To celebrate this year’s LGBTQI+ Pride Week, we will be sharing a number of stories and events that the Viva team are getting up to, to make sure that we are walking and working together towards creating a more inclusive and diverse working environment for everyone.
At Viva, we understand and value our friendly, flexible and open culture which we believe is key to offering staff the freedom and a safe space to be who they are, which in turn helps nurture talent and helps us move towards our company goals. We focus on recruiting people with a diverse range of personalities, cultures, ethnicities, genders and backgrounds to give a maximum number of perspectives and ideas to solve problems, enabling us to build products that are fit for use by society as a whole.
Let’s start off with a personal (success) story from one of our team members…
Meet Mirri Hengeveld (They/Them), People Operations Executive at Viva
I have felt welcome at Viva from the moment I had my first interview. When I applied to the role, I had been working as a freelancer for some years. I hadn’t felt safe to be out as nonbinary within a corporate environment and had decided to work for myself instead.
During the interview, I was very open about my difficulties with having to closet myself to feel safe at my last job, and [Peter Mildon] was empathetic. Afterwards,I remarked to my partner: “I really want to work for these guys!”.
That first impression was accurate to what the company is like. I’ve never felt as welcome to be myself in the workplace before, and it’s been great not to have to hide this vital part of my identity. Everyone has been really great about using the right pronouns and understanding where I fit – or asking questions when they’re not sure, rather than making assumptions. My manager even came up with a solution to an issue I was having with getting a bank to use the right name for me.
I think I joined the diversity committee on my first day, to help make Viva a welcome place for everyone, including LGBTQI people. My input has been heard wherever I gave it, whether that’s how we recruit applicants, or how to word our parental leave policies.
I’m very lucky in that I get to work on recruiting a more diverse workforce, and I can only hope that I make other LGBTQI+ people feel as welcome during their application process, and after they join the company.
Pride Park Day
Viva has an upbeat pace and that includes a very active social calendar. We believe that having a good work-life balance is key in building a strong culture, and especially as it gives everyone an opportunity to be and engage with each other, encouraging understanding and inclusion.
This week, some of the team members got together at Victoria Park and Hampstead Heath in London to eat, drink and chat in celebration of Pride Week. Team Hampstead got very active playing Spikeball – thanks to Flora for bringing it along.
Meanwhile, team Victoria Park also had their share of sports, where everyone learned a new game called Kubb – thanks Raquel – with a slight twist… having the rules made up as it went. Apologies, as the team was too busy playing, no picture as evidence was taken.
Guess The Flag Game
In recent years, the LGBTQI+ community has seen an increase in diversification within its own community, as a better and more defined understanding of the types that make up this thriving space becomes clearer. This is a huge step forward, as without awareness there can’t be change and improvement.
The ‘Guess the Flag’ game was a fun way to bring awareness to the various sub-groups within the LGBTQI+ community. Can you guess which flags are these?
(Creative idea credit to Mirri Hengeveld for using the Viva sensor as canvas)
Well done to Alessandro, Research Engineer, who came in 1st place, but remember, everyone who took part is a winner!
There will be more updates on this page as the week goes by, so please check back soon.
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