Culture and Values, Diversity & Inclusion, Early Careers, Engineering, Graduate

“We design, engineer, manufacture and market beautiful vehicles. With that comes a real sense of pride for the brand and what we do.”

Megan Howell joined Jaguar Land Rover in 2015 to study for a degree apprenticeship in Engineering. In 2021, Megan’s hard work, determination and commitment were acknowledged when she was awarded a First-Class Bachelor of Engineering degree with honours by the University of Warwick. 

At the start of her professional career as a Cost Engineer and hot on the heels of a listing in the Autocar Great Women in the British car industry 2022 initiative, Megan tells us why Jaguar Land Rover is a great place to work for Black talent.

  1. Why Jaguar Land Rover for Black talent?

Now is a really exciting time for Black talent to join Jaguar Land Rover. The automotive industry is not traditionally known for its diversity; however, Jaguar Land Rover has committed to changing this narrative. Jaguar Land Rover is the first UK car manufacturer to sign the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter and has partnered with a number of other external diversity bodies – most recently BYP. Over the next five years, Jaguar Land Rover’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy, championed by our CEO Thierry Bollore, will see the company strive to shape “a culture in which every one of our employees can bring their authentic self to work and reach their full potential”. This will be bolstered by the implementation of progressive policies, benefits and support, along with employee engagement to accelerate progress.

All of these D&I initiatives paired with our global Reimagine strategy see Jaguar Land Rover entering an era of true internal and external transformation. There is a lot of change on the horizon and more opportunity than ever before. For Black talent wanting to be part of that evolution and passionate about becoming trailblazers for upcoming BYPs, I think it’s a great place to be right now.

2. What do you like about working here?

It’s great working on two internationally recognised brands that are pioneering modern luxury. We design, engineer, manufacture and market beautiful vehicles. With that comes a real sense of pride for the brand and what we do.

I like how multi-faceted the company is in terms of the job roles, working environments and experience available. Different functions attract and cultivate different skills, personality types and ideas. It’s great seeing the cross-functional collaboration that happens to deliver an amazing end product every time.  I really enjoy that in my job role, I interface with a lot of these functions.

3. How does the REACH (Race, Ethnicity & Cultural Heritage) network enhance life at Jaguar Land Rover?

The Jaguar Land Rover REACH employee network will be celebrating its 4th birthday this September. The network exists to champion employees from all races and ethnicities to be equally represented and celebrated across Jaguar Land Rover. Racial equality is also a high priority to Jaguar Land Rover senior leaders, with a clear target to increase ethnic representation by 15% across all levels of our business by 2026. Working closely with core stakeholders across the business, the REACH network will be instrumental in creating initiatives to help Jaguar Land Rover achieve this target.

As a member of the committee and Communications Lead, I love that I get to play such an active part in Jaguar Land Rover’s journey toward becoming a more inclusive business. It is a huge amount of work but super rewarding and looking after the comms, branding and marketing activities for the network allows me to use and develop skills in an area that I’m passionate about.

We run four core types of events – Lunch & Learns (to educate and open conversations), Roadshows (to build awareness of REACH and its fundamentals around the business), Mastermind Series (to provide networking and development) and Change Makers (to improve employee work experience). We have a Yammer page and curate a monthly newsletter along with holding events and celebrations for various cultural occasions throughout the year. We have an internal mentorship scheme and also partner with local educational bodies to encourage bringing diverse talent into the business, in addition to actively encouraging the progression of diverse talent.

The REACH network has enhanced my life at Jaguar Land Rover, and I’ve heard the same from many others. I only wish I had known about it when I first joined! However, this is a part of the work we are doing with our Roadshows and partnerships with Early Careers to raise awareness. The sense of unity and reward that comes from being a member of the committee, building it from the ground up and bringing people together is amazing. As a member of REACH, I get to expand my network and meet like-minded people from across the business who want to have a more meaningful experience at work. REACH makes work feel a bit more like home.

4. How does Jaguar Land Rover empower employees?

Where applicable, Jaguar Land Rover had maintained flexibility on hybrid working after the benefits seen on wellbeing when it started during the pandemic.

