Equality and fairness are key principles of society, but a sizeable gap still exists between what the world should be like and how it actually is.
Yet there are many individuals and organisations who are doing remarkable work in levelling the playing field for everyone and for the sixth time since they were launched, The Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Awards will shine a spotlight on the causes and campaigners who are making significant headway in giving everyone the same access to work, sport, education and all aspects of daily life.
This year there are 10 awards categories, including Diversity in the Third Sector and Building Inclusive Communities and candidates have until Wednesday, 10 August to submit their entries, with the awards ceremony itself taking place on Thursday, 13 October.
Donald Martin, Editor in Chief, The Herald & Herald on Sunday, says: “Of the many awards organised by The Herald, these are perhaps the ones that have the greatest impact. They remind us that everyone has an important role to play in our society and that we are a better place when no one is left behind.
“It is only right that we should honour those who are working tirelessly to make this a reality.”
It is a sentiment shared by sponsors and Jane Gotts, Director, GenAnalytics says: “We are delighted that the Diversity Awards will be back as a live event this year. It has been a challenging time for organisations across Scotland however we are seeing a renewed optimism and focus to increase efforts to drive forward diversity and inclusion in our workplaces. We know there are lots of examples of outstanding work to make our society better and inclusive for all and we look forward to recognising these successes at our Awards in October.”
Mike Baxter is Director of Finance & Corporate Services at SQA, another of the sponsors, and he says: “The Diversity through Education category is an excellent opportunity to recognise the important and inspiring work taking place in Scottish education to champion diversity and inclusion.”
This particular award will highlight initiatives that have championed greater diversity and inclusion for students, staff or the communities in which the educational establishments sit.
For the Diversity in Sport award, the judges will be looking for examples of where sport has broken down barriers and brought people together for a common goal, with lasting benefits for individuals, communities or for Scotland as a whole.
The award is sponsored by SportScotland and Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, says: “The Herald and GenAnalytics Diversity Awards will be a fantastic celebration of the many organisations, individuals and community groups that have put inclusion, diversity and equalities at the heart of their work. As the national agency for sport we are fully committed to providing leadership and influencing change in these areas. Alongside our partners we will continue to do what we can to help address inequalities and ensuring opportunities for all.”
Data and technology both have the potential to make a difference to the lives of people living with disability and the Design for Diversity category, sponsored by BAE Systems, will be presented to an organisation who has recognised and embraced diversity in its design practices, leading to greater accessibility for all individuals.
There is also a Diversity Campaign of the Year award, sponsored by Arnold Clark, which will recognise an outstanding campaign to promote the benefits of diversity and inclusion. Evidence of changing mindsets or best practice, along with the reach of the campaign, will distinguish the winner.
And one outstanding individual will be honoured by the Diversity Hero of the Year award, sponsored by Diageo.
The winner will be a true role model, someone who has gone the extra mile to promote diversity and inclusion; who may have overcome real challenges but who has persisted and has made a difference to their workplace or community through their stand for the right of everyone to make the most of their potential.
Full details of all the categories and how to enter can be found on the event website.