And just like us as individuals, what we have found is that no one part of the business can face up to that challenge alone. The last few months have seen our Executive Committee work hand in hand with our employee-led Network – our organisation of groups focused on inclusion and diversity – and our dedicated Culture and D&I teams to keep colleagues feeling connected even from the comfort (or discomfort) of their own homes.
As the lead ambassador for the Network, it’s been a particular point of pride for me to see how they have stepped up to offer support to their colleagues. They've been quick to adapt to the current situation and looking at how they could help our teams and support the business. The Executive Committee and I are benefiting from this interaction too, as not only is it helping us understand the challenges but also educating us on what we need to do to make Spirit a better place to work.
Whether it’s the Working Parents’ Group and the work they have done to raise awareness of the flexible working hours available for parents balancing work and home-schooling; the Ethnicity Group launching a book club to bring people across our offices together with shared experiences; the Young Professionals Group hosting virtual quizzes, or the Gender Balance Group still fulfilling our years-long commitment to mark National Women in Engineering Day with local schools, albeit virtually, the Network has stepped up when we’ve needed it most.
And for those who might need someone to talk to – a personal trainer for their mental health, a coach for their mind rather than their body – we felt this was the perfect time to launch our partnership with Sanctus, which provides our teams with an independent space where they can talk about anything on their minds.
Ensuring the mental wellbeing of our teams and making sure everyone feels like they are included at Spirit – that Spirit is a place for them to be them – is a fundamental part of who we are and want to be. It’s in the roots of our culture and means that in the face of adversity, we’re facing it together.