We celebrate the differences that make us unique all year long, but we’re taking this time to highlight coworkers who are members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community. Tommy, Assistant Branch Manager, in North West England, shares why he feels valued at Enterprise; he’s able to get involved in areas of the business he is passionate about and appreciates that “each and every person’s opinion is heard and everyone clubs together to see how we can do better by our employees, future employees and communities”.
What initially attracted you to a career at Enterprise?
I was initially attracted to Enterprise because of the clear progression that the Management Training Programme offered. The further I got through the interview process the more I saw evidence of the care the company has for its employees, the policies that are in place for diversity and inclusion became much more apparent, and it was then I knew this was a company was not just a ‘job’, it was a career.
Tell us a little bit about your career with Enterprise. How did you start and how did you get to where you are now?
I started in as a Management Trainee in a branch with 200 cars. I was keen to learn and keen to be promoted. Under a fantastic and knowledgeable Branch Manager, I was promoted after just 7 months to a Management Assistant. To strengthen my ‘Enterprise’ CV I moved over to Manchester Airport just before the summer. Manchester Airport was a completely different branch, the 1000+ car fleet was challenging, but a challenge I looked forward to facing daily. The move to Manchester Airport, the ability to understand another area of the business, got me ready for my next step and it was shortly after summer I got promoted to Assistant Manager, running my own fleet, in my own branch.
Somewhere in the middle of this progression, I took a keen interest in the LGBTQ+ committee for the region I worked in. I spoke a lot with the chair of the LGBTQ+ committee, Paul, and discussed what we were already doing, but also what more we can do for our employees and our communities. I got so heavily involved in all things LGBTQ+ because it is something I am passionate about and I’ve heard it said that if you can be passionate about your work, you’ll never work a day in your life.
After PRIDE 2019, Paul made me Head of the LGBTQ+ committee and I was absolutely over the moon. I regularly send emails to my region talking about LGBTQ+. I sent out marketing boxes full of knowledge, quizzes and goodies for PRIDE! I was invited down to our European Head Office to be involved in a diversity and inclusion meeting, where I met some fantastic people, including our CEO, Chrissy Taylor!
Why do you enjoy working for Enterprise?
Working for Enterprise gives you this tremendous feeling that you are valued. Enterprise offers a wide variety of opportunities and challenges but being surrounded by such a hardworking and cohesive team, it makes the challenges possible.
What has surprised you most about working at Enterprise?
The most surprising part of working at Enterprise is that it is a lot more than just renting cars. Enterprise does a lot for its employees, customers and its communities. It gives employees free rein to be passionate about something and share it with their colleagues and people outside of the company.
When did you come out at work, early or late in your Enterprise career? Why is it important for you to be out at work?
Thankfully, I don’t think there was ever a time I explicitly told my colleagues I was gay. People have very different experiences of ‘coming out’, for me it was one of the most painful but necessary moments of my life. Being openly gay has genuinely changed me as a person. It has made me the confident, loud and outgoing person I am today. However, I am very fortunate to have had a positive experience. I think it is so important to remember that ‘coming out’ for some people is not an option at all.
The whole idea of ‘coming out’ is absurd. We have come a long way as a community, but we still have a long way to go. I know I will spend the rest of my life fighting for what is right. I will keep fighting and keep dreaming of the day heterosexuality is not the norm and the idea of ‘coming out’ ceases to exist.
Do you have any LGBTQ+ role models at work?
Enterprise surrounds me with some absolutely incredible people. My colleagues near and far inspire me daily.
In terms of LGBTQ+ role models, Ashley Hever (Director of Talent Acquisition). I met Ashley a couple of months ago for a Diversity and Inclusion meeting at our European Head Office. The whole experience was surreal but this was at a time I guess I felt like I was losing myself in the company. Just meeting Ashley and watching him talk about everything I am so passionate about put me back on track and gave me a sense of direction. Ashley is an openly gay, very kind, caring and successful person in the company. One day, in 5 or even 10 years, if I can stand in his place and share my passion with employees from around the UK, I think that’s when I would feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.
How does Enterprise support LGBTQ employees and allies?
Enterprise listens. Each and every person’s opinion is heard and everyone clubs together to see how we can do better by our employees, future employees and communities. Every year we get bigger and better and supporting all the PRIDE events. Unfortunately, COVID has kept the party indoors this year. However, I know next year is going to be bigger and better than ever before. As Chair of the LGBTQ+ committee, I reach out to different people daily on how we can make our already diverse and inclusive workplace just a little bit more that. We have a strong committee and we are ready to listen, implement change and never stop fighting! Enterprise really does embody an inclusive work environment. It feels good to be able to share your own opinions and idea but it feels better knowing you are being listened to.
What has it been like to work for Enterprise during the time of COVID-19?
It has been very strange and worrying times for everyone across the whole world. Enterprise has done a fantastic job of communicating with us every step of the way. We have had outstanding guidance and information throughout the entire pandemic. We have not just been fed information, we have been listened to and asked if we’re ok and I think that is the most important part of the whole process. People have been scared and very worried and someone asking how you are feeling can make your day a hundred times better.
Want to join a company that has made a true commitment to providing an open and inclusive working environment, where everyone can be their best? Search for our latest graduate jobs and internship opportunities in your area and see where your career could take you.
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