Diversity & Inclusion

Providing more opportunities to women at all levels

It is a great honour for me to have the opportunity to speak to Enterprise UK and Ireland through this editorial page on Drive.

I admired this magazine as a GM and encouraged everyone within my group to read it. I also enjoyed reading it myself, learning more about all of the many successful women within our business, and all of the initiatives designed to help women succeed within our workplace. Drive is a great place to find role models, new ideas and see the emerging talent within the business.

I also want to offer my congratulations to Mike Nigro and Leigh Lafever-Ayer who pioneered this project. There are not very many large organisations who are investing the time and energy in promoting diversity through this type of magazine, and we are fortunate to be able to access the insight that it offers.

Moving forward, I hope that I will be able to add something to this publication. Now as MD and as someone from a diverse background myself, I bring personal experience of the opportunities which Enterprise can offer to all its employees.

However, I can read statistics as well as anyone else and we need to do more to ensure that more women can access the top levels of our organisation. There is room for us to continue to grow and improve.

As a father of two daughters, I also want to play a part in helping all organisations to provide more opportunities to women at all levels, as well as focusing on pay equality. Enterprise is already sharing its diversity message and practices with suppliers and customers, and I would like to see us do more in this area.

We know that it is business critical to build a balanced labour force that is reflective of our community. This is not a “nice to have” it is an imperative for our business. Gender diversity is not just an issue for women, it is an issue for everyone. The statistics show that more and more families are reliant on two incomes to get by, so issues such as pay equality and flexibility will become vital issues for all of us.

As a business, I want to do more to ensure everyone has access to opportunity, and that we provide the flexibility and support so everyone can achieve their goals.

Everyone needs to be on board to help us to achieve long term change. One thing I would like to see grow is mentoring. Over the years I have mentored many senior level women. I have personally found this experience very rewarding, I hope they have as well. I would urge you to find a mentor. Speak to your manager for support if a candidate is not obvious to you. If you’ve worked with us for a while, take time to mentor more employees. You may surprise yourself by how much you learn through the process, and you really can make a difference.

by Khaled Shahbo

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