A celebration of inclusivity and equality

There is just one week to go until the winners of The Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Awards are revealed on The Herald’s virtual Awards Room platform and there is still to book your place at this unique event which celebrates inclusivity and equality in the workplace and the community.

This is the first time these awards have been held since 2019 and after attracting a large number of entries from businesses, charities and community organisations, the judges have whittled the shortlist down to 24 finalists across eight categories, including ‘Diversity in Sport’, ‘Diversity Through Education’ and ‘Diversity in the Public Sector.’

Sponsors  include Diageo, Skills Development Scotland and BAE Systems, while the title sponsor is Arnold Clark, which is supporting the Diversity Star Performer and Diversity Campaign of the Year categories.

Carol Henry, Group People Director, Arnold Clark believe workplaces are improved when people feel accepted and amongst the finalists she has been delighted to see many examples of organisations promoting diversity through recruitment strategies and campaigns.

“I’ve got to congratulate all of them,” she said.

Meanwhile diversity and inclusion specialists, 3InConsulting, are sponsoring the Star Performer 250+ award and Managing Director, Paul Skovron, has been impressed by the quality of the finalists across all categories of the awards.

From his long experience of working with businesses across many different sectors he recognises the effort and commitment that it takes to run an organisation where inclusion and diversity are properly considered, not least because ideas of what constitutes these issues is constantly evolving but, he says, the benefits far outweigh the effort.

“Companies sometimes hold back from tackling equality and inclusion because they are afraid of getting it wrong, but diverse workforces perform better and if staff are trained properly and feel empowered then they enjoy being at work and that benefits everyone.”

Diversity may have slipped down the agenda during the pandemic he says but it will grow in importance again and he anticipates a rapid increase in focus amongst organisations which recognise that they must change if they and their employees are to thrive.

“Many companies have gone into survival mode but campaigns such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ have had an important effect and I think we will see awareness of diversity growing very fast in the wake of the pandemic.”

And he is hopeful that next week’s awards ceremonies will reveal inspirational examples of diversity

“I would like to see some unexpected successes stories where organisations are doing a fantastic job of addressing inclusivity and improving not just their businesses but also the lives of the people who work in them.”

Those organisations that have made it onto the list of finalists are the ones who are taking inclusivity seriously, carrying out audits to see where they currently rank on this issue and then putting in place the measures and training programmes needed to move them forward.

Paul Skovron says: “Some companies think they are doing a great job, when in fact they aren’t doing very much, while there are others that are unsure of their progress but which are, in fact, showing real commitment to the ideas of equality and inclusion.”

On Thursday, 7 October those organisations that are doing far more than treating diversity as a tick-box exercise will be recognised for their commitment to levelling the playing field and allowing everyone to flourish. For details of how to take part visit http://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/the-diversity-awards/ or contact Stephen Laughlin, Events Manager, on 0141 302 6050.

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