Global Response to the Events in Ukraine
Since the beginning of the devastating events in Ukraine last month, it seems the whole world has united to support the Ukrainian people. Among those are not just governments and public individuals, but entire communities, businesses, and even industries.
This blog provides an impartial snapshot of what tech companies have done in their response, which steps they've taken to protect their employees and address those in need, and some tips on what else companies can do right now.
Tech companies are shifting things around
Companies worldwide convey their solidarity with the people of Ukraine through humanitarian efforts, transparency in their communications, and real practical help. Many businesses made significant contributions to funds and organizations that support those needing help with shelter, meds, clothes, etc.
Talking about tech: as of 2021, approximately 200,000 software engineers worked for nearly 4000 IT companies with offices in Ukraine.
For companies with distributed teams, the conflict has removed any boundaries. Ciklum — an international software development company founded in Kyiv, Ukraine in 2002, with foreign hires from London to Chennai, Buenos Aires to Sofia, and Malaga to Gdansk — offered informational, relocation, and mental support and care for their colleagues.
Through a $100,000,000 commitment and the volunteer support of local workers, a global system integrator EPAM helped its 14,000 Ukrainian employees and their families through humanitarian aid and on-the-ground support. Hundreds of their volunteers organized massive donation drives for food, clothing, toys, baby supplies, healthcare items to help communities in need.
SoftServe — a digital consulting company — shared inspiring stories of their employees running fundraising events and providing logistical and communication support. An account of the employee, who transformed his bar in Kharkiv into a shelter with food and supply reserves offering safety to more than 50 people, is heartwarming.
All attention on employees
During the last few weeks, thousands of companies highlighted that employees' safety is their top priority. Employers had to urgently review existing business plans and focus most of their efforts on supporting initiatives for impacted workers. Searching for stability and setting up more permanent operations, tech companies are moving their Ukraine-based staff to Poland, Georgia, and other countries.
Stuzo, a Philadelphia-based software development agency, established its entity in Poland to allow its employees a safer workplace.
Intellias, a Lviv-based IT consulting firm, helped 350 teammates relocate to their office in Krakow, Poland.
Game developer Evoplay with its majority-Ukrainian team has already relocated 15% of workers to Cyprus. The company organized working and living facilities in Lviv (Western Ukraine) and other safer cities for those who decided to remain inside the country.
Terrasoft, a leading global provider of CRM software, has immediately organized temporary hubs in Western Ukraine and relocated 520 employees with their families there. Its platform Creation was transformed into a tool for monitoring and coordinating humanitarian aid revenues.
Many IT businesses, including non-residents, offer open roles for those who lost their jobs because of the conflict. The founder of the biggest in Ukraine IT jobs portals DOU.ua and Djinni.co made a post on LinkedIn with the suggestion to promote firms that are ready to hire Ukrainians, explaining that relocation opportunities are not available for all impacted individuals. During just one week, the post has collected more than 150 offerings from tech recruiters.
Market shifts and services restrictions
A great number of IT firms took serious measures from closing businesses and offices to forbidding the products and services in the regions providing aggression.
Tech giants Microsoft and Apple suspended all new sales of their products and services.
Google, Meta, TikTok, and Youtube restricted advertising and monetization opportunities for local media. Twitter and other social media took steps to provide high-quality information around the conflict.
Upwork is suspending its services, including Upwork's support for new business generation, the ability to create new accounts and contracts, and visibility of user-profiles from the region in search results.
Grammarly, Gitlab, Slack, Vimeo, Coursera, Booking and Airbnb, online payment tools, and thousands of other tech firms have become unavailable for users from Russia.
As a protest sign, numerous companies with roots from Eastern Europe also joined the anti-war movement. Hundreds of IT firms have finished their partnership with local clients and are closing their legal entities and representation offices in the stated areas of aggression. A global video game company Wargaming even deleted some relevant maps from their World of Tanks.
Additional acts of goodness
Many tech companies have demonstrated their assistance and support in very creative ways.
Glovo, a Spanish quick-commerce start-up, partnered with the International Committee of Red Cross to add a new feature to its food delivery app in eight countries. With its help, users can make donations to support Ukrainians directly through the app.
Clearview AI's powerful search engine, a women's health app Flo, the online therapy platform Its complicated, and many more services gave free access to Ukrainian users.
SpaceX sent its two batches of Starlink terminals, and its mobile app has become the most downloaded in Ukraine.
Ling app showed their respect and honor by offering free language courses in the Ukrainian language to people worldwide.
Uber provided unlimited free rides to certain Polish cities from the Ukraine-Poland border. Wizz Air offered 100,000 free seats on flights departing from Ukraine's border countries.
Payment gateway PayPal enabled its customers to send money to Ukrainians. Before, people in Ukraine could use payments platform to transfer money out of the country. Now they are able to send money to the country and abroad, as well as receive funds.
In contrast to destructive force and violence, businesses and individuals worldwide have demonstrated how powerful combined actions, extreme responsiveness, and creativity can be.
Open LinkedIn, and you will find plenty of real inspiring stories along with the warmest statements people share about their companies and how many teams turned into real families. Ours did 💜
On the last note - what else can companies do now?
- Create safe spaces for conversations. Suggest psychological support for employees, both those in the epicenter of the conflict and those afar.
- Support your employees in organizing and participating in the volunteer activities and fundraising events, and join them if you can.
- If you are in the position, continue making donations to trusted organizations that help Ukrainian citizens inside and outside the country.
For a reference, please check all the ways you can help Ukraine as a foreigner here.