“At ODILO we adapt our solutions to the needs, aspirations and capabilities of all users.”

Interview by CORRESPONSABLES with Miguel Rodríguez, ODILO Business Manager.

  1. What is ODILO’s vision regarding equality and diversity within the organization and how is it reflected in its strategic plan?

Since our inception, our ambition has been to be a plural and diverse company that truly reflects the society in which we live. This means welcoming with open arms the talent of all kinds of people regardless of their gender, age, sexual identity, culture, and origin. The Diversity and Inclusion Plan is a pillar that guarantees our commitment to equality and plurality by acting transversally in all areas of the business.

In this regard, we are focusing on initiatives to progress in the various dimensions of diversity and to have an equal workforce in all its richness. Thanks to them, we can proudly say that we have more than 40% female talent, representation in the workforce of all generational ranges from 20 to 60 years of age, and more than 15% of our employees come from outside Spain, from countries in America, Asia, Africa, and other European nations.

  • What does it mean for ODILO to be the first edtech to join the Spanish Network of the UN Global Compact, and how does it impact your commitment to equality and diversity?

Being part of the Spanish Network of the UN Global Compact allows us to contribute to achieving a more egalitarian and sustainable planet. It commits us to aligning our service and learning solutions to the Compact’s ten universal principles, which affect such important issues as Human Rights and high standards in labor, environmental, and anti-corruption regulations.

Achieving a fairer global society is only possible if we all commit ourselves, from governments and public administrations to all citizens, and with the participation of private companies. More than 19,000 organizations from 160 countries are already part of the initiative. More than 1,000 are from Spain, and ODILO is the first edtech in the country to join.

  • How does ODILO contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

We have been specialists in technological solutions for the education sector for approximately 10 years. Our value proposition consists of creating Unlimited Learning Ecosystems adapted to the needs of our clients and the particular motivations and capabilities of each user, which respond to the challenge of contemporary education: to continue learning throughout life. In this sense, we have agreements with 7,300 providers in 150 languages, and more than 170 million users worldwide benefit from our activity in more than 9,100 organizations.

This work has a direct impact on five of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for which we are already certified: SDG4 Quality Education, SDG5 Gender Equality, SDG10 Reducing Inequalities, SDG12 Responsible Production and Consumption, and SDG16 Peace, Justice, and Sound Institutions.

Similarly, we have other certifications aligned with these SDGs and endorsing ODILO’s good corporate practices. These include ISO 9001 for ‘Quality Management’, ISO 14001 for ‘Environmental Management’, ISO 30415 for ‘Human Resources Management—Diversity and Inclusion’, and UNE 19601 Criminal Compliance.

  • Could you explain how you have certified the ODILO platform for accessibility with the UNE 301549 standard and the impact of this certification on access to education for all audiences?

One of the ambitions we focus on at ODILO is to adapt our solution to the needs, aspirations, and capabilities of each user. This requires a very advanced solution in everything related to accessibility and the proper functioning of our learning ecosystems.

To take Spain as an example, we must not forget that almost 4 and a half million people in our country suffer from some disability, according to INE data for 2022; figures that represent almost 10% of the country’s population to whom we must offer a solution so that they can further their education without any type of barrier.

In this sense, we have accessibility features for users with visual and motor disabilities, specific buttons for menus, alerts, and viewers to make navigation simpler and more intuitive. Our learning ecosystems are compatible with the main screen reading systems, such as VoiceOver (iOS), TalkBack (Android), or JAWS (Windows), and we have ‘Text-to-Speech’ functionality, which reads documents with the device’s or browser’s voice engine, among other issues. With regard to people with dyslexia, ODILO makes use of ‘Open Dislexia’, software that allows the use of a special font that facilitates reading for these users, makes it possible to increase or decrease the font size, line spacing and margins, as well as to change the background color of the reading pages. At the same time, the application has a ‘High contrast’ mode (black and white) for users with color blindness or vision difficulties that make it difficult to distinguish elements.

In short, we are committed to accessibility, so that users encounter no barriers when consuming the content and that their learning is limitless.

  • What are the main aspects of the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and inclusive culture framework you have developed for all members of the organization, and how is it implemented in the day-to-day running of the company?

As mentioned above, we have a ‘Diversity and Inclusion Plan’ that covers all company business areas and is made known to each employee from the moment he/she joins the company. In it, we recognize plurality and diversity as intrinsic components of ODILO’s nature and our purpose to advance the achievement of a fairer, more egalitarian, and sustainable society. Specifically, our latest action has been the publication of an LGTBIQ+ Plan and an LGTBIQ+ Anti-Harassment Protocol.

We also carry out mandatory periodic training and internal evaluations and have a whistleblower channel in the event of any non-compliance with the Plan. In addition, we involve all our employees and more than 7,300 content providers in our Plan and ensure that they comply with minimum standards of human rights and work ethics.

We also work hand in hand with other leading players in promoting diversity and inclusion to advance this purpose internally and externally. For example, the LaCaixa Foundation’s ‘Incorpora’ program seeks to attract talent from people at risk of social exclusion, and the AIDEMAR Employment Resource Center and the Micrograno de Arena Foundation for the same purpose.

  • What concrete actions has ODILO carried out in collaboration with Women Leaders in Education (MLE) to promote the role of female talent within the education sector?

Mujeres Líderes en Educación (MLE) is a national pioneer association in promoting inclusion and parity in education. It is made up of nearly a hundred women who approach education from a wide range of fields. There are teachers, disseminators, writers, professionals from the world of private enterprise, such as Ainhoa Marcos, our VP Education Spain and Global K12, and voices of reference from the world of equality.

We signed the collaboration agreement last March, from which we became a protective partner of the entity with the ambition to promote and make visible female talent within the education sector. The agreement is part of the work we do every day for real gender equality and female leadership in education.

In this short time of collaboration, we have already made progress in the first action plan that pursues these objectives. Among them, the first after work in our offices in Madrid for members of the organization to share experiences, exchange ideas, and present success stories in promoting female talent in the sector. In addition, the I Edition of the ‘Female Educational Talent Awards’, which will be aimed at recognizing the role played by women in the top management of schools and universities, departments of education and the business world.

  • Regarding the commitment to suppliers, how does ODILO ensure that they comply with minimum standards regarding respect for Human Rights and labor ethics, and what impact does this measure have on its supply chain?

For us, having a network of collaborators aligned with our commitments to Diversity and Inclusion and, therefore, with Human Rights is essential. In addition to technology, our value proposition also includes a very important part emanating from all the agreements that our great commercial team closes with content providers.

If we did not have guarantees that, as ODILO’s partners, they would watch over and respect human rights as we do in our activity, our commitment would be equally affected by our customers and users. For this reason, we carry out exhaustive controls prior to the development of any partnership and also as the collaboration develops, and in this sense, we publish a series of mandatory compliance criteria for suppliers providing services to ODILO.

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