Diversity & Inclusion

Recruiting BAME women in the ever-changing world of work

I am currently completing a 12-month placement in the UK and Ireland HR department and I joined Enterprise in October 2018.

I work closely with our UK and Ireland HR Vice President, Leigh Lafever-Ayer, and have been very involved in organising student and undergraduate events at EU99. I also have the opportunity to attend external events relating to our six diversity strands, most recently the Women and Work All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) session at the House of Commons following International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month in March.

This is my perspective on what makes Enterprise a great place for BAME women to thrive.

I chose to work at Enterprise as it is so obviously a diverse and inclusive environment. This is reflected in the growing bank of data that prove how successfully the company recruits and retains BAME employees.

Nearly 30% of new starters last year were BAME. Funded by a large portion of Enterprise’s training budget that supports diversity and inclusion, we are working hard to find sustainable initiatives to retain female and BAME hires.

Enterprise is a family-run company and lives by that every day even though it is a large and rapidly growing business.

You really feel part of a global team. Everyone shares the same values around equal treatment and opportunities for every employee.

Diversity and inclusion in the workforce should be a big goal. It’s reassuring to walk into a new place of work and to meet people who are from similar ethnic backgrounds as yourself. It enhances the sense of ‘belonging’ and demonstrates that it is possible for everyone to have a truly successful career with the company.

Hiring female BAME employees just for the numbers will not deliver an inclusive work culture. The best people respond best when they see companies give equal opportunities to people from various backgrounds and from different walks of life, bringing different skills, experiences and mindsets to the table.

It starts with eliminating bias at the first stage: the CV and application process. Many applicants’ names already give recruiters an indication of their ethnic origin.

Enterprise has worked hard to make processes fair, ensuring proceeding with applicants based on their skills and experience as opposed to which university they went to or which ethnic group they are likely to come from.

It’s also about having diverse female senior role models throughout the company, who can inspire and encourage the variety of different talent that walk through our doors.

This is a long-term commitment that embraces hiring, onboarding, retaining and development to embrace all employees throughout their years at Enterprise. Is there a better time than the present to kickstart the development of future diverse leaders? At Enterprise the answer is always – no, today is the day!

by Janique Bullen

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