections between social, environmental and economic progress has the power to unleash the next wave of global growth and redefine capitalism.

        A strategic approach to Corporate responsibility (CR) allows a company like Symantec to be pro-active, develop consistent CR initiatives and build a business model that can be sustained and bring shareholder value over the long term. Such an integrated approach brings credibility and authenticity to a CR program, which in turn enhances transparency and facilitates stakeholders’ engagement.

        In this context, companies can use the SDGs as an overarching framework to shape, steer, communicate and report their CR strategies, goals and activities.

        Symantec and the Global Goals

        Management approach

        Symantec looks at the SDGs as an opportunity to align core business activities and innovation efforts with society's needs. From a business perspective, this allows Symantec to reap the early benefits of high-integrity branding with their consumers, investors, employees and the marketplace. The SDGs therefore offer Symantec a pathway to attract talent, unlock new markets and develop new products and services to empower in-need customers on issues such as cyber security.  

        Symantec is a great example of a company that has integrated sustainable development into every aspect of its business. Symantec’s approach to corporate responsibility is set by the highest levels of management, who receive regular progress briefings on the company’s programs, including quarterly updates on diversity, ethics, environmental performance and community investment.

        Symantec also defined specific, measurable and time-bound key performance indicators (KPIs) as the basis for driving, monitoring, and communicating progress on the SDGs. An example is Symantec's commitment to increasing the diversity of its workforce at all levels of the company by 15% by 2020.

        Finally, Symantec reports annually on their corporate responsibility, including diversity metrics, goals and efforts. The CR reports are used as a tool to stimulate accountability and trust through integrated performance management.

        Progress on the SDGs

        SDG #4: Quality Education

        SDG #4 is focused on providing inclusive, equitable, and quality education. The talent gap in cyber security is expected to grow to a staggering 1.5 million by 2020 and there is a vibrant community of underrepresented young adults - including people of color, women, and veterans - that could fill at least 60,000 of these positions if properly trained. Symantec has invested more than six million dollars to engage and educate 745,446 students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. Through education, mentorship, volunteering and partnering with leading STEM advocates, Symantec hopes to change the status quo, close the gender and diversity gap in STEM and build a robust talent pipeline. The Symantec Cyber Career Connection (Symantec C3) program was designed to do just this, providing a pathway for underrepresented young adults and veterans to receive targeted education, training, and certifications that position them to fill in-demand cyber security jobs and enter long-term careers.

        SDG #5: Gender Equality

        Around the world, women are underrepresented in the field of technology. As a result, women are missing out on this promising career path, and the field is missing out on their contributions. Symantec is committed to gender equality and the advancement of women in technology. To this end, they have created a goal to increase the percentage of women globally by 2020 and a sub-goal to increase the percentage of women in leadership (Director-level and above) to 30% by 2020.

        Symantec is a founding signatory of the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP), a partnership initiative of UN Women and UN Global Compact (UNGC) considered globally as the recognized principles and standards for women’s equality. And, through partners like The Anita Borg Institute and TechWomen, Symantec provides stand out females across the world mentorship, professional training and networking to prepare them for a promising future in cyber security.

        SDG #13: Climate Action

        Planetary warming continued in 2016, setting a new record of about 1.1 degrees Centigrade above the preindustrial period, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Stronger efforts are needed to build resilience and limit climate-related hazards and natural disasters. Symantec integrates environmental stewardship into their operational, product, and supply chain strategies. A sharp focus on environmental performance supports their business objectives and, at the same time, contributes to the urgent action needed to combat global climate change. Symantec took an important step regarding its energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions by establishing a new goal to reduce the company’s GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2025. 

        Sustaining efforts over the long run

        They key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will be sustaining efforts over the long run – and corporations, governments, and nonprofits must all work together to achieve real impact. A business survey undertaken in May 2017 shows that business expects the United Nations and governments to incentivize companies to drive positive change. One incentive, publicly recognizing individual companies’ efforts, is important in two different ways. First, this positive recognition rewards companies’ innovative efforts and makes their stakeholders aware of these efforts. Perhaps even more importantly, this public reporting also disseminates best practices across a wide range of stakeholders. This sharing of best practices, and the ways in which corporations, governments and nonprofits are finding ways to lead in there own ways, is critical to making sure we deliver on the Global Goals by the 2030 deadline and beyond.

        void(0)Currently a Vice President at leading communications agency Grayling, Delphine Millot has twelve years of international experience in corporate reputation and public policy. Based in New York City, she heads Graylings International Public Affairs Practice, supporting a wide range of clients on their global communications strategies and advocacy campaigns. Before re-joining Grayling in 2015, Delphine led the business expansion in Africa, Middle East and Europe of a US trading firm, before joining a food start-up working with international hotel groups, restaurant chains and universities to lead the way towards health and environmental stewardship. Delphine completed her Masters of Public Administration (MPA) at Columbia’s University School of International and Public Affairs, with a specialization in sustainability management. 

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