Hundreds celebrate inaugural Diversity Awards

More than 300 guests gathered in Glasgow last night to celebrate the inaugural Diversity Awards in association with Bank of Scotland.

The event, which was held at the Radisson Hotel, and organised by The Herald and GenAnalytics, showcased the companies, organisations and individuals that are making a real difference to their communities and businesses by putting equality and diversity at the heart of their actions and in the workplace.

Sandy Begbie, group transformation director from Standard Life, won the Inspiring Role Model Award for his commitment to removing barriers to employment and discrimination in the workplace across all aspects of diversity.

With more than 80 entries received, the judges had a hard task to pick the winners and, as a result, decided to present a special Judges Award for Achievement in Diversity.

This went to Royal Mail Glasgow Mail Centre Women’s Network for its efforts to support a more balanced gender mix in the workplace.

The network focuses on positively engaging women, promoting confidence and supporting development into senior and managerial roles.

Annette Barnes, managing director, Bank of Scotland (Retail), said: “It was fantastic to hear examples of organisations encouraging people to bring their whole selves to work, and allowing them to apply their unique perspectives and to support better decision-making and practices.”

Katy Wedderburn, employment partner and board member of MacRoberts LLP, said it was “an absolute pleasure” to support the first national Diversity awards in Scotland.

She added: “To be able to celebrate and acknowledge inclusion and diversity in the workplace alongside some of the best known brands in Scotland has been tremendous.”

Councillor Frank McAveety, leader of Glasgow City Council and chairman of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “We were delighted to support The Herald and GenAnaytics’ inaugural Diversity Awards.

“Glasgow is an ambitious, inventive, entrepreneurial and welcoming city because of the diversity of our people and businesses.”

Angela Morrison, director of amiExecutive, added: “The topic of diversity in business is something that we feel really passionately about as individuals and as a business, so to be able to be there to support these awards was a great night for us.”

Audrey Ross, sales & marketing director for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, said the award winners demonstrated “an outstanding commitment to delivering diversity and inclusion”.

She added: “We aim to be an inclusive company that values people as individuals and creates a workforce that reflects the diversity of the local communities where we build homes and we are really delighted to have been involved in the first year of The Herald Diversity Awards.”

Roy Gardner, corporate development director at City of Glasgow College, said: “The outstanding success of the many companies, organisations, individuals, third sector organisations and community groups who demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity was clear to see throughout the many categories and examples that were showcased on the evening.”

Catriona Mackie, HR director of Diageo, Global Supply, said: “We know greater diversity drives better performance and decision making.”

Karen Murray, head of national training programme development at Skills Development Scotland, said the awards strengthen the message that diversity is good for business.

She added: “Well done to all the finalists, who we hope will inspire other businesses with their positive practices.”

Gavin Speirs, CEO of Solutions Driven, also congratulated the award winners. He said: “I am sure they will inspire many other businesses to push towards diversity in the workplace.”

Full coverage of the awards can be viewed at awards/