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The faces behind Mercury’s people-focused approach to cultural diversity
Author: Tiffany Zhou  /  6th Dec, 2022  /  News, Careers, Responsible Business

Our drive towards Diversity & Inclusion is one of the key factors behind Mercury’s winning culture, and our policy is to consistently nurture new blood. With people from 62 unique nationalities throughout our teams, we absorb this flow of diverse talent into our DNA to ensure that we stay ahead. 

We recently celebrated Cultural Diversity Awareness Week 2022 on our projects throughout Europe. With a global workforce of over 8,500 people, we empower our people by creating a supportive environment where they can realise their full potential. 

Various initiatives and events were hosted on projects across Spain, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and Ireland as part of Cultural Diversity Week 2022, which ran from Monday November 28th – Friday December 2nd. 

Employees were invited to decorate their workplaces with national flags, and were treated to a range of national dishes, presentations, music, and short films which aimed to raise awareness of the importance of diversity & inclusion. 

We spoke to several of our people from throughout Europe and asked them about what cultural diversity at Mercury means to them.

Scroll below to read our people’s insights from Cultural Diversity Awareness Week 2022. 

Marie-Djene Diakite – On site Nurse

Nationality:  French

“As an on-site nurse, I am used to working with people from a variety of backgrounds, both personally, and in their professions. As a French woman, working with Mercury allows me to experience so many diverse cultures. Every day I learn a little more about various cultures, including Polish, English, Spanish, Irish and more. Before I joined Mercury, I had never watched a rugby match, but now I love it. I discovered the warmth and friendliness of Irish people thanks to my brilliant colleagues! For me, our project is living in the community – we bring our individual culture – ways of thinking, living, working, and we learn to live together with respect. I have also improved my English every day by working for Mercury, which is an extremely positive note for me.” 

Lucian Blaga – EHS Advisor 

Nationality: Romanian 

“For me, cultural diversity and inclusion are built upon a foundation of understanding and trust. An interactive, multi-cultural working environment encourages new ways of thinking and behaving. This promotes positive relationships between groups of workers who come from a range of different countries and backgrounds.” 

Andrea F. Gomez – Project Planner  

Nationality: Spanish 

“I have always enjoyed interacting with people from other cultures. From my point of view, it constitutes a source of growth, both professionally and personally. With Mercury I have the opportunity to work in a multicultural environment and relish the chance to learn from everyone here. My colleagues from other countries are very well integrated into Spanish culture, but I am starting to relate more and more to their cultures too.” 

Kunal Bondre – Senior EHS Advisor 

Nationality: Indian 

As a safety professional I get to interact with people from multi-cultural backgrounds across all levels in the organization. Mercury’s positive culture fosters flexibility, promotes diversity in thinking and approach, and makes it easier to come to work every day. 

Telveer Sandhu – BIM Engineer 

Nationality: British 

“Being from the UK and working in a European capital city like Brussels can bring some great banter, both on site and in your social life. There are regular reminders about Brexit, and the World Cup, but it’s all good natured and helps to build spirit on our construction projects. Belgium is a very diverse country and that’s reflected in the make-up of our team, there’s people from all over the world working on our project. I enjoy heading for a couple of beers with my colleagues in our spare time, until I remember that the beer here is about three times stronger than in the UK – for me it’s the small differences like this that make you appreciate the different cultures and diversities of other countries.” 

Michela Traversome – Procurement Manager 

Nationality: Italian 

“I feel privileged that as part of my role, I have the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people on a daily basis. I lead a multicultural team, and I see this as a beautiful enriching journey.” 

Deblina Bhaumik – Talent Acquisition Co-Ordinator 

Nationality: Indian 

“Having spent almost four years with Mercury, any culture shock that I have felt has been in the nicest way possible. This is due to the fact that I am working with such welcoming colleagues and management who support me. A favorite quote of mine is that: ‘You cannot go abroad without coming home a changed person’.” 

Stella Ugborhioba – Human Resources Business Partner  

Nationality: Nigerian 

“As a Nigerian, working across various countries in Europe exposes me to rich cultural diversity which has become an integral component in my working relationship with employees and colleagues. I learn that each culture has peculiar nuances that differentiates it from others. For example, while supporting the team in France, I find the French attachment to coffee and its timing a unique exposition. It is quite different from the attachments of other European countries that I’ve visited.  I feel privileged to learn about other cultural lifestyles which in positive ways, have influenced my relationship with colleagues.  The cultural diversity is an exciting learning curve for me.” 

