Encouraging employee involvement
Making it easy for employees to get involved in a variety of ways
The Thales Solidarity programme makes it easy for employees to get involved in a variety of ways through its online engagement platform. The programme aims to meet the needs of partner organisations by connecting them with employees who wish to contribute their knowledge, expertise, time, generosity or simply their energy.
Employees can get involved in three main ways:
- by submitting a project they are involved in through the employee call for projects
- by sharing their time and or experience in skills-based, collective and hands-on volunteering missions
- by donating a few cents of their salaries through the payroll giving programme in France or by participating to fundraising initiatives across Thales
Each year, the Thales Solidarity charitable fund launches a call for projects to support employees’ engagement by providing funding for their initiatives. The call for projects is open to employees in all Thales entities worldwide and encourages staff to get involved in local communities in the countries where Thales does business, in line with Thales Solidarity’s focus areas and selection criteria.
A dozen projects are selected each year through this programme. Throughout the project’s duration, the fund supports the employee sponsors in mobilising other volunteers to multiply the impact and visibility of the project and their commitment.
Thales Solidarity launches a call for projects to support employee engagement by funding selected projects
I spent many years living in developing countries including Sierra Leone and Bangladesh. I gained an interest in applying innovation to critical needs such as the lack of fuel for basic necessities like cooking. This often results in deforestation and harm to the environment, which is why I became interested in creative solutions like solar cooking.
In Oakdale, I got involved with the non-profit Persons Helping People and a team of volunteers who were interested in this same issue. My role on this project is as project manager.Oredola Taylor
I am happy to see discussions and plans on paper come alive thanks to great partnerships with local groups in Haiti, but also with the support of the Thales Solidarity programme. Our team has gone from planning on increasing the use of solar ovens in Haiti to being in the process of doing so!
Project sponsor of a low-tech innovation initiative, a winner of the Thales Solidarity 2020 call for projects
Some of the supported projects
Although the tech space is growing rapidly, women hold only 20% of the jobs in this sector in Brazil, mainly due to a lack of appropriate training and accessible job opportunities.
Laboratoria encourages motivated women to take part in an intensive training course in front-end development and UX design, taking place five days a week over six months.
Through independent online learning as well as corporate partnerships and group sessions (such as the final hackathon), the objective is not only to develop participants’ technical skills but also their socio-emotional and adaptation skills, to facilitate their integration into the labour market.
The project serves 50 low-income women, over the age of 18 and having completed secondary school, from all regions of Brazil.
The Brazilian charity Laboratoria works for a more inclusive digital economy by supporting low-income women in gaining employment through digital training.
This project, sponsored by Citlali M. (São Paulo, Brazil), was a winner of the Thales Solidarity 2021 call for employee projects.
The WiFEC school project aims to improve access to educational resources and support for students in a disadvantaged region of Vietnam. By harnessing distance learning and a network of volunteers, the project aims to reach 350 students over the 2021-22 school year.
In Vietnam, about one in five children (5.5 million) cannot go to school and 24% of young people drop out before the age of 15.
To improve educational opportunities, this project aims to equip classrooms in two schools in Hà Tĩnh, the country's poorest province, with computer facilities for distance learning.
Thanks to a network of Vietnamese volunteer teachers, students in the partner schools benefit from supplementary tutoring in mathematics, physics, chemistry and new courses (such as English and IT) as well as academic and career support.
The project targets 350 students aged 6 to 17 from Hà Tĩnh, who have no access to instruction other than free education and whose parents have very low incomes.
WiFEC (Wings for the Future, Education through Connection), the charity behind this project, supports students in Vietnam by providing free online education.
This project, sponsored by Stéphane R. (Toulouse, France), was a winner of the Thales Solidarity 2021 call for employee projects.
These workshops aimed to help young people develop critical thinking skills, make sense of the information they receive and challenge stereotypes and their propagation. Run and coordinated by the charity Savoir Apprendre, the project also trained youth workers from four social centres in Val-de-Marne, involving them in workshops.
Given the rapid growth and spread of new technologies, it has become essential to train citizens in how to operate and leverage them.
Digital exploration clubs are spaces for young people to discover and experiment with science and technology, offered free of charge. For instance, the Désinfox workshops examine one dimension of our relationship with digital tools in particular: content criticism.
The project targeted 60 young people aged 8 to 17 from Val-de-Marne in the Paris area, half of whom are girls, as well as 10 to 15 youth workers in social centres.
Savoir Apprendre, the charity behind the project, promotes access to scientific, technical and digital knowledge, particularly through the Exploradôme, an interactive space for discovering science while promoting equality of opportunity.
