Armed Forces & Business


The power of business and military charities working together to really make a difference was all around me at an event hosted by Andrew Ingham and the team ISS A/S this morning at #SierraQuebecBrava in SouthQuays. 

Zeba Lunat was the technical guru for this unique event ahead of Armed Forces Day with speakers in different rooms and dotted around the country, I and the other guests watched in awe as #MartinBurhott, COO ISS A/S UK opened proceedings. Martin shared some startling facts – females make up over 50% of the UK population but only 11.3% of the military population. Why don’t girls consider a career in the Armed Forces? 

Kat shared how important the synergy was between armed forces personnel and ISS’s business. Kat shared the six pillars at ISS’s core – generations, culture, pride, abilities, gender balance and military community. Kat shared ISS’s formula for bonding all staff – diversity + inclusion = belonging for all staff.

Breaking the wall of gender exceptions and assumptions, the next speaker Liz spoke with passion about her career as a member of a Chinnock helicopter crew over a 17 year journey – the only female in the team! – including multiple tours of Afghanistan. Sharing times she should have died not least when the helicopter flew into electrical wires. Liz then shared her poignant silent journey with mental ill health – not speaking up because she didn’t want to let her team down. This silence was almost catastrophic. Liz has now written a book and gives illuminating talks to educate.

How many employers experience silence in the workplace instead of teams feeling confident in sharing how they feel, speak about where their heads are at, and feel secure in asking for help when they need it?

From my work delivering i-act (for positive mental health and wellbeing) training. Mental Health Training to multiple industries and sectors and the introduction of International Standards 45003 for workplace psychological safety – clearly we all need to be talking about mental ill health much more. Talking about our feelings and giving someone the gift of trying to help us when we need it is a strength – not a weakness.

If you need great talent in your business, see the person before you – not their label. Basing your decision to meet someone on the content of their cv, means you could be missing some great talent.

Lisa from the Employment Forces Charity shared this point with clarity. Service personnel use a different language to ‘Civvy St’. CVs won’t always convey the immense talent someone has. So why are employers still using cvs? 

On Growing Talent, we have never allowed cvs – the hidden talent employers were able to reveal, the social mobility, the diversity and inclusion is amazing!

Ex Armed Forces personnel have solid transferable skills – highly valuable in business. Business opens up a whole new chapter once military life is over – a win, win.

Thanks for inviting me ISS A/S