Celebrating the success of the Diversity and Inclusion (D+I) Council, 'We are JLR' members and employees from across the plant united with Birmingham Multi Faith Leaders at the Land Rover Experience to recognise their exceptional actions, network and continue the important conversation on D+I.
On Wednesday 7 December, the Solihull Plant celebrated the work of its Diversity and Inclusion (D+I) Council. The D+I Council hosted the event at the Land Rover Experience with the ‘We are JLR’ members and employees across the plant who are part of the council attending.
The event was an opportunity to not only celebrate the success of the impactful actions the council had moved forward but to further network and educate themselves. The council invited the Birmingham Multi Faith Leaders to attend the event. The Faith Leaders represent the Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish and Buddhist religious groups.
Adrian Price, Solihull Operations Director, expressed his pride at the progress and explained that: “We are committed to fostering a diverse, inclusive and unified culture that is representative of our customers and the society in which we live; a culture where every one of our employees can bring their authentic self to work and feel empowered to reach their full potential. We are aware that the journey to support our aspirations to become more diverse and inclusive is not always easy and it takes the courage of many people to come forward and try to support us in that mission.”
HR Director at Solihull, Nicci Cook shone a light on the ‘We are JLR’ networks working with unity and integrity to make an impact at the Solihull plant and beyond.
Solihull D&I Ambassadors Sue Ford (OTA Manager) and Joao Batista Mattosinho Filho (Trim and Final Tech Manager) also shared personal stories about why they are passionate about diversity in the workplace and how they have broadened their perspectives over their work careers. Julie Rahman (HR), who co-chairs the council with Sue Ford, commented that “the work through the council had not always been easy but with the hard work and commitment of the council members so many improvements have been made.”
Some of the improvements driven by the council range from more quiet rooms to the first gender neutral toilets, the offer of free sanitary products, wellbeing hubs and a parent room. They are also working towards additional improvements and additions over the next few months.
Some of the council members shared heart-warming and emotion of their individual struggles and journeys to be truly understood, respected and included at work. Debby Bradwell (Paint Quality Co-ordinator), Flik Bennet (FA3), Steve Edwards (Bodyshop), Paul Beddow (FA3), Daniel Walker (Senior PVT Engineer) and Mo Zulfiqar (OTA) shared their vulnerabilities openly but also offered thought-provoking insights of where everyone can work together to make a positive difference.
Allyship was also the main theme of Dalwinder Mann (Senior Manufacturing Programme Engineer) and Huijie Ma (Software Engineer) who proudly shared their Exceptional Talks on the day. Dalwinder pointedly said: “there are no hierarchies in the work of D&I, we are all equally able to reach out and help a colleague in need.”
Huijie commented that she’ll “continue to work hard to give others who may not feel seen or worry that they cannot come forward because of their ethnic or cultural differences, to have a platform to be seen as a normal human being like everyone else.”
The Multi-faith leaders all were very complimentary of the progress being made at JLR and reaffirmed their commitment to continue working closely together in the future. Mohammed Asad MBE, lead Imam at Birmingham Central Mosque, was one of the faith leaders in attendance and has worked with us to share advice and guidance on Islamic teachings so we can support staff to practice their faith at work.
Mohammed said:“I know that what I have seen today is not lip service or a tick box exercise, I’ve personally seen the positive changes on my visits to Solihull. I’m really happy to see some of my suggestions put into practice.”
Both the Solihull D+I Council members and ‘We are JLR’ members agreed that there was so much more work ahead and being more diverse and inclusive was the only way forward.
All of the networks welcome the ideas and engagement of all JLR colleagues so do reach out to the council if you want to get involved.
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