Ethnically Diverse Network
British Airways’ Ethnically Diverse Network (EDEN) was set up in June 2010. Since then its membership levels have increased to over 200, reflecting the many different ethnicities represented amongst colleagues and customers.
Victor Argarwal, EDEN’s founding Chairman, tells us more:
“I wanted to be involved with EDEN from the start as I wanted to make a difference and help to shape the strategy for positive relations between colleagues of all ethnicities.
My EDEN responsibilities are alongside my day job in Ground Operations. My main responsibility is to work with the other committee members so that we can organise events which are of interest and value to both current and potential members. Any British Airways employee across the world can join and ours is one of the few employee networks to be a global one, reflecting the nature of the business. Future talent and career progression is important to our members and we have hosted work experience placements for talented young people who wouldn’t normally have the informal networks needed to succeed. In addition I represent EDEN at the The Network of Networks where both large blue chip organisations and government departments participate, discussing common issues and best practise. Working together last year we hosted 400 young people from the ages of 7 – 20 to increase awareness of the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths).
EDEN not just about ethnic minorities – it’s about recognising and celebrating that we all come from different backgrounds, with varying levels of knowledge and experience in a number of areas. Most importantly it’s about understanding that we are all unique individuals.
Aside from personal and professional development opportunities for our colleagues, we aim to become a centre of expertise to provide advice to business areas and serve as a source of competitive advantage to the company. For example, when British Airways is considering flying to new destinations, they can consult the group about target population, local customs and culture amongst other subjects. It helps the business provide an understanding of their customer base and potential opportunities or issues before developing a product.”