'PROUD TO BE' COLLEAGUE STORIES

The theme of Black History Month has been Proud to Be, therefore to conclude the month, we asked members of our BeUnited group what they are Proud to Be and for some insights into what working at Bentley means to them. Read on below for the words they shared.

  • Meet Andr√© Whyte

    "Many industry leaders inspire me, but I would have to say that my greatest inspiration comes from my mother who always taught me to stay focused and goal oriented, no matter the obstacles that come my way."

    Design Check Engineer André works in the Engineering workshop where he is responsible for vehicle package checks and validating the future product line. André was born in the UK and studied at Birmingham City University, his family hail from Jamaica. 

Despite breaking his mum's car a few times while tinkering with it, he demonstrated a natural gift for engineering from an early age and joined Bentley’s Engineering Team in 2014. His first car was a Renault Megane (with special tints) and his dream car would be a Bentley Turbo-R for its older charm and style.

Reflecting on what the themes of Black History Month mean to him, André says:

“I strongly believe in the importance of inspiring the next generation and I’m proud to be playing a part in helping to drive awareness of those of us who have diverse backgrounds in engineering, through projects likes Speakers for Schools."

“I got involved in the building the BeUnited colleague network to help strengthen inclusivity across the workplace and because I believe in the power of innovation and creativity, to help motivate teams to work together and drive real change."

One of the first members of BeUnited, André is happy for anyone with an interest in these topics to get in touch with him and find out more. 

  • Meet Ooves Bangee

    “We spend more time at work than we do anywhere else. Here at Bentley, we are a family and we must work together.”

    Materials Scientist Ooves works in the Laboratory providing specialist polymer and wood technical support on new materials development and testing to support all functions of the business. Ooves’ parents were born in India and moved to the UK in the 60’s. Ooves was born in the UK.

In 1980 his family moved to Germany. Ooves can speak both Gujarati (Indian) and German. Ooves always enjoyed Science from a young age and graduated with both a BSc Honours in Chemistry with German and a PhD in Polymer Chemistry before beginning his career with Bentley.

Reflecting on what the themes of Black History Month mean to him, Ooves says:

“I’ve been at Bentley for 20 years and I’m proud of the vast amount of knowledge and respect I have gained from colleagues.  I believe the open and progressive workplace dynamic in the Laboratory has helped to create an environment where myself and my colleagues who are from many nationalities, ethnicities and backgrounds are comfortable being curious and inspired by what we can all learn about one another.”

“Because the surrounding area in Crewe isn’t particularly diverse, and not all areas within the business are as diverse as the team I work in, not everyone is used to having these kind of conversations, so I think that diversity day and devoting time to recognise and open up conversations regarding diversity and inclusion was an important step for Bentley.”  

“It’s really important that colleagues of all ages and from all levels feel engaged and work together effectively to embed diversity and inclusion across the whole workforce."

Ooves’ first car was a Nissan Sunny. His dream car would be a Bentley Flying Spur for the for the personal involvement and understanding of the beautiful interior materials and its processes.

  • Meet Nabeel Muzaffar

    “I believe that truly embracing D&I will take us from being one of the top employers, to the best employer - by creating a culture where we embrace all ideas (don’t dismiss them until we are absolutely sure) and experiences to learn from."

    CO2 and Fleet Consumption Engineer Nabeel has a Pakistani background and family heritage. Growing up, he loved the Audi R8 and Nissan GT-R but has still not decided on his dream car.

After studying at Manchester Metropolitan University, Nabeel began working for an OEM in the UK and found it a brilliant experience. He always wanted to become an automotive engineer so it was the best start to his career which lead him to joining Bentley in 2019.

Explaining who and what inspires him, Nabeel says:

“I feel inspired by anyone who is dedicated to their work and is content. If I had to pick my main inspirations it would be my siblings and previous managers who have all helped to influence on my work ethic! I also passionately believe we all have a reasonability to speak up and make sure that all voices are not only heard, but listened to."

“Recognising Bentley as a key Northern automotive employer, I see contributing to diversity and inclusion activities as a way of giving back, enhancing awareness and increasing opportunities for all. As our business evolves, I would love to see more visibility of people from diverse backgrounds both internally and externally around the company, whether that be in content, drives or motorshows."

“I believe we are moving in the right direction towards this, the networks are helping us to focus on this and there is more positive change happening now than there has been in the last 100 years that Bentley have been making cars."