This project, sponsored by Antonin C. (Paris, France), was a winner of the Thales Solidarity 2020 call for employee projects.
I am interested in sustainable development, solidarity and inclusion. I am delighted to make my contribution by helping to implement and finance the AIME association's project, which aims to break down prejudices and encourage citizen involvement through digital technology. Furthermore, I see a connection between the Group's activities and those of AIME, both of which are working towards a better future: Thales by providing innovative technologies and AIME by limiting the divide created by technology among certain populations.Emilien B.
Sponsor of the project “Digital for social interaction and solidarity”, a winner of the Thales Solidarity 2021 call for projects
Planète Maker offers a digital approach to education aimed at helping students develop technical and interdisciplinary skills and create vocational interest in technical jobs through the use of fab labs. The project will train 48 young people from various employment integration schools in the Toulouse and Paris areas and takes an approach based on practice, mentoring and teamwork with the goal of making a product.
Despite and apart from the use of smartphones, understanding of digital tools and the possibilities they offer remains very limited among young people who are disadvantaged or out of the school system.
This programme, run by Planète Sciences, is based on 20 hours of digital training and practice in fab labs where students work in teams to make a product, moving step by step through the process of digital manufacturing.
In addition to the digital and technical skills acquired, this scheme will enable young people to gain confidence in their abilities and help them to overcome stereotypes associated with technology use (gender, social background, level of education) which hinder them in choosing a career.
The project targets 48 young people aged 16 to 25 from Toulouse and the Paris region enrolled in écoles de la 2ème chance (“second-chance schools”) or établissements pour l’insertion dans l’emploi (EPIDE, employment integration schools).
The mission of our partner charity, Planète Sciences, is to promote practical science and technology skills among young people aged 7 to 25 through the power of experimentation.
This project, sponsored by François S. (Toulouse, France), was a winner of the Thales Solidarity 2021 call for employee projects.
E-FABRIK’ is an intensive, 5-month training course that helps young unemployed people develop technical and social skills and build plans for a vocational career. Working with people with disabilities, 30 trainees developed solutions adapted to their needs and helped leverage digital manufacturing for the medical and welfare sector.
The opportunities that digital devices provide are too often inaccessible to the people who need them, such as medical and welfare staff, making it necessary to train “mediators” who can understand the issues and technical possibilities available.
E-FABRIK’ is a 5-month intensive training course that teaches people stay on the cutting edge of changes in how digital manufacturing is deployed in the medical and welfare sector, all while giving new motivation to young people outside the labour market.
The trainees work with people with disabilities to develop a solution appropriate to their needs. They learn technical and social skills that open doors to new sectors of employment, allowing them to develop or strengthen their vocational plans.
Learning by solving problems bolsters trainees’ independence and raises their confidence in their ability to succeed. In addition, the solidarity and welfare aspects of the course help drive trainees’ commitment and motivation.
The project reached 60 young people, including 30 from Seine-Saint-Denis (a northern suburb of Paris), aged 18-25 and coping with difficult social situations, as well as around thirty people with disabilities.
The charity Traces runs scientific and digital activities in France targeting many different groups and encouraging the development of skills that address societal issues.
This project, sponsored by Sylvie G. (Valence, France), was a winner of the Thales Solidarity 2020 call for employee projects.
It doesn't take much to change a life. A simple conversation at the age of 10 with my family doctor opened up new perspectives for me. Coming from a so-called disadvantaged social background, I didn't imagine that I could do anything other than my father's job of bricklayer. It was a revelation. School allowed me to build a life that did not seem accessible to me at first: becoming a Polytechnic Engineer.
I would like to contribute to creating this trigger for children. The project of the Echiquier Tressois club is dear to my heart because it aims to develop a chess activity in the schools that I attended in priority districts. Introducing children to this game can show them that they are capable of considering ambitious scientific studies.Nasradine A.
Sponsor of the project “Overcoming social determinism through the game of chess”, a winner of the Thales Solidarity 2021 call for projects
Belfast is a fast-growing UK technology hub and I think this project is vital to introduce new people, who might otherwise have been neglected, to the opportunities in the technology sector. Farset Labs is an amazing charity who gives everyone access to education and tech equipment at a very low cost. Thales is one of Belfast's biggest employers and I think we have a responsibility to help organisations like these to give access to technology to everyone in our local community.James L.
