Shane is a Deputy Project Manager based in Portsmouth.
'I was working for a subcontractor at Portsmouth dockyard around 2008, and the chance came up to become a full BAE Systems employee so I went for it. Straightaway I loved the teamwork and the culture of the dockyard, it felt like a big family, a really enjoyable place to work. My first major project once I joined was a three-year secondment to work in Saudi Arabia, reconditioning some of our ships. I was working alongside Bahrain and Saudi Arabia nationals, I was fascinated by the religion and the culture. It was an amazing experience to be working with people from such different backgrounds to my own, and it helped me develop some core values that I carry with me to this day.
It was difficult at times, as we were all missing friends and family, I learned how to build relationships, how to read people’s behaviours and how to respond appropriately in order to help them, not just encouraging people to have a stiff upper lip and carry on. Wellbeing is much more at the forefront of our business now and for me it started becoming something I was interested in on that first secondment.
I’m now one of the leads on the BAE Systems Employee Resource Group, ‘Embrace’, which focuses on diversity and inclusion. I do my best to educate people regarding different aspects of diversity and inclusion, helping them to have the emotional intelligence to understand how someone is slightly different to them or does things in a slightly different way.
We’ve run activities to highlight things such as International Women’s Day and Black History Month, we also look at mental health topics and try to remove some of the stigma. We’ve now got a calendar to help us plan our activities, to keep diversity, inclusion, and wellbeing on the agenda all year round. It’s important to me, I want to make a difference.
I’ve learned from every opportunity that the business has given me and made the most of them all. I’ve worked abroad, achieved a project management qualifications and done a degree, and had some fantastic coaches and mentors over the years. It’s a place where you get out as much as you put in. If you want to challenge yourself and push yourself there’s always someone to point you in the right direction, give you sound advice and help you fulfil your potential.'

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