Through our Spotlight Series, we delve into the minds of our colleagues to find out more about their roles, what motivates them, who inspires them and much more.
What originally attracted you to BGL Group?
I live locally and was aware of BGL Group. Some ex-colleagues of mine also worked at BGL and they had provided good feedback on their experience, the culture and how they had progressed since joining. BGL has a focus on flexible working and an open culture, which attracted me.
Tell us about your journey through BGL since you joined the Group…
I accepted the role with BGL in early 2020 with a start date of 30 March - we all know what happened next! I was so worried that I might not get to start my new role with BGL, but my manager and the wider HR team that supported my onboarding and induction were great. My IT equipment arrived the week before I was due to start and everything worked first time. I met all my colleagues over Teams and culturally it was easy to just have a video call with someone or ping them a message. My first nine months have flown by and I really feel part of the culture and team, despite not meeting many people face-to-face.
Tell us more about your role…
I am responsible for all leadership recruitment, which includes everything from how we go out to market, to detailed assessment and offer negotiations. A big part of my role is making sure that we hire the right leaders for our organisation, not just from a skills perspective but also culture and behaviours. This links in with the other part of my role which is Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). I lead on D&I for the Group, working with an executive sponsor and a network of passionate and knowledgeable colleagues who volunteer their time to support our D&I strategy. It's something I feel very strongly about; how it can support our organisation to achieve great things, but also enable our colleagues to realise their potential and support mental health.
What does an inclusive and diverse workplace look like?
An inclusive workplace is one where you can be yourself; not only that, but being yourself is valued and utilised - you feel that you belong. Differences are celebrated and you feel empowered to challenge any behaviour that isn't in the spirit of equality and fairness.
What are the biggest challenges we’re facing when it comes down to equality, inclusion and diversity?
The challenges we have as an organisation of over 3,000 individuals is very similar to what we have as a country and worldwide. We have a culture and society of stereotypes and misconceptions that is extremely hard to breakdown as they are passed on from generation to generation. So many businesses, schools, colleges, and universities now have a focus on diversity and inclusion, and this is great news for making steps forward, but we can't expect one agenda to improve things for everyone. I feel the biggest challenge is keeping the conversation and focus going. It isn't short-term and just because we don't see change happen quickly, doesn't mean the effort isn't worth it.
Tell us something not many people know about you…
For around 20 years I was an extremely fussy eater. I didn't eat meat or vegetables and until very recently I had never had a cheeseburger (meat-eaters take a deep intake of breath). However, my husband has introduced me to lots of new foods and I would now be called a 'foodie' with a love of fine dining. I have tried all kinds of food from around the world, from elk heart in Sweden, kangaroo in Australia and guinea pig in South America.
Highlights and lowlights from 2020
It's been a tough year for everyone - the lowlight has to be trying to find a balance (or not) working from home, taking care of a young child and missing friends and family. On reflection however, being at home with my son did mean that I could steal some cuddles during lunch and offer support to my husband who suddenly became full-time childcare. A huge highlight has been the diversity and inclusion agenda at BGL as a whole; getting to meet lots of colleagues that I wouldn't work with otherwise and understanding their backgrounds, views and aspirations for the programme.
Who inspires you?
Here is where I expect I am meant to highlight a public figure that has done amazing things and I can think of so many people, but for me, that isn't what inspires me. It's the people I know well (friends and family) that inspire me, the little things they do that demonstrate kindness, compassion, and brilliance. My husband being one of them!
Interested in joining BGL? Take a look at our current vacancies