I’m proud to announce that Xero has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, formalising its commitment to supporting military veterans and their families in the workforce.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or have served in the UK Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
Xero’s Veterans Employee Resource Group (ERG) marked the signing by hosting an event in our London office this week. We heard from Xero’s Managing Director UK & EMEA, Alex von Schirmeister, and Head of Digital Strategy for Defence Digital, Brigadier Mike Morton, as well as Ed Morgan and David Lenehan from Google.
Alex kicked off proceedings with some compelling insights from his Diversity & Inclusion journey along with the power that diversity can bring to Xero. He recognised that the diversity of experience gained through solving complex problems in high stress environments could be an invaluable asset for teams at Xero to have as they tackle the challenges they have in front of them.
Brigadier Morton echoed Alex’s comments on creating an environment where diversity can thrive and feel it belongs as the “right thing to do”, while outlining the importance of defence in the challenging geo-political landscape that Britain operates in. He emphasised the depth of talent coming out of Armed Forces, with greater digital skills than ever before, that companies can take advantage of, with committing to the Armed Forces Covenant being that first step.
The event was rounded off by Ed and David from Google, both of who were Veterans of the Royal Corps of Signals but who’ve since forged successful careers in technology since leaving the Armed Forces. They highlighted the qualities that veterans could bring to civilian tech companies, such as diversity of thought, thriving in high pressure environments, versatility and teamwork.
David Lenehan said, “It was great to support Xero at this event and have a chance to showcase Google’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.”
To accompany our signing of the covenant, Xero has made several pledges including:
- Promote Xero as an Armed Forces-friendly organisation
- Proactively encourage the recruitment of ex-service personnel and Reservists by creating a network of veterans who would be interested in joining Xero
- Supporting and and maintaining an Armed Forces Employee Resource Group (ERG) across Xero; ensuring that veterans, reservists, spouses and partners and all those with a connection to the Armed Forces have the opportunity to participate in activities and contribute to our Covenant
- By attending both external events and hosting company-specific insight days and workshops
- Endeavouring to work with other partner organisations who have signed up to the covenant in supporting the transition of veterans to employment post-service
- Endeavouring to offer a degree of flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment
- Seeking to support Xeros who choose to be members of the Reserve forces, including by accommodating their training and deployment where possible with up to 10 days’ unpaid leave for training in our Special Leave policy
- Including Adult Cadet Force volunteers in our Special Leave policy and engaging with local cadet units for training and careers activity. Including cadet unit engagement within our community engagement activity
- Engage with military speakers to deliver inspirational leadership talks to Xero employees
- Encourage Xero leadership to speak at Armed Forces events and talks
- Aim to actively participate in Armed Forces Day
- Actively seek to champion the benefits of employing ex and current military personnel
As the only ERG defined by where our people have worked, the Xero Veterans ERG aims to create solidarity among the veteran community while putting our unique strengths, skills and experiences to good use at Xero. We aim to serve those who have served and those still serving in recruitment, in their career development, and creating an experience conducive to continued service.
Formalising Xero’s commitment to treating veterans, reservists and their families fairly, gives the Xero Veterans ERG a foundation to start influencing the wider business to ensure there are policies and ways of working in place to support this commitment.
Shelley Dwight, Xero employee and partner of a serving member of the armed forces said: “This commitment from Xero gives me a huge relief knowing myself and others have support as a family of a serving member, outside of the support I already receive from our ERG.”