Trailblazers on an equal footing at the Diversity Awards

IT’s time once again to celebrate the Scots striving to create better workplaces in The Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Awards 2023.

The Herald & GenAnlaytics Diversity Conference, which took place earlier this year revealed a very important truth about how many organisations see their own efforts to create equal opportunity in the workplace.

Despite putting in place policies and monitoring outcomes, there remains an uncertainty about if they are in fact doing the right things and if they should be trying harder to smooth the playing field.

This unease was summed up by Jane Gotts, Director GenAnalytics, who while speaking at the conference, said: ‘In the lead up to this event we had a number of conversations with individuals working across sectors in our economy who we know are making good in-roads on this agenda. However there is still a nervousness that exists about talking about these issues in public.

“It seems to be the case that in some organisations there is concern that they can’t speak on a platform until their diversity messages and strategies are finalised. There is still a fear of speaking out.”

In reality, what emerged from the many examples that ended up being shared at the Conference was that creating a diverse and equal workplace is a continual process and that, despite this reluctance to talk about their efforts, many companies are in fact doing a fantastic job.

In recognition of these efforts, this year’s The Herald & GenAnalytics Awards will champion those trailblazers who are continually striving to make their workplaces as equitable as possible. The event itself, which is now in its eighth year, will take place on Thursday, October 12 in DoubleTree by Hilton in Glasgow and organisations have until Tuesday, 22 August to submit their entries.

In order to reflect the excellent work that is being done, several of the categories have been updated to better acknowledge the efforts and determination that lie behind the work being undertaken. Amongst those are the Diversity and Inclusion Champion awards, which are split into two sections – one for companies with up to 250 employees and the other for larger organisations.

These awards recognise the commitment shown by an organisation which maximises all the talents in their workforce to benefit and grow their organisation. The winning organisation will be able to provide strong evidence of active policies for promoting diversity and a strong track record of hiring and retaining individuals from diverse backgrounds.

The judges will be looking for companies that focus on diversity and inclusion when attracting talent. They will expect to see internal policies that recognise the benefits of a diverse workforce for the business as well as evidence of inspirational and measurable outcomes.

An entirely new category is the Diversity In Net-Zero Leadership Award, sponsored by Crown Estate Scotland, which will look at organisations who are helping to  ensure greater diversity and inclusion alongside progress to reduce carbon emissions in line with Government targets.

Examples might include, supporting early careers or helping older workers to learn new skills.

Other awards this year include Diversity Through Education which will cover every aspect of the educational sector and will include policies affecting staff,  students and local communities.

AnchorThe Diversity In Sport category, sponsored by sportscotland, will throw a spotlight on business, charities, third sector organisations and sports clubs that are using the power of sport to drive forward diversity and inclusion in their communities, while the Diversity Campaign of the Year, sponsored by Arnold Clark,  is a chance to highlight an organisation that has actively promoted the benefits of diversity and inclusion.

AnchorThe Diversity Hero of the Year award, sponsored by Diageo, will be given to one individual who has made a real difference in their field or has been an inspirational role model to others and the Design For Diversity category, sponsored by BAE Systems, will highlight inclusive designs and assistive technologies which are being used to enable the broadest range of users.

AnchorDiversity In The Public Sector is aimed at organisations which have made significant improvements in ensuring greater diversity and inclusion in the delivery of their services, as well as measure that have improved diversity for their own staff,  while the Diversity In the Third Or Charity Sector award will recognise social enterprises that have demonstrated the benefits of adopting diversity in order to further their aims.

Jennifer Blee, Supply Chain Director, BAE Systems, said: “BAE Systems are proud to continue our support and involvement with the Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Awards. We believe that true innovation stems from embracing the diverse perspectives, experiences, and abilities of all individuals. As a company, we are committed to inspiring a culture where people can authentically reach their full potential and see themselves reflected at all levels of our organisation.

By sponsoring the ‘Design for Diversity’ award category, we aim to celebrate and recognise organisations who can demonstrate that by putting accessibility and inclusivity at the very heart of the work they do, they have made real and lasting change for good.”

And Lynne McBurney, Arnold Clark Group Head of People said: “We’re proud to support the Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Awards this year and shine a light on the organisations doing bold and innovative work to promote diversity and equality within their workplace. It has been widely proven that greater diversity and inclusivity not only creates a more nurturing and supportive environment for employees, but also makes organisations more successful and more sustainable – so this is a great chance to celebrate those who are excelling in their field.

“We’re particularly excited to sponsor the ‘Diversity Campaign of the Year’ category and see what the entrants bring to the table this year. The award will go to an organisation that has delivered an excellent campaign with diversity and inclusion at its heart and we wish the  best of luck to all applicants.”

Full details of the awards including online submission forms are available from The Herald & GenAnalytics Diversity Awards – Newsquest Scotland Events