Since 2011, Dell has been collaborating with the non-profit Computer Aid International on the Solar Community Hubs initiative, which provides solar-powered internet centres to underserved communities in Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa. Dell also contributes to digital inclusivity for girls through its Girls Who Game programme in partnership with Microsoft and Intel. The programme provides girls from underserved communities across North America an opportunity to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through gaming. The company also incorporates accessibility considerations in its product design processes.
Aside from its Girls who Game programme, which teaches basic digital skills to girls from underserved communities, Dell has a programme called Digital Skills for a Global Society that aims to teach individuals basic digital skills. Dell also partners with Intel and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) on the AI for Workforce programme, which serves 18 community colleges across 11 US states. Additionally, Dell has partnered with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on the Giga initiative to map school connectivity across the world with the aim of connecting every school to the internet by 2030.
Dell supports the tech innovation ecosystem through initiatives that provide start-ups, entrepreneurs and non-profit organisations access to funding and mentoring. Notably, Dell offers support for female entrepreneurs via the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN). The company also demonstrates a commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by mapping its own goals and progress against the SDGs. Additionally, the company discloses the locations of its research and development (R&D) facilities and the number of its women employees working in tech roles.
While Dell has programmes across different dimensions of digital skills, it could commission third-party assessments for these programmes as well as report participation and impact metrics. These assessments can help the company and its stakeholders better understand programme outcomes and identify areas of strengths and improvement.
The company has an opportunity to strengthen its open innovation practices. This includes making a high-level commitment to open-source initiatives and standards and supporting start-ups whose founders are from underrepresented groups.
Core Social Assessment
The core social indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
Dell commits to respecting human rights and the ILO core labour rights. The company also has a grievance mechanism accessible to both workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints. However, Dell does not disclose a process to identify, assess and act on the salient human rights risks in its own operations and in its business relationships. Although Dell does not disclose the categories of stakeholders affected by its operations, it does provide at least two examples of its engagement with stakeholders whose human rights have been or may be affected by its activities.
Dell publicly commits to ensuring workers’ health and safety of workers and places health and safety expectations on its business relationships. However, the company does not disclose a policy commitment stating that it does not require workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours, nor does it explicitly state that it requires its business relationships to do so. Dell does not disclose the percentage of its workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements and provides no relevant evidence in relation to paying its workers a living wage. It does, however, publicly commit to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment and has set time-bound targets for this. By 2030, it hopes to achieve 50% female representation in its global workforce and 40% in leadership positions. Furthermore, the company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender and ethnicity. However, it has an opportunity to report employee numbers for more indicators of diversity, such as age group.
Dell has anti-bribery and anti-corruption policies that also extend to its business relationships, as well as a grievance mechanism for stakeholders to raise relevant concerns and complaints. Dell also discloses its global tax strategy. However, it does not disclose its income tax payments in individual tax jurisdictions. Furthermore, the company discloses its approach to lobbying and political engagement and states that it does not make political contributions. However, it only discloses its lobbying expenditures for its US operations.