First Central’s colleagues are free to be exactly who they are; we’re all about authenticity, through and through. That’s why we’ve recently updated our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) strategy to make sure it’s as fair and wide ranging as it can be. So it respects difference, protects and nurtures. Our Head of Supplier Management and Quality Assurance, Lisa Beeching, explains,
“Being my authentic self has meant different things at different times, whether that be sexual orientation, same sex couple having a baby, being a mum, or dealing with mental health whilst carving out an ever-changing career! I simply want to make sure everyone feels comfortable and safe here at First Central to be the best version of themselves.”
We want our opportunities to be open to all, to show we have people’s backs. And it’s not just empty talk, we walk the walk and back our words up with comprehensive policies that let people live and work well. We know the boundaries between work and home are getting more and more blurred. This overlap means it’s vital people feel safe enough to reveal their true characters. No one should be forced to have separate identities inside and outside the office. We’re all unique and variety creates richness and strength; we need to hear distinct voices. Sameness is stale, unimaginative. A medley of talent and opportunity; that’s what we’re after.
Our people are exceptional. They come in all shapes, sizes, genders and ethnicities. They have many different faiths or values. Their brains process information in unique ways. They’re teenagers and in their sixties, or anything in between. They may have disabilities or be neurodivergent. Some are artistic and musical. Others are technical geeks and sports fanatics. Or a vibrant mix of everything together. Some are dog-loving parents, or socialite singletons, or none of the above. They’re a diverse bunch but, together, we’re the First Central family and everyone’s supported to be their best.
We’re a Level 1 Disability Confident Committed employer and we’re embracing the Women in Finance Charter. We’ve rolled out a Menopause Policy and awareness training and have a thriving Women in Leadership community. Adaptability’s in our blood. We offer flexible working hours and let people change their bank holidays. We embrace home working so colleagues don’t have to travel to the office every day.
To support our DEIB strategy, we’ve set up five colleague-led Community Networks. They’re hives of energy and creativity that spark amazing ideas around our practices for LGBTQIA+, gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, neurodiversity, socioeconomics and religion. Phew! We’re confident we’re covering all bases and are pleased with how far we’ve come. But we know we’re not done yet. Neither will we ever be; the world changes and we adapt quickly and grow so we stay accountable and relevant. We’ll keep evolving as the world keeps turning. Exhilarating stuff!
Our Chief People Officer, Jo McGowan, is passionate about respecting colleagues’ uniqueness,
“DEIB needs to be fully embedded in an organisation’s culture and diversity of thought celebrated. I am very excited to work closely with our communities to drive forward our DEIB agenda, embed DEIB further in our culture, and be open to new approaches and ways of thinking.”
As a business First Central's constantly adapting and evolving. It's not enough to keep pace, we want to stay ahead. So do our people.
Blue Monday’s supposed to be the most depressing day of the year but we’re not miserable. Far from it; we’re excited! 2024’s going to be great.
Based on colleague reviews, the job and recruiting website Glassdoor has recognised us as one of the UK's best employers for 2024. We're so pleased.