Sponsor of the project “100 Makers”, a winner of the Thales Solidarity 2021 call for projects
We encourage employees to participate by volunteering their personal and professional skills through various missions of general interest
Employees are encouraged to get involved by volunteering their personal and professional skills as part of various community projects. There are many different volunteering opportunities, including mentoring jobseekers or students from underprivileged neighbourhoods, offering their expertise to support a charity organisation, helping to collect school supplies for hospitalised children, and more.
By offering their expertise to charity organisations or sharing their experience with disadvantaged communities, they can be sure that they are making a meaningful contribution.
It was revitalising and meaningful to take part in a project with a societal impact outside Thales’s usual scope.Vincent M.
From Thales Bordeaux Campus (France), on his participation in a solidarity hackathon aimed to improve access to digital training for people seeking professional integration (digital illiteracy)
When you are aware of the privileges you have, I think it is important to use some of your skills for a good cause. For me, this means two hours a week, which is not much, but for the students, it makes a big difference. The aim is to offer support that enables them to go further in their education and prevents them from making unwise choices due to their social situation.Juliette P.
Volunteer for the Bordeaux Mécènes Solidaires youth programme, which aims to fight inequalities linked to poverty in order to give all young people in the area the same chance at academic success and professional integration
Our volunteering missions
In March 2021, 21 employee volunteers collaborated online to find ways to tackle a major challenge facing the We Tech Care charity: when remote learning is the only option, how can we provide training in digital technologies for people trying to enter the job market?
Through Social Builder, employees can coach a woman participating in a programme to become a web developer or integrator. Volunteers share their knowledge and experience and develop action plans to help participants gain confidence and give them the keys to succeed in launching their new career.
The objective of this project is to trial an educational support programme in the Mérignac area that aims to combat inequalities, exacerbated by the pandemic, and improve students’ chances of academic success. Employees at Thales Bordeaux can volunteer to provide academic support to small groups of five to six young people, run workshops to introduce them to the aeronautics and business lines at Thales and mentor them in choosing a career.
The objective of this project is to provide women with basic computer skills (including use of Office suite, basics of the internet, producing a CV, and so on), make them feel supported and thus help them integrate into society and join the workforce.
The women selected to participate in the “Ensemble” training programme are of various ages and live in the Torpignattara neighbourhood of Rome.
Latitudes, an organisation supported by the Thales Solidarity fund, helps community associations solve their technological innovation challenges by bringing them together with professionals from the world of technology. Thales employees are invited to select an association on the Latitudes community platform and provide recommendations to help solve the digital issues that it faces during an hour-long video conference.
The success of the MicroDON payroll giving programme in France
Little streams make big rivers
As part of the Thales Solidarity programme, employees in France can participate in the MicroDON payroll giving programme, an innovative fundraising tool that lets them donate a few cents or euros each month to one of several charity projects. Rounding up their salary gives employees the opportunity to support community projects by making a microdonation from their net salary each month. Thales supports employees by matching all donations made through the programme. The amounts collected are paid in full to the beneficiary associations chosen by employees.
Demonstrating the principle that little streams that make big rivers, the combined microdonations represent a funding source of several thousand euros for participating projects, which are selected following a survey of the Group's employees.
collected since MicroDON’s launch in 2016
Fundraising initiatives in other countries
In many countries, various fundraising initiatives, including food drives and similar projects, are carried out each year to support charitable organisations dedicating to serving local communities, particularly those by the pandemic over the last year.
In the United Kingdom, charitable activities are organised by Thales employees. Their contributions, added to corporate donations, help raise on average €120,000 each year for a selected charity.
Similar local outreach actions involve hundreds of employees in fundraising activities in the United States, Canada, India, Germany, Spain, Italy and beyond.
The charities we support
The AP-HP and its 39 hospitals stand on the front line in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of patients it serves and the excellence of its clinical research make it a crucial player in epidemic response.
Télécoms Sans Frontières is the first NGO that specialises in using communications and new technologies for humanitarian response.
Secours Populaire Français tackles poverty and exclusion in France and around the world by bringing people together to build a fairer society.
Libraries Without Borders works to promote access to information, education and culture for all by supporting libraries around the world.
Pour un Sourire d’Enfant operates in Cambodia to help young people escape destitution and get a decent job through its education and care programmes
Cœur de Forêt works to protect forests and the people who live in them. By combining reforestation programmes with development of fair trade channels, it aims to offer local producers an economic alternative to deforestation.
Le Cartable Fantastique provides resources to help children with disabilities achieve academic success.
Planète Urgence runs programmes in developing countries to strengthen the capacities and autonomy of local communities and protect their environment.
Are you a Thales employee? Find out how to contribute on the engagement platform