Thinking differently together – how to celebrate Diversity and Inclusion week
Jeff Reilly, Group President, Strategy & Business Development
In an organisation of over 40,000 people, recruiting from across the world and working in more than 55 countries, you can expect diversity. The art is how to harness that diversity. How to bring together people from different backgrounds, cultures, experiences and ways of thinking so that each and every individual profits from the interaction that takes place and how from that the whole organisation can benefit and grow collectively.
At Amec Foster Wheeler, we are proud to have a diverse and global workforce. We are committed to ensuring that we have a working environment in which every one of our employees feel confident in expressing themselves and their ideas, knowing that this will create a better outcome for us and for our customers.
Today (22 June), our first Diversity and Inclusion week starts. We are promoting diversity of thought; how by bringing together different minds and experiences to collaborate will always generate a better outcome.
We are initiating a conversation right across the organisation and getting our people talking about diversity and inclusion; what it means to them, how they can ensure they are fostering an inclusive environment and the importance of collaboration in working with our customers to solve their problems.
Leadership is important along this journey. Each day of the week is sponsored by a member of our leadership team, sharing a theme they feel passionately about. This includes areas such as collaboration for creative solutions, diverse expectations of customers, and encouraging respect of personal values and viewpoints - a particularly potent theme in the world today given some terrible acts by individuals upon others simply because they hold views different from their own.
The week will culminate in a 24 hour YamJam, an online employee discussion on Yammer – our global internal social networking platform – where stories, ideas and experiences are shared. Like a relay, it will start in the Asia Pacific region, handing off to colleagues in the Middle East, then Europe, before closing on the west coast of the Americas.
It is imperative that we act as an organisation to harness the power of diversity and inclusion in capturing and executing our work. Our customers and the industries we work in demand that we are continually striving to offer innovative solutions. We cannot achieve this without embracing differences – in our people and in our thinking. We must allow each voice to be heard, no matter if the person speaking does not look like us, did not have the same education as us and is not speaking our language.
To hear the views of Amec Foster Wheeler's Group Leadership Team on Diversity and Inclusion, see the video.
Meet the blogger
Jeff was appointed Group President, Strategy & Business Development on 28 April 2014. He started his career with Stone & Webster Engineering Corp. as a Chemical Process Design Engineer and developed his career there and at ABB Lummus Global Inc as company Vice President at both engineering and construction organisations. He joined ConocoPhillips in 2005, initially as Major Contracts Manager, then led upstream and downstream major project portfolios globally and was appointed as Chief Procurement Officer in 2012.
Jeff has a BS Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin; an MBA in Finance and International Business from the University of Houston.