A Time of Change

25 May 2021

A year on from when the tragic death of George Floyd shocked a world already reeling from the effects of a global pandemic, the world in which we now live seems to be evolving in its acceptance and understanding of different cultures, beliefs and circumstances.

For many organisations such as Leonardo, this tragic event served to accelerate this change. In the months that followed, driven by a desire to be better and the passion our colleagues to make their workplace a safe, welcoming environment, we took the opportunity to reflect on the work we had already been doing and what more we could do to takes things further.

Our first step was to test and refresh our Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) Strategy, being transparent about our intent, actions and timescales involved. At the time of launching the new I&D plan last year, we wanted to listen to the views and experiences of our own employees which we heard through a series of conversations during Black History Month. We recognised that there was a lot more work to be done and were inspired to create a new partnership with the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK) to inform and support our work.

Six months on, our partnership has really taken off. AFBE-UK have helped us to better understand the concerns of their members and how organisations such as ours, may be perceived. In turn, we have listened to their feedback and made conscious changes to the way in which we present our company and to the way we advertise our opportunities both on and offline. The association is also now working with us to better attract talent from all backgrounds, to reassess the places we should be seen and to reconsider the Universities where we position ourselves. We will also be co-hosting a careers event in September with AFBE-UK, which is a new venture in our early careers campaign.

Another example is our new Mentoring programme, with volunteers from across our business acting as either Mentors or Mentees with other AFBE-UK members. Not only does this offer the traditional benefits of mentoring in developing our people, but also the value of sharing and learning from perspectives outside our own industry. We are also working with AFBE-UK and our Senior Leadership Teams to address how we can create a better ethnicity balance within our organisation, particularly at senior levels. At present, we know the representation is not where we aspire to be and that we are missing out on the benefits that come with a more diverse team.

One year on, the challenge we set ourselves is well underway. We accept we have still more to do and will not shy away from that. Our future success lays in the hands of talented people who care passionately about what they do, working in an environment in which every individual feels welcome, valued and able to succeed.