Variety is the Spice of Life

I have avoided the use of the ‘B’ word (Brexit!) across my blogs, social media, and website as much as possible.….until now….

Don’t worry, I’m not going to launch into 100 reasons why we should stay or leave, I’m not going to mention “the backstop” and I’m certainly not going to talk about a "no deal". I’m going to talk about diversity and variety, and why I enjoy working with people from varying backgrounds and cultures. 

I have been fortunate enough to work with people from all over the world; Portugal, Zimbabwe, Italy, Belgium, Spain, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Turkey, Greece, China and America…to name a few. It fascinates me to hear about countries I haven’t visited, to learn about the different cultures, and dare I say, to try and learn snippets of a new language. It makes me appreciate the brave adventure those people are on; coming to a different country (sometimes with a new language), to start a new life, or begin a new challenge.

In my opinion, inclusion and diversity makes for a positive workforce, and there is nothing better than a positive workforce. 

There was a time when women couldn’t vote, when West Indians (like my in-laws) and Irish (like my Grandfather), who were encouraged to come and help rebuild the country after the war, were faced with “No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs” when they went to try and rent a home. I thought, and hoped, that we’d moved on from that kind of vitriol, but sadly, “the B word” has, in some cases, stirred up bad feelings towards non-British nationals.

Whilst sat on a client site recently, I looked around the shared table where I was working, and realised I was alongside colleagues from all over the world; Italy, Belgium, Turkey, Spain, all conversing in English; their second language. I realised how lucky I am, but also how sad it is. Lucky to work with a diverse team, but sad that these wonderful, welcoming, helpful and hard working people, face uncertainty about their future in the UK.

Given the opportunity, I would welcome the chance to work anywhere in the world. I would embrace the challenge of being “the foreigner” and would value the experience of working in a different country, culture and environment. Thankfully, the work that we do at Akeno is transferable; transformation and innovation is happening globally, so watch this space, and perhaps a future blog may come from a slightly more exotic location than a cold and drizzly Akeno HQ in Northampton!

I urge people to understand that regardless of country of origin, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities, race, hair colour, fashion sense, or anything else that makes us different, we’re all pieces of the same puzzle of life…..