Spotlight on CSR in Sri Lanka

Spotlight on CSR in Sri Lanka

Sara Sadoon discusses community investment at LSEG and why it’s so important across the Group.

I’ve always wanted to work in sustainability, so after completing my degree at Monash University in Malaysia (I majored in international relations and minored in marketing and communications) I planned to join an NGO or intergovernmental organisation.

Following an internship at the United Nations Population Fund, I learned that you can make a real contribution to sustainability through marketing and communications. I put this into practice in my first role in corporate communications at a local telecommunications company, where I regularly collaborated with the sustainability team.

After three years there, I came across the opening for my current role at London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG), which brought together my comms experience and my passion for sustainability. I joined in 2019, and I haven’t looked back.

Our community investment work at LSEG Sri Lanka is focused on a couple of key areas. The first is our long-term community projects and partnerships through the LSEG Foundation. Many of LSEG’s tech operations are based here in Sri Lanka, where we develop business-critical software that’s used globally, and we believe we can make a difference through the use of technology. Our long-term ambition for Sri Lanka is to help enhance the country's ICT landscape.

This includes projects like improving access to ICT education, promoting gender equality, youth empowerment and supporting entrepreneurs – we’re opening up avenues for both young people and adults to build careers and helping those in poverty to find a route out.

Company-wide, through the LSEG Foundation, employees are encouraged to pursue the projects they care about and to contribute ideas, which means that you feel empowered in your role. This includes a huge emphasis on getting our employees active in their communities – every employee gets two paid days off a year to volunteer – so our second focus is to help facilitate this.

For us, community investment is about more than just financial donations – it’s about making our people feel like they’re part of something that enriches our communities. Staff are encouraged to propose projects they’re passionate about and which support our longer-term ambitions For instance, if someone wants to support a local rural school myself or our network of Community Action Team volunteers can help get things moving.

One of my favourite things about working here is that you encounter so many passionate people. Our people don’t just get involved in community investment for the sake of it; they do it because they're genuinely interested in making a difference. Letting our staff lead on many of our initiatives means that we have such a diverse range of projects. For example, some people really care about the environment, so we get involved in activities such as beach and community cleanups. Others want to support specific education initiatives, so we support charities increasing access to education. And then, of course, we do lots of work around helping other people, for instance in hospitals and care homes. No two days are ever the same.