Our employee-led networks help foster our culture of empowerment. If you just want to clock in, do your hours, and clock out that’s fine – but if you want to push yourself to do more there are chances to get yourself more involved.

To view our profile on BYP, click here.

Apprentice, Early Careers, People

Life of a Jaguar Land Rover Apprentice, What You Need to Know. Part two.

I’m delighted to say that things are going well. I’m doing well at college, I recently had my behavioural review with my Work Based Learning Manager, which went well and was an excellent opportunity to get to know him better, which I really appreciated.

Since our last post, I’ve been in what’s called HE. HE is the academic portion of my foundation degree, with classes in Maths, Electrical Principles, Automotive Technology and Materials. I enjoy these lessons, the classes are small and I get to ask lots of questions if I don’t understand a topic or specific area of study. The lecturers are all ex-engineers, something I didn’t expect when I first came here. Many of my lecturers have experience in the automotive industry and I think this benefits us as apprentices, as being able to learn from these motivated, dedicated professionals gives us a great example and contributes to a better working and learning environment.

After HE, before we broke up for Christmas, I had a practical block: Automotive Electrical Maintenance. In this block I learned about the electrical components of an internal combustion engine, primarily the starter motor and alternator. I think I’m really benefiting from the teaching methods employed at the college. Learning the theory and then going straight into practical blocks really helps deepen my understanding, as I get to see first-hand the application of the engineering principles I’m learning about.

I returned to work after Christmas on January 2nd to a health and wellbeing event put on by the college and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). This was, by my estimation, truly excellent. The past three days have been eye-opening in parts, profound in others, and very beneficial to me and to the wider apprentice cohort. The JLR Info team, who are based at the college and who organised the event, had listened to suggestions made by apprentices after the induction week back in September, and organised the event so that we moved between presentations from the invited speakers in smaller groups, as opposed to us all being in the conference room for the entire event.

I really appreciated that the organisers of the event had listened to feedback intently, and had acted upon that information. I think this is reflective of the attitude that our managers have towards us as apprentices, we are treated as professionals that have ideas to contribute, we’re treated as valuable assets, as part of the team.

One of the key reasons I chose to join Jaguar Land Rover, ahead of other organisations, was the biography of Nick Rogers, Executive Director of Product Engineering, written on the Jaguar Land Rover Corporate website. This biography details Nick Rogers’ career at JLR, who I discovered began as an apprentice in 1984. This fact that an apprentice could rise to the executive level suggested to me that Jaguar Land Rover fosters an environment of respect for apprentices and trust in their capabilities. The health and wellbeing event proved this to me; Jaguar Land Rover cares about each and every one of us as individuals.

At the event, representatives from HSBC gave us advice on how to use our pay to save for a home and retirement, we had sessions on Drug, Alcohol & Gambling addiction, and we were introduced to BEN, a charity that offers support to members of the automotive industry. BEN concentrates on 4 elements of health and wellbeing, physical, mental, social and even financial health and wellbeing. We had a powerful session delivered by Warwickshire Fire Department called the Fatal Four about the four actions that lead to deaths in road traffic accidents; speed, distractions, not wearing a seatbelt and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This session was truly harrowing in places, graphic and made me think a lot about the risks involved when driving, in a group of our size, I do not think it unreasonable to suggest that this session could save lives.

My favourite parts of the health and wellbeing event were two presentations from current JLR employees. The first was from an employee who joined the army at aged 17, fought in Iraq and Afghanistan but suffered with stage 4 post-traumatic stress disorder. He spoke to us about competing at the Invictus Games, his recovery and journey to working at JLR. The day after we heard from another employee about the support JLR gives to its employees about stress and the work which is done to promote good health and wellbeing.

I’d like to leave this month with a quote that I think epitomises the Health and Wellbeing event. This quote was mentioned in an email from Dr. Ralf Speth to all employees on World Mental Health Day 2018: “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together”

Callum Redmond, Jaguar Land Rover Degree Apprentice