More than 120 colleagues from across the Group came together for the launch of #WeAreJMG, the company’s new diversification and inclusion strategy. Attendees were treated to a line-up of inspiring and thought-provoking speakers around the importance of not judging others, active listening and being an ally.
The initiative follows the success already achieved from focusing on the gender gap within the business as well as the wider industry in helping to change perceptions of motor retail. Through the #WeAreJMG strategy, the mission is to bring greater focus on offering a collaborative, inclusive and innovative environment, removed of bias or stereotypes, where everyone can feel comfortable to bring their whole self to work and therefore enabling the best talent to shine.
CEO Neil Williamson opened by sharing his thoughts on why creating an inclusive culture is important, challenging everyone to work on sharing and embracing differences to start the conversation, and how driving change is the responsibility of all colleagues to work together.
Clare Martin, Group HR Director, then shared the Group’s new inclusion strategy, which focuses on five key communities each created to ensure colleagues feel supported and connected: Women in JMG, JMG Ability, JMG Forces, JMG United and BAME in JMG.
Clare explains: “We’ve made tremendous progress in the last five years by focusing on changing perceptions of our industry and reaching out to encourage more women to join our business. So now we want to expand on this work to ensure we are continuing to bring in new and more diverse talent with fresh ideas and perspectives. As part of our strategy, we’ve enlisted the help of organisations to partner with us and guide us on areas of best practice or reinforce that the approach we’re taking is inclusive to all. This has included new collaborations with Stonewall and the Valuable 500, as well as continuing the work we already do through the Automotive 30% Club, Women Ahead, Whizz Kidz, Speakers 4 Schools and the Armed Forces Transition Partnership.”
At the event, colleagues were delighted by guest speaker Lynda Ennis from Ennis & Co, who brought an external view on the topic of diversification and inclusion by sharing what’s happening in the industry and beyond, followed by Nicci Take (the Corporate Drag Queen) who gave a humorous and personal account of being transgender and how organisations that create more inclusive cultures are more successful.
The day concluded with colleagues getting together to ‘walk in someone else’s shoes’, reflecting on perceived challenges others may face because of their different backgrounds. There were some brilliant points raised around helping others to feel comfortable talking about issues, how it’s everyone’s job to call out inappropriate language or behaviour, encouraging more inclusive conversations, and focusing on education not correction.
All colleagues who attended the event received the new Thistle pin, which is coloured with the #WeAreJMG colour scheme as a symbol of inclusion and allyship.