Inclusive Networks announce their inaugural “Awesome Networks”

Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education encourages employers to reward staff who give something back to the workplace and their communities as ‘Inclusive Networks’ announce their inaugural ‘Awesome Networks’

INAN-Pink-Logo-CMYKInclusive Networks, a hub for celebrating diversity and inclusion, is delighted to publish their inaugural list of forty Awesome Networks. The first list of its kind, it aims to celebrate the positive impact that network groups of all types and from all sectors have and also thank those people who selflessly coordinate the networks, many who do this on top of their day jobs.

Networks are an integral part of the diversity, inclusion and engagement agenda in many organisations and play an important role in providing a welcome space for their members to meet new people, network, offer opportunities to increase their members knowledge and understanding of many topics as well as supporting with business, career and professional development. It’s only right that we celebrate their inspiring and important work and the positive impact they have. There are also many groups and organisations who facilitate valuable networking events and these should be acknowledged and rewarded too.

We wanted to hear about networks that have done something special in 2014. This could have been hosting an inclusive event that was a real highlight, supporting an internal or external initiative, making a positive difference to the workplace or beyond, influenced changes, fundraising for charity or just generally being awesome through the work they do. Everything they do should be to support a more inclusive society where diversity is celebrated and their members feel they can be their full selves when engaging with the network.

Following nominations, the list represents the diversity of network groups all across the UK, ranging from employee networks including the ‘Focused Women’ network at RBS and ‘Celebrate’, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) network at charity Action for Children to the ‘City Sikhs Network’, an organisation run by Sikh professionals to create positive change within society and to help create a more connected world.

We know we have only touched the surface with our first list and we know there are hundreds of other networks doing wonderful things all over the UK. With lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) networks generally having a greater and more active presence on social media, the inaugural list has strong LGBT network representation. There is a clear under representation from some diversity strands and we hope to see nominations for many more networks of all types as more networks and organisations become aware of and get behind the ‘Awesome Network’ recognition. We’ll be working closely with organisations all over the UK to encourage this.

Awesome Networks 2015

Celebrating the work of network groups of all diversity strands, from all sectors and from all over the UK. The list is presented in alphabetical order by the organisation the network represents:

  • Action for Children : Celebrate – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee network
  • Amnesty : Amnesty UK LGBTI – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) network
  • ASDA : ASDA LGBT – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee network
  • Barclays : Spectrum – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee network
  • BBC : BBC Pride – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee network
  • BNP Paribas : Parents & Carers Network – Parents and carers employee network
  • Cardiff University : Enfys – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) network for staff
  • Citymothers & Cityfathers : Providing a networking forum for working mothers and fathers
  • City Sikhs Network : An organisation run by Sikh professionals to create positive change within society and to help create a more connected world
  • City Women Network : A vibrant community for senior professional women to connect, contribute and grow
  • ConnectED : Based in Edinburgh, a relaxed environment where people can meet, chat, connect and start to build business relationships
  • Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service : Fire Pride – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee network
  • Employers Stammering Network : Support network for employers
  • EY : EY Sikh Network – Sikh network for employees – their events are open to everyone!
  • Fathers Network Scotland : Meet the changing needs of families and fathers in Scotland with practical services including training, events, peer support and research
  • Forward Ladies : Unlocking the potential in professional women through networking events and beyond
  • Glasgow University : KC Soc – A sacred space for students to attain wisdom to lead a successful and happy lifestyle
  • Greater Manchester Police (GMP) : Pride Network – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee network
  • IBM : EAGLE – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee network
  • Inter-Law Diversity Forum : Forum for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) network groups
  • John Lewis & Waitrose : Pips (Pride In Partnership) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee network
  • Leicestershire Police : Leicestershire Police LGBT Network – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee network
  • Manchester University : Disabled Network – Disability network for employees and students
  • National Older LGBT Housing Network : Open to members of the LGBT community, the housing sector and the wider third sector
  • Nationwide : SOLCATS – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee network
  • Nottingham University : Disabled Network – Disability network for employees and students
  • Ogilvy : Ogilvy Pride – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee network
  • PwC : [email protected] – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) network for employees and clients. Everyone is welcome!
  • RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) : ENABLE – Disability network for employees & Focused Women – Women’s network for employees and clients & Rainbow – Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employee network
  • Royal Navy : The Naval Servicewomen’s Network (NSN) – Women’s network for employees
  • ScienceGrrl : A group of people who are passionate about celebrating women in science and passing on our love of science to the next generation
  • SWAN : Scottish Workplace Networking – Networking events aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people – everyone is welcome!
  • TESCO : OUT at TESCO – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) employee network
  • The Co-operative Group : Aspire – Career network for employees
  • The Girls’ Network : Inspiring and empowering girls from the least advantaged communities through connecting them with a network of positive female role models
  • UK Parliament : ParliOUT – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning (LGBTIQ) employee network for Lords, MPs and parliament staff
  • Village Bakers : Manchester based networking group who’s aim is to bake, share and eat with friends old and new
  • York University : Disabled Network – Disability network for students
Thomas Anderson, Inclusive Networks Founder and Chief Executive, said:

“The diversity of the nominations received in our first Awesome Network list is a celebration of the many authentic networks around the UK that have each made their mark and have a real positive impact on those people who engage with them, and in many cases, the communities where they operate. I’m thrilled that there is representation from many diversity strands and sectors and I look forward to seeing the list grow. From my personal experience, it is very clear that networks of all types can enhance the lives of those people who engage with them, as well as be of great value to the organisations that many of the networks represent.”

“More and more organisations are seeing the value of investing in network groups. That’s a great thing as we know that many people are attracted to organisations who have visible and active network groups or visibly support them. They also have a positive impact on employee engagement and staff retention. They really shout ‘thats a great place to work, where all employees are supported, can be themselves and there is investment and commitment to workplace inclusion’. It makes business sense to support visible network groups.”

Speaking to Inclusive Networks, Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, said:

“It’s clear that network groups can make a very real contribution to the workplace, helping create a culture which values diversity and attracts the best talent. It is of course up to individual firms how they recognise the work that network groups do, both inside and outside of the organisation, but I would certainly encourage any company to reward staff who give something back to the workplace and their communities.”

“We know that networks are important – we’ve seen how the ‘old boys’ network’ used to dominate the workplace at senior levels. Luckily, things are now changing and there is much more diversity in the world of work. However, there is still a lot of benefit from both formal and informal networks.”

Don’t be disappointed if you missed the deadline or your network is not recognised in the first unveiling of your Awesome Networks. You can still nominate up until 11:59pm on 28th June 2015 and we’ll be announcing the second and final 2015 Awesome Networks in July.

If you know of a network you think is awesome and should be recognised and celebrated, then let us know about them.

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