As it is Black History Month, i wanted to share an amazing experience i had in which i visited the house where Martin Luther King Jr was born and raised, the baptist church where he was pastor until his assassination and where his funeral service was held.To be immersed in that history, peace and greatness will be with me for the rest of my life.
Paul Hendry CMIOSH
Vice President Health and Safety,
My mother was 18 when this man was assassinated in 1968.
I wasn’t born until 2 years later.
She taught me in our home in Glasgow that he was a good man , that he lead the Civi right
campaign and he was trying to get equality, peacefully, for African Americans.
He had a dream!
Any time those black and white clips came on the Television she would reinforce this.
Without it being obvious to me, he became, through my mothers prompting, a sort of idol.
I then learned in school through modern studies a lot more about the civil rights struggle and I felt really sad about the situation but it felt like Americas problem. In 1984 in Glasgow there were not a lot of Black people at the time (thankfully this has changed) so my experience and education of this type of racism was really from the TV, my mother and school .
Fast forward, i am in Atlanta, Georgia with Jacobs and we have options to go to CNN, Coca Cola factory ,Atlanta Soccer stadium or of course the house of the great Martin Luther King Jr place of birth.
For someone who is a news fiend, runs on diet coke and obsessed about soccer, this was an easy choice. The home of MLK all day long. I could not wait to tell my mother that I was in his house.
I was joined by Bob Pragada , Kevin Berryman, Kate Kenny and a few other Jacobs colleagues as we did the tour. It was tremendous and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity.
I think my mother was intentional in that she wanted her kids to understand what racial equality really meant.
Steve Demetriou is now leading the charge at Jacobs
We live inclusion is one of our core values.
Senior Leaders have as part of their goals a requirement to produce an inclusion and diversity plan.
We have various networks to promote equality.
As this is Black History month , I wanted to post, what that means for me as Global Vice President of HSE ?
Part of my equality journey had me intentionally address in the last two years the gender imbalance in my senior leadership team and that has paid huge dividends in that I now truly believe my HSE team is the most talented out there across the globe !
But sadly, our BAME representation is not where it needs to be and part of my Inclusion and Diversity goals is to address that and make my team even better.
Watch this space !!!!!