10 Most Influential Leaders of 2024

Donavan Hutchinson: The CEO and Founder of D&A Services International Ltd, Driving Change in the Tech Industry

CEO and Founder of D&A Services International Ltd, a visionary leader who is driving change in the tech industry by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

By Business Outstanders
Donavan Hutchinson: The CEO and Founder of D&A Services International Ltd.

Meet Donavan Hutchinson, the CEO and Founder of D&A Services International Ltd, a visionary leader who has made a significant impact in the tech industry. With a passion for driving innovation and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, Donavan has built a reputation as a forward-thinking entrepreneur and community leader.

Business Outstanders had the privilege of Interviewing Donavan Hutchinson. In this interview, we will dive into his thoughts on the intersection of technology and social impact, his approach to leadership, and his advice for young professionals looking to make a difference in the world.

Alright, let's cut to the chase! We'll be sharing some of the highlights from our conversation with Donavan Hutchinson.

Q. What inspired you to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in your professional journey, and how has it impacted your career and the organizations you've worked with?

The inspiration comes from my own journey over the last 20+ years in the Technology Industry which has been one of many ups and downs but which has paved the way forward for me to drive the focus on such an important area for every business. When it comes to DEI, it isn't just about ticking boxes, Its about igniting change and driving towards a goal where DEI becomes a moral imperative for every business. The world has continued to evolve and so has the ever-changing landscape of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. My passion is helping companies to weave diversity, equity and inclusion into the fabric of the tech industry and beyond!

Q. How do you balance your personal life with your demanding professional role as CEO and founder of D&A Services International Ltd, and Governor of Barnsley College? What self-care strategies do you use to maintain your well-being?

Striking a balance in life is absolutely essential. Having worked as a leader in the tech industry for many years it's been quite difficult to strike the right balance between work life and family life, however, since taking D&A Services International as a full time role I have been able to achieve the right balance whilst also focussing on some of the other initiatives I have the pleasure working on such as being a Governor at Barnsley College and focussing on some key investments that are linked to the work I am doing to help support organizations on cultural change and growth. When it comes to self-care , I have focussed my spare time on seeing family and friends, walking the dogs and going to the gym.   I have 2 wonderful daughters and an incredible husband and network of great family and friends and spending more time with them is absolutely key to good mental health and wellbeing as a whole as well as keeping as active as I can.

Q. Can you share a story about a moment where you had to make a tough decision as a Leader?

Working in the industry and transforming businesses often leads to having to make difficult decisions in order to set a business up for success. As such its important to embrace the changes that are required whilst maintaining a methodical, honest and human approach to the changes. In a couple of instances I have had to make some very difficult decisions however I have always believed that some decisions are part of the chapters in life and help us to learn from them. I would say the biggest learning in business and in some of the decisions made has been to be authentic and to lead with compassion, empathy and integrity always.

Q. As a leader, what strategies do you use to foster a culture of integrity within your organization, and how do you encourage transparency and accountability?

As a leader, these are some strategies I employ to create an environment that promotes ethical behavior, transparency, and accountability:

Lead by Example: Your actions set the tone for the entire organization. Demonstrate integrity in your decision-making, interactions, and communication. When your team sees you consistently making ethical choices, they’ll follow suit.

Define Clear Expectations: Develop a concise code of ethics that outlines expected conduct and decision-making processes. Communicate these expectations to your team, emphasizing the importance of integrity and responsible behavior.

Encourage Ethical Decision-Making Skills: Provide training and resources to enhance employees’ ability to make ethical choices. Foster a culture where people feel empowered to do what’s right, even when faced with difficult situations.

Create a Speak-Up Culture: Encourage open communication. Let your team know that they can voice concerns without fear of retaliation. When employees feel safe reporting unethical behavior, it helps maintain transparency and accountability

Implement Checks and Balances: Establish mechanisms to monitor and evaluate ethical practices. Regularly review processes, conduct audits, and ensure compliance with policies. This reinforces accountability across the organization

Q. How do you see the intersection of technology and social impact shaping the future of business, and what role do you think companies like D&A Services International Ltd can play in driving positive change?

