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INSPIRE 20 Podcast: Phillip Jenkinson, Baidam Solutions

Linda Rosencrance Freelance writer/editor
Phillip Jenkinson

Phillip Jenkinson, CEO of Australian tech company Baidam Solutions, started it as a tribute to his late father's passion for Indigenous rights and his desire to leave the world a better place. Baidam Solutions is committed to filling the gap in Indigenous representation in the IT security sector.

Baidam gives back to regional and remote communities by partnering with some of Australia's largest employers to create job opportunities and funding for cybersecurity certification training.

This program gives a significant percentage of its profits to providing pathways to employment in the IT sector for Indigenous and First Nations people of Australia, a definition that recognizes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people as the first people of Australia.

The INSPIRE 20 podcast series

Jenkinson is one of the executives taking part in INSPIRE 20, a new podcast series that showcases 20 executives from around the world who are making a difference in terms of inclusion and diversity in their organizations, communities, and/or their industries.

Listen to the podcast with Phillip Jenkinson on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, or Spotify. Plus: Listen to all of the INSPIRE 20 podcasts here.

Helping on many fronts

A former member of the Australian Defence Force, Jenkinson sits on a number of not-for-profit advisory boards and regularly supports the charity Soldier On, which helps veterans and their families build successful futures.

"I've been involved in the [IT] industry for roundabout 12 years," Jenkinson said in the podcast. "And it embarrassed me to say that I couldn't think of a First Nations man or woman who I'd either worked with or worked for in IT security. And I thought that . . . Baidam could meet that challenge head on and start to create a successful business in its own right, with a firm view of overcoming barriers for Indigenous inclusion and diversity."

In the podcast, Jenkinson talks about how his company helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people find employment in the Australian information security sector—free of charge. He also explains how he recruits Indigenous talent and how many placements Baidam has made.

"We measure progress and success exactly the same as any other business—from a financial perspective, but also importantly, for us, we measure success from our give-back to society," Jenkinson said in the podcast.

How others can help

Jenkinson also offers advice to other leaders trying to make a difference in society.

"My advice to other leaders would be to stay the course," he said. "The key word in 'leaders,' I think, is 'lead,' right? You have to lead by example, by bringing a positive attitude toward how we are going to talk to and how we are going to welcome Indigenous employees into our organization."

Jenkinson is also looking toward the future for his business, with the goal for Baidam to become Australia's leading Indigenous IT security solutions provider by 2025, Jenkinson said.

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