Together We Can: A Virgin Family celebration

Michelle Visage and June Sarpong at Virgin's virtual Together We Can event
Holly Branson
Holly Branson's writing
Published on 2 August 2021

It’s our wonderful people who make Virgin so special. Although the past 18 months have been undeniably tough, the Virgin Family rose to the challenge and achieved some extraordinary things. From Virgin Atlantic flying 43 million items of PPE; to Virgin Orbit developing a bridge ventilator; to Virgin Hyperloop completing the world’s first ever hyperloop passenger test – it was a remarkable year to reflect on.

To thank everyone for working so hard throughout the pandemic, we brought together everyone in the Virgin Family from all around the world for one big celebration. The event took place just days before Dad’s flight to space with Virgin Galactic, and it left us all thinking, ‘if can achieve this, imagine what else we can do…’

The Together We Can event was all about celebrating our people, connecting with one another, and finding new inspiration to keep changing business for good. These moments are important in helping everyone feel like they belong as part of the Virgin Family. One of my key focus areas as Chief Purpose and Vision Office is to help our people flourish by enabling everyone to be themselves, to be human at work, and to thrive at work and in other aspects of their lives too. With this in mind, we championed diversity and inclusion throughout the event, and found ways to celebrate the 2021 Pride season in unique ways. This included a brilliant introduction and history lesson to Vogue-ing from RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage, and a tutorial in the Pasifika interpretation of the Voguing dance form by Lyall Hakaraia (who we've been lucky to work with before), Isoa Tupua and Lady Shaka - DJ and Director of London club night Pulotu Underworld, which celebrates Pacific Island culture. It was such an entertaining and informative part of the show, so thank you to the performers and a big thank you to Lady Shaka for creating the music too.

Poster for Virgin's internal Together We Can event

We were also joined by some special guests including climate change activist and film-maker activist Jack Harries who shared tips on what we can do as individuals to tackle climate change; Graham Norton who gave an update on Virgin Radio Pride; Virgin Unite CEO Jean Oelwang who discussed how to use collaboration to find transformation; and Grace Carter who delivered a brilliant musical performance.

It was fantastic to bring everyone from the Virgin Family together from far and wide to show our gratitude for the passionate dedicated and purpose-driven work they do every day. It’s our people who make Virgin the brand it is today, and I’m so excited to see what we can all achieve next.