A community on a mission to foster belonging and celebrate diversity.

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Whoever you are, wherever you come from, you can count on your voice being heard at the LEGO Group. One of the most visible and valuable ways we do this is via our colleague led communities. These play a vital role in enabling everyone to have their say. In March, we heard from the group representing women. This month it’s the turn of the People of Colour group to tell us about their work.

Abraham, Tori, Mel, Elabbas and Jaini are just five of the voices that drive this group. They bring to it their own perspectives, each of which reflects the rich diversity that makes our business everything that is today and aspires to be as it evolves.

Elabbas Eltigani

Elabbas Eltigani, one of our Tech Associates, is the group’s co-chair. He outlines an ambitious and wide-ranging agenda of areas that he’s keen to see everyone focusing on:

“Establishing the group as a pillar community within the LEGO Group, full of members and passionate allies alike!. Addressing all issues raised no matter the complexity or sensitivity. Ensuring anyone brave enough to speak up is heard. Upskilling our fellow members, socialising with the team, keeping play at the forefront. Collaborating with other colleague led communities. Working with young people, inspiring and developing the builders of tomorrow. There is much to do.”

Jaini Shah

Elabbas, together with co-chair, Digital Product Designer, Jaini Shah, have made some impressive progress, including a 35% increase in membership. They have also hosted a campfire, brought in multiple speakers for events such as Black History Month, viewed by hundreds of colleagues across six countries and facilitated talks led at London’s Black Tech Fest on the Future of Play and the Metaverse.

Jaini too, is keen to look ahead, and goes into more detail about the group’s future ambitions:

“Our plans for 2023 are to increase our awareness within the LEGO Group but also to highlight the experiences of people of colour in locations that may have an imbalance of diversity and inclusion. We are doing this by hosting global talks, joining with other groups for a truer representation of the world, and having conversations with leadership to push change. We also want to do more for the communities and local areas in each location as well as creating a fun and welcoming space for our members to enjoy and look forward to gathering at.”

Tori Gomez

Victoria (Tori) Gomez, is a Community Engagement Manager based at our Enfield Campus, in Connecticut, USA. It’s this sense of community, of belonging that she’s keen to emphasise:

“I rarely go into any space at work with the same comfort I enter an People of Colour group meeting or event. Knowing that everyone there has a shared interest and similar goals is refreshing and one of my favourite parts of working here. There are no challenges too big when you are surrounded by a community that wants to see you win."

Mel Gibbons

It’s a theme that’s picked up by ally, Mel Gibbons, a Senior Human Resources Partner in our London Hub:

“As a white person, it’s rare to be the only person from that background in a room, meeting or an office – it’s easy for me to make connections in those spaces knowing I have a similar lived-experience with those I’m meeting; a privilege People of Colour rarely, if ever, have. The colleague led community therefore plays a critical role in ensuring People of Colour at the LEGO Group have that same space to network and forge meaningful connections with colleagues who have similar lived-experiences.”

Abraham Aguilar-Suazo

Certainly, the opportunity to hear from like minds and learn from what they have to say is a key benefit of the group’s work. Abraham Aguilar-Suazo, an IT Engineer based in Billund, grew up as Mexican immigrant in the US. He joined the group late last year after being impressed by what he’d heard. As well as seeing the group as a place to promote a safe, equitable culture, he’s benefited from listening to the stories of colleagues:

“Earlier this year, we had a conversation and Q&A with Atul Bhardwaj, Executive Vice President, and Chief Digital & Technology Officer, on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. He is the current most senior member of the Leadership Team from an underrepresented group. As an IT Engineer, it was inspiring to hear about the experiences and challenges of someone in Technology.”

He’s hugely encouraged by progress made and describes the group as “Pure Awesomeness’.

“There has been a great organisational push to increase diversity within the LEGO Group. It is a big step in the right direction. Highlighting role models can provide a valuable and needed “North Star” for our colleagues who look to the road ahead and cannot see a path they can relate to."

The final words, we leave to Tori, and why it’s important to have colleague led communities in her view:

“I’d love this article to get the message across that this group exists not because we want special treatment or opportunities we didn’t earn. We want to be celebrated and elevated because of our accomplishments and the value we bring to the LEGO Group. We bring different perspectives to our teams and the jobs we were hired to do. It’s important to have safe spaces to reflect and get support when its needed.”

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