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The EDEN working group aims to tackle issues around diversity, race and inclusion in the company openly and non-judgmentally.
In a period when companies are looking at their diversity and inclusion policies and trying to ensure their businesses are up to snuff, communications firm Inmarsat are leading the way with the EDEN group. To find out more about it, we spoke to dad-of-two Dexter Grant, 33, (pictured above) one of their global customer consultants, who is a core part of the network, but also enjoys Inmarsat’s enlightened attitude to flexible working.
When I got the job, the first thing I was surprised by was the level of diversity. Doing my research about the company, I didn’t think I would be coming into [that kind of] environment…Inmarsat totally shut me down with that assumption. I was really surprised at the level of diversity I was able to see.
Our executive team, the leadership team, there wasn’t any diversity there. That was something that we as a company brought to the attention of management. And right now we have a CEO of minority ethnic background, so the company is listening.
Another way the company is encouraging diversity is creating that network. It’s basically a black and minority ethnic group where we’re able to sit down and collaborate and talk about ideas where we can increase diversity within management level.
Ensuring that [the] idea of unconscious bias is not stigmatised, that we could sit down and have those uncomfortable conversations in a safe space.
We wanted to create an environment where even though you might not be of that background, you can come in and have that discussion…how we can make the workplace a comfortable environment for everyone.
I have two boys, a 12-year-old and a three-year-old. Being home for 18 months really demonstrated to me how much I was actually missing.
I decided to go onto the night shift because the way it works is you’re working 12 hours a day, for four days. And after that four days, you get four or five days off straight. Having that time off has really helped me and doing a 12-hour shift at home, I didn’t mind. I could still see the children, particularly the little one, running up and down. When my older child gets home, even though I’m working I can have that minute to check how his day was, whether he has any issues.
[This] is something I did recently. Inmarsat is currently moving into a hybrid system, where we’re required to come into the office. They’re trying to do a soft approach.
Now that I’m required to come into the office, it’s not too bad because the shift pattern I’m working, I’m not required to come into the office as much as everybody else. It works for me and I get to maintain that balance. And my manager and my director were very keen on allowing me to work this shift. As a parent, they understood what was important to me.
I’m a very talkative person at work! Having conversations with other colleagues about being a dad and what you go through as a dad, we come together and have those conversations.