In all walks of life, the need to strive for diversity and inclusion is a hallmark of modern business life. We have been so fortunate in Shergroup to build a global business which continues to drive this forward every day. Well before diversity studies were as commonplace as they are today (see https://bit.ly/2BLRqid where the UK Solicitors Regulatory Authority is grappling with diversity issues) we have been building a diverse band of Shergroupers across the globe.
Our CEO, Claire Sandbrook, recalls the pride she had when she set up Shergroup’s Indian operation, by saying “I walked into this room of people all smiling and just incredibly enthusiastic and I thought how fantastic this is. Every single person wanted to impress me, and every single person did. That was the start of my love affair with India and the people I have met on my travels. I decided that we would create an international TEAMS made up of Brit and Indian subject matter experts. We created an exchange programme takings Brits to India, and bringing Indian colleagues to the UK. Friendships were formed and mutual respect for each other’s backgrounds has grown over a 15-year pilot, originally implemented to develop Shergroup’s SHERPA platform. Today we can look back and say how our SHERPA idea has blossomed into a global TEAM.”
In Shergroup US our security officer TEAMs come from across the US and now we are adding the Spanish language into our skill set. As a company we have always recruited on the basis of ability, and now we can, through our systems, recruit from a global talent pool as we are not restricted (in certain roles) to the geography of where a person is based. As the Americans say, “we stick to our wheelhouse” which means we don’t go beyond our skill sets – and where expert knowledge is needed, such as the UK High Court enforcement service, Claire and her leadership TEAM imbued the knowledge into whoever needs it.
When asked about how Claire handles her role being based outside the UK, she simply says, “I was a Trekkie from about aged 4, and always believed Kirk’s communicator device would become a reality. So, from a very young age, I have been influenced in sci-fi and it has influenced the use of IT in the development of Shergroup. We have engineered our systems and people to work globally so we are no longer tied to geography. We are believers in the term #smartworking. At the moment our focus is to recruit working parents to allow them to work from home, so they can take care of their family and work. I was able to do this when I was expecting my daughter, and I realized that people don’t have to be stuck with the daily commute in a deskbound role”.
Of course, not every role is Shergroup is from behind a desk, but the important thing for the Shergroup leadership TEAM is that they actively support and encourage diversity and are growing that model in real-time. Claire wraps up by saying “We don’t really overthink diversity because we are just an international group group of colleagues. But if I had to put it down on paper we are a woman led business, with different ethnicities and cultures in our group who are developing a global platform for our business solutions group to help other businesses scale and hit their numbers. It feels good to be able to say that and know we can back it up.”