ITV News Presenters Charlene White took centre stage on 12th May to host the Excellence in Diversity Awards, celebrating Inclusive Employers and Diversity Champions.
Companies and charities were honoured nationwide at a ceremony held at the Queens Hotel, Leeds, rewarding the best of British diversity across all UK industries. The Excellence in Diversity Awards once again celebrated those who go above and beyond the call of duty to improve the lives of others in their communities and workplaces around them.
Over a thousand nominations were received paying tribute to an elite mix of diversity ambassadors showcasing their incredible achievements to the equality agenda. A panel of judges including Andy Woodfield (PwC), Sharon Pegg (The Co-operative Group) and Miranda Wayland (ITV) gathered earlier this year to finalise the widely anticipated shortlist. You can view the full list of winners here.
Thomson Reuters were just one of the brands supporting a sky fall of inclusive talent – Diverse Companies, Employees of the Year, Best Diversity Resources, Head’s of Diversity, Outstanding Networks, Diversity Champions, Marketing Campaigns and Lifetime Achievers.
The ceremony kicked off with an inspirational speech from Changing Faces Founder, James Partridge OBE discussing the importance of face equality. He said “Facial disfigurement has for far too long been a taboo subject – and I am proud of the work that Changing Faces has done since I launched it in 1992 and especially that in 2008, when we launched our campaign for ‘face equality’, like race equality”.
Founder Paul Sesay welcomed guests to the exciting ceremony and discussed his inspiration behind the awards. Sesay said “Our aim is to have innovative and truly diverse award ceremonies, celebrating employers and diversity champions that excel in the field of inclusion. It is through people like you, that change can happen.” The ceremony, without a doubt, delivered on that aspiration.
Shine Media creator, Joanna Abeyie was awarded the Diversity Champion Award in the Private Sector for supporting diverse talent to gain access into jobs within the creative industries, and Tim Seward from Circle Housing was recognised in the housing sector for his transformational impact on homeless people’s lives.
A survivor of homophobic bullying, Inclusion for All founder Shaun Dellenty was recognised for his outstanding work addressing this issue in our schools, whilst St Andrew’s employee Shirley Farthing was honoured for her exceptional work in the field of Deaf communication and care.
Dell’s WISE Network scooped the Outstanding Diversity Network Award, and HMRC accepted the Best Diversity Resource Award for setting an excellent example across the whole of Government and influencing the wider Civil Service.
Named 2016’s Employee of the Year, Gary Zetter, Director at Mitie was hailed a perfect example of its namesake, whilst, Sarah Maskell MBE took the gong for Head of Diversity and Inclusion, for her remarkable work at the Royal Air Force.
With support from numerous cheerleaders, Transport for London’s – 100 Years of Women in Transport was honoured with the Diversity Marketing Campaign of the Year Award.
Allianz Insurance plc, St Mungo’s, Manchester Metropolitan University, L&Q, and Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, were all awarded the Diverse Company of the Year Award in their respective sectors.
Host for the evening and ITV News Presenter Charlene White said, “It was an absolute pleasure to present The Excellence in Diversity Awards this year. I’ve worked alongside many organisations over the years with the aim of improving the level of diverse faces and talent in our workplaces. So it’s great to be part of the awards. Congratulations to all of this year’s shortlisted nominees and winners, it was a pleasure meeting and celebrating you!”
The Diversity Group was founded in 2006 and is regarded as one of the most proactive promoters of Equality & Diversity in Britain, embarking on various initiatives in order to promote Equal Opportunities. The group aims to eliminate barriers within employment, education & training.
The Excellence in Diversity Awards were founded in 2015 and are the only UK awards ceremony that recognise organisations for harnessing a truly diverse workforce across all protected characteristics. The awards cover excellence in all areas of diversity including age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race and religion, as well as highlighting diverse employers and employees across a wide variety of sectors including housing, public, private, charity and education.