Rene Kejang – QEHS Lead 

Nationality: Cameroonian & British  

Working with Mercury over the years has been a different kind of exposure and working in several European countries has made it even more exciting. Mercury has upped the diversity game within the last few years, hence making it a more inclusive work environment. With a more diverse and inclusive environment working across Europe where you find people with different identities, gender, and sexual orientations you can only learn more from this type of exposure. The different kind of drinks, food, people etc that you meet along this professional journey is what makes it more exciting. 

Maximo Castillo Jr. – CSA Supervisor 

Nationality: Philippines 

“From the point of view of a CSA Supervisor, Mercury’s hunger to embrace diversity in the workplace is fascinating. As part of my role I work with so many different nationalities on a daily basis, not just my Mercury employees, but also with subcontractors. Mercury provides good space for people to grow individually and professionally, but also promotes team growth and diversity and inclusion goes hand in hand with this. Working with Mercury is like finding a new home but it is also a challenging and productive workplace.”  

Daniel Cohim – Mechanical Package Manager 

Nationality: Brazilian 

“Mercury is definitely a multi-cultural environment. Not only because of the nationalities on our team – one our project I can easily count ten different nationalities – but because the company is present is so many different countries. This exposes our people to many different cultures on a daily basis, which is almost like travelling abroad. It is really great to discover and learn about my colleagues’ experiences and their hobbies, sports, food, religion and routines. Once a month we try to gather to try a typical food from each country, it is a unique experience, not always delicious, I must admit!! As a Brazilian I brought a Feijoada to the team. Feijoada is a black bean stew cooked with sausage, pork ribs, bacon, and other meats. For Brazilians we eat it with rice and Farinha (yuca flour), but I have seen people here eating it in the bread, like a soup, with cheddar. That almost gave me a heart attack! But this is the world, right? What is good for me, might not be that good for you. And everything works because we have respect and fun. And that is the atmosphere here at Mercury.” 

Chris O’Leary – Welding Supervisor 

Nationality: Irish

“My role has enabled me to meet many people from a variety of different cultures and backgrounds. Any new trainee is always welcomed to our welding programme with a warm smile, a firm handshake, and a Céad Míle Fáilte. Over the years I’ve spent many hours chatting with Polish colleagues about their favourite types of food from home, and I am always interested to hear how they proudly celebrate national holidays and events. I enjoy exchanging family recipes and cooking ideas with team members from across the globe, and while many colleagues have moved on from our training programme, and are working as welders within Mercury, some still drop by on occasion, and bring in their favourite chocolate bars, biscuits, and drinks for us to taste. I always say that while we might be different in some ways, we’re the same in many others, and together we make up one team.” 

Diego Pacheco – CSA Project Engineer 

Nationality: Brazilian 

Working abroad as a CSA Project engineer for Mercury grant me the possibility to meet a great range of different nationalities and backgrounds. This helped me to evolve personally and professionally absorbing the best from each person that I worked with, now I feel confident to present myself and conduct conversations, meetings, and training in new languages that the construction site assisted me to improve. Mercury has opened the world for me and I’m delighted to take the most of it by learning about different cultures and languages. 

Andre Aliberti – Design Manager 

Nationality: Brazilian

“I am a part of the most culturally diverse office on my project. Coming from another country where diverse culture is intrinsic to the country’s set up made me feel at home again. Sharing and listening to the life stories, whether related to someone’s work or personal level, is the best part- we realise we all have so much in common.” 

Celebrating Cultural Diversity Week 2022 

Diversity & Inclusion is woven into the fabric of the vision and values of Mercury, not only through our culture, but through the entire life cycle of the employee experience. Cultural Diversity Awareness Week was a great opportunity to celebrate our diversity and to learn more about our global people. 

Christie Idemudia, HR Manager, said: “One’s cultural background is a fundamental part of the identity that we bring to work every day. It exerts a powerful influence on how we interpret and interact with the world around as well as influences our behaviour. It also dictates how we read the behaviour of others. Our Cultural Diversity Awareness Week initiative was aimed at facilitating spaces where employees could get to know each other better, share their culture, and foster cultural competence allowing our people to collaborate and interact more easily, effectively, and respectfully thereby promoting an inclusive and winning culture in Mercury.” 

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

At Mercury, our drive towards diversity & inclusion is one of the key driving factors behind our winning culture.

We have put in place a Diversity & Inclusion Policy that is driven by our Executive Management Team. Diversity & Inclusion is woven into the fabric of the vision and values of Mercury, not only through our culture, but through the entire life cycle of the employee experience.

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