Skip to content


Silka Patel discusses the importance of social impact and values 

What does good social value look like?

By Silka Patel

Companies have been taking part and creating programmes with the intent of delivering social impact for decades now, but how do we get the value from these CSR type activities, and importantly, if they are to really create community impact, how can they be sustainable and demonstrate that there is clear value to the business in return. 

Our last Critical Mass Community session explored these questions and more, as we shared the growing importance of social value work streams in our organisations, and areas of best practise.

It became evident from our workshop that social value is still very much in a nuance, with much work still needed from UK Government to better understand the delivery of social value and help shape the potential industry impact. If we are to really succeed with influencing change then greater partnerships and collaboration opportunities will need to be forged in order to create sustainable programmes for the greater good.

The discussion touched on some of the current challenges of finding appropriate pro bono opportunities, consistency in metrics and the standardisation of reporting tools.

We explored how we could better leverage the WiD UK membership as a component of talent attraction, development and retention strategies across army, navy and air force using the combined programme efforts of the commercial defence organisations.

And finally, we talked about the importance of our people and how to leverage opportunities to engage all stakeholders in storytelling and embedding these benefits into the business, both internally and externally.

Companies delivering good social value programmes do so with the intent of creating social impact and value but if it is to be sustainable across our operating environments, it is important that there is clear value to the business in return. We still have work to do!

Read our Social Value Impact Report 2023!

About our guest blogger - Silka Patel

Silka Patel is a strategic marketing expert with 24 years’ experience of working within the technology industry and is currently the Social Value Manager at Leidos. Leading the efforts on shaping the social value strategy for Leidos UK by leveraging our CSR and ESG activities to drive business outcomes.

Silka is a supporter of multiple Diversity & Inclusion programmes and is the Chair of Leidos UK Women’s Network and the Vice Chair of REACH (Race,Ethnicity & Cultural Heritage) employee resource groups. She set up Scotland Women in Technology, a non-for-profit organisation, which is now in its 16th year, championing women and girls in the technology sector.

​She mentors early in career women across industry and STEM graduates and apprentices so they can be involved in the life changing opportunities that the technology sector offers.

Mother of two boys, she enjoys Pilates, running and cooking as her favourite past-times.