In this dynamic landscape, digital transformation is more than just a buzzword—it’s a catalyst for positive change. Companies that embrace this transformation can create more sustainable and impactful solutions.

Technology empowers businesses to align their purpose with impact. Whether it’s sustainable energy solutions, healthcare accessibility, or education, companies can innovate with a clear mission. Leveraging data analytics, AI, and machine learning, organizations develop products and services that directly benefit society.

Technology breaks down barriers. It democratizes access to information, resources, and opportunities. Companies can bridge gaps by providing digital literacy programs, affordable internet access, and tools for entrepreneurship. This inclusivity drives positive change and ensures that progress is accessible to all.

As technology evolves, ethical considerations become paramount. Companies must prioritize data privacy, transparency, and fairness. Responsible AI deployment and secure data practices are essential. By leading by example, organizations like D&A Services International Ltd can inspire others to follow suit.

Technology creates more touchpoints with customers. It generates data that shapes personalized experiences. Building trust means understanding security responsibilities beyond traditional boundaries. Transparency and ethical behavior foster lasting relationships, ensuring that businesses thrive in the long term.

The pace of technological change demands agility. Companies that invest in upskilling employees, fostering adaptability, and staying ahead of the curve will thrive. Learning is not a one-time event; it’s a continuous journey toward positive impact.

Q. What advice would you give to young professionals who are just starting their careers in the tech industry, particularly those from underrepresented groups?

I would always say to someone entering the industry to be their most authentic selves. Its ok to not know all the answers and it's ok to get things wrong. Everyone is on their own journey and it's important that we help guide the younger generation to be as successful as possible. I would also advise to keep an open mind, to align yourself with people from different demographics that can provide different perspectives and ideas that will help you to forge a good and blended understanding of the task or requirement. Being authentic and leading with integrity is always key too. Remember that , Inclusion isn’t a checkbox; it’s the heartbeat of progress. Your unique background—whether you’re a quantum physicist turned UX designer or do not have a tech background at all, celebrate your uniqueness always!  

Q. What are your long-term goals for D&A Services International Ltd, and how do you plan to continue promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within your organization and the broader industry?

My long term goal is to bring DEI to the top of the agenda across the industry as a whole. Whilst this may seem a very big goal to achieve it's certainly not unachievable. In order for businesses to thrive, having a diverse and inclusive workforce is important. Our organization has been set up to help companies to help achieve their goals whilst achieving cultural excellence and supporting as many communities as possible in the process.

Q. What's the most important thing you've learned about yourself during your journey as a CEO and Governor?

Great question, I would have to say it allowed me to work with so many amazing people from different backgrounds and different cultures. The most important thing I’ve learned is that everyone is unique, everyone has a life outside of work, everyone deserves to succeed and be supported , everyone has their own story and everyone deserves to be their most authentic self in life no matter what.

Q. What's one thing you're looking forward to accomplishing in the next year that's not directly related to your professional role?

I'm currently renovating the house and hope to get it completed this year . It's been a long process and it's been a challenge however I am looking forward to finally getting it all done. Outside of the renovation, I really want to try and get back to horse riding after having an accident which broke my back in 4 places a few years ago. This is definitely a huge passion for me .

About: Donavan Hutchinson

In his role as CEO of D&A Services International Ltd, Donavan has taken the leap to focus his time on driving change across the tech industry and beyond with a clear focus on DEI. His dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion has earned him recognition as a champion of underrepresented groups in the tech industry and beyond.

As Governor of Barnsley College, Donavan is also committed to shaping the future of education and skills development. His unique blend of business acumen and community leadership has made him a sought-after speaker and thought leader in the industry.

“In the tapestry of leadership, Diversity, Equity and inclusion are not mere threads, But essential colors that illuminate the strength and richness of the whole”


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