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Insights How one Programme Manager galvanizes military communities.

Today, AtkinsRéalis, celebrates the leadership and dedication of one of our rising stars. Meet Junior Consultant Development Programme (JCDP) graduate Lottie Hayman. A champion of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I), her youthful perspective and academic prowess bring a dynamic blend of innovative thinking and fresh strategies to our PwAF initiatives. Here, in her own words, is her journey.

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I'm valued for my diversity of thought

While I don't have direct personal ties to the Armed Forces, I've found immense value in this community's exceptional teamwork, collaboration and leadership. Coming from a different background has allowed me to offer a fresh perspective to AtkinsRéalis’ Partnering with Armed Forces (PwAF) programme. I've been able to introduce new ideas, bridge the divide between distinct communities, and create avenues to involve more young professionals in our mission.

Strengthening ties with the Armed Forces

Since taking over the PwAF programme, I've increased our engagement with the armed forces community through initiatives including promoting Armed Forces Week and planning activities like the SSAFA Big Brew-up fundraising event and SSAFA reservist reception. Alistair Roxburgh, our Armed Forces champion, and I meet regularly with our site representatives to provide them with updates and take on their ideas. We've updated the organizations' policies, careers page and induction packs to ensure candidates, new joiners and staff have the best experience with us. Since then, we've seen an exciting uptick in engagement from the Armed Forces community, making me very proud of our initiatives. The partnerships we've fostered with external organizations are a testament to our commitment to mutual growth and shared values.

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Supporting military families

We've built a close relationship with Recruit for Spouses, an organization that helps Military Spouses access employment to regain their identities. We have implemented them as a preferred supplier, and they now work directly with our recruitment team to help spouses into careers with us in a culture of flexible working and support. Spouses are encouraged to join our community on Viva Engage and get involved in our events. Our collaboration with Recruit for Spouses has enabled military families to find a sense of belonging and support within AtkinsRéalis’ community.

Collaborating with Armed Forces champions

As a gold award holder of the armed forces covenant, we actively collaborate through the Gold Award Association (GAA). Rich Jones, Chief Engineer of the Aerospace, Defence, Security & Technology (ADS&T) team, and I lead the GAA across the Wessex region. Meeting with fellow Gold-awarded companies, we exchange best practices, navigate recruitment challenges, and collectively uphold our Gold commitments. This network has enriched our recruitment approach for service leavers and more. Our presence at external events and career fairs amplifies our reach – building connections with organizations that strengthen our recruitment, brand reputation, and meeting of Gold Award commitments.

Photo of Rebecca smiling towards the camera

Inclusion at the heart

At AtkinsRéalis, inclusion is essential. We organize events during Armed Forces Week which are open to everyone. Our commitment showed at the Ex-forces in Business Awards this year, where 40 AtkinsRéalis attendees got involved, including allies from various business sectors. Collaborating with other staff ED&I resource groups, we host webinars featuring external speakers, further amplifying inclusivity through ED&I moments. Our Gold Award recognition isn’t just a badge. It's an avenue to unique opportunities. A prime example was the Ex Martello Stretch, where an AtkinsRéalis team of five, none from the Armed Forces, engaged in an enriching weekend of team-building to understand the Reserves better.

Using my graduate superpowers

Lastly, my experience with the Junior Consultant Development Programme (JCDP) has greatly influenced my approach to PwAF. The project management and consultancy skills, tools and techniques I've gained through the JCDP allow me to run the programme efficiently. Through my JCDP networks, I've been able to get more allies involved which has led to more young professionals volunteering. I've been deeply involved with our Early Careers ED&I working group. I'm also excited about upcoming joint events with early career professionals from other companies later this year.

Lottie's exceptional work has been about engineering better by removing boundaries for our communities. Find out more about how we're Partnering with Armed Forces.