Staff at one of Britain’s leading supermarkets were inspired by a recent visit to the iconic Neasden temple in London, which will celebrate its 20-year anniversary later this year.
Around 100 Waitrose partners travelled from towns and cities across the country to the capital, where they took in the stunning masterpiece which was built using 5,000 tonnes of Indian and Italian marble.
The visitors were given a tour of the holy site where they admired the awe-inspiring workmanship of the Hindu temple, with numerous carvings of religious figures.
They also enjoyed traditional Indian savoury snacks and learnt about the history of the religion at an exhibition which is housed in the lower floor of the Shri Swaminarayan temple.
Some even participated in abhishek, the traditional practice of pouring water over the sacred idol of the deity to honour him.
Waitrose will be sponsoring the GG2 World Food award at the prestigious GG2 Leadership awards later this year, which celebrates high-achieving ethnic minorities.
Kate Corcoran, head of personnel projects, said: “The visit went exceptionally well. We were hosted brilliantly, and I think everyone learnt a great deal as well as being bowled over by the beauty of the Mandir.
“I was also pleased that such a large number of parents took the time to come along – it would have been quite a commitment for many of them and I know some travelled a considerable distance. It also reminded me how uplifting it can be to explore something beyond your own day-to-day perspective. I came away feeling very inspired and I only wish it had been longer.”
The visit was one of several events being organised by Waitrose in order to raise awareness about diversity and to help the business engage with a different communities.
“It’s also just one of a number of activities that are helping raise awareness in the business of our aspiration to build a more diverse workforce, particularly in management and leadership roles, over the next five years,” Corcoran added.
“We have challenged ourselves in Waitrose to look at ways in which we can be more inclusive – particularly how we attract and develop talent from ethnic backgrounds – and we are investing heavily in training to address potential mindset barriers to this.”