What's been your proudest moment?
The first time I was asked to speak to the whole company on International Women’s Day. I’d always had my personal beliefs on equality, inclusion and diversity, but I had never been asked to share them with a global audience before. It was scary and exciting, but most of all I felt a great sense of pride – I felt valued and heard.
I must have said something right because afterwards I received so many wonderful compliments from team members I admire, and it wasn’t long before I was approached to take on the role of Inclusion and Diversity Programme Manager for GBG.
“It was scary and exciting, but most of all I felt a great sense of pride – I felt valued and heard.”
So, you haven’t always been a diversity cheerleader?
No, I started as an office coordinator in 2016 and worked my way up to manage GBG’s London office in St Pauls. The COVID pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, however, meant I was an office manager with no office to manage! It was during the pandemic, when many companies were cutting Inclusion and Diversity programmes, that GBG chose to invest in me.
I have always wanted to push myself and learn new things, and GBG gave me space to explore that potential. I completed and passed my IOSH qualification and Level 3 Facilities Supervisor Apprenticeship, and eventually, project managed the design and build of our London office. So, it wasn’t a straightforward journey, and if you’d asked me five years ago what I thought I’d be doing now, I probably would’ve been wrong. But I wouldn’t change a thing.
Almarni celebrating Christmas lunch with the London team, with the International Women’s Day panel, and standing on the highest point in Europe, on an incentive trip with some of the GBG team in Iceland.
What does your job involve?
I work with GBG team members around the world, from senior executives to new starters, who are all passionate about inclusion and diversity. Together we develop global and local initiatives and events to promote the idea of being yourself at GBG and developing our culture of inclusion.
My job is about challenging existing structures within the business to ensure they are inclusive to all and that they allow us to access and retain a diverse, talented team. This requires questioning the way things are done and shaking up the status quo, creating a ‘good kind of trouble’.
“We want people to be uniquely and unapologetically themselves, which means practising tolerance, respect and kindness.”
Why is “being yourself” celebrated at GBG?
We know that the freedom to be your authentic self gives each of us the space and sense of safety needed to innovate, inspire and pioneer new ideas, knowing that we’ll be supported and recognised for our contributions.
We want people to be uniquely and unapologetically themselves, which means practising tolerance, respect and kindness. These are traits we expect from all team members; by celebrating our differences and unique attributes – by being ourselves – we can embed these fundamental values and continue to do amazing work together.
What do you love about life at GBG?
In a nutshell, the freedom we have and the trust we’re given, and all the endless possibilities that affords us as team members. I can fit my life around my work and that has been so helpful in reducing stress, particularly during the COVID pandemic.
I also became a carer recently; having the ability to attend appointments, spend quality time with loved ones and even rest when needed instead of being restricted to rigid working times, has meant all the difference for myself and my family. I love to travel too, and I’m looking forward to being able to take full advantage of GBG’s Work When and Where You Want policy, at a beach bar on my next trip!