Global Head of Workspace and bEnabled Lead
My Bravura journey started 16 years ago, when the company in the UK consisted of just 30 people. I’m sometimes asked why I have stayed with the same company for so long. The first reason is that I work with some amazing people; not only is it nice working with them but they are decent human beings who work hard and want to do the right thing. I’d say that I have the best team ever.
The second reason is that the company has changed massively since I joined. Every couple of years or so we grow as a business; it’s an ever-evolving experience. Now we have over 1500 staff and 17 offices. It means my role is constantly growing and bringing new challenges. Even during the pandemic, in 2020, we acquired another 2 companies which brought two offices and another 100 people into the UK and 3 new sites in Australia. So, over the years it’s like working for the same but different company. So, why would I leave?
I started in HR, obtaining my CIPD HR Management degree but found I had more of a leaning towards Facilities. Now, as Global Head of Workspace, my role is primarily to ensure we are legally compliant as a business, have safe environments, that everything works as it should and everyone has what they need to do the best job possible for our clients. This includes areas such as health and safety, environment, office management, and audits, as well as integration with our clients in areas such as security, environment, social and governance issues (ESG).
One of the initiatives I have taken a keen interest in is the development of Bravura’s Diversity and Inclusiveness (D&I) programme. We have an overarching commitment to mental wellbeing – bWell – and additionally we have developed six key pillars as part of the initiative: Gender, Social Mobility, Neurodiversity, LGBT+, Race & Ethnicity and Disability. I have been involved in some way with most pillars, but I have taken the lead on the Disability Pillar, bEnabled.
There is, of course, a natural link with my health and safety responsibilities, but I believe this is an extremely important pillar for the business and something we need to promote globally within Bravura.
I know a lot of people within the organisation who have disclosed their impairments but sometimes people can be wary of speaking up. I want to promote a feeling of safety and create a safe space for people to come forward and talk openly within the bEnabled group.
For years there has been a mindset that says you just get on with it and you leave your personal life at home. But times are changing and rightly so. Through bEnabled, I want everyone in Bravura to be able to contribute to that.
The bEnabled team want to provide a support mechanism, run by colleagues, to help support people with disability and also for those who are carers for disabled people outside of work. There are many people in the world who are carers of one sort or another who get overlooked. This is something we want to address. We want people to feel they can do their job and deal with whatever’s going on in their personal life at the same time. People can be fatigued and stressed and underperform their tasks because they are trying to juggle too many things. We can help by being flexible with working hours, as a simple example.
We established the bEnabled Pillar in late 2021 with Raju Macharla as our Executive Sponsor, and one of our first tasks is to baseline where we are. This will involve collecting data and studying the perception of disability within the business whilst creating a safe space and support for employees and their families. We want to ensure inclusiveness and acceptance within the business. We’ll also be looking at how we can improve external communications, such as linking with our partners, clients and suppliers. And finally, we’ll be examining how we can provide support around disability outside of Bravura.
Long term, our goals are to:
- provide opportunities within the disabled community by advancing our recruitment processes
- work with volunteering programmes
- link with charities externally
- become an employer of choice in this area
Since the D&I programme started, Bravura has grown as an employer and made a difference through the introduction of bWell initiative and the six D&I pillars. It is a more inclusive place to work as a result. The more we talk about what we are doing in the pillars, the more people see others involved in them, and how it is affecting the Bravura community, the more we can make a positive difference.
I’m hoping that in five years’ time Bravura’s D&I programme will have advanced and made us even more attractive as an employer, and that we all focus on what we can offer to the community outside of Bravura and how we can be a positive influence in the wider market.