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Monday, December 17, 2018

Businesses can showcase commitment to diversity and equality

It’s time for businesses to showcase their commitment to advocating diversity in their organisations.

The Northern Ireland Equality and Diversity Awards 2019 are now open.

The awards, now in their third year, are organised by Legal-Island, an award-winning Antrim-based workplace compliance company which helps HR professionals understand employment law and how it applies to their workplace.

The event is sponsored by Grafton Recruitment and Jones Cassidy Brett solicitors, and supported by Diversity NI.

The Northern Ireland Equality and Diversity Awards 2019 are open to all organisations and individuals across the public, private and third sectors.

The deadline for entries is noon on Thursday, December 6.

Award categories include Best Employer for Equality and Diversity in NI; Best Gender Initiative; Best LGBT Initiative; Best Disability Initiative; Individual Diversity Champion and new categories for 2019 include Best Age Initiative; Best Race Initiative; and Best Initiative Impacting on Offenders or Ex-Offenders in Northern Ireland in association with PeoplePlus.

Barry Phillips, Chair of Legal-Island, organisers of the awards, said last year’s awards were a great success.

“Whilst the actual ceremony is fun, a little bit zany and full of colour and life we are of course focused on recognising the really good work that companies across Northern Ireland are doing in the important area of diversity, equality and inclusion,” he said.

Organisations such as Northern Ireland Office, Clanmil Housing Association, Belfast Health & Social Care Trust, Pinsent Masons and the NOW Group were recognised last year for pioneering new standards of equality and diversity practices, he added.

Mr Phillips said by applying for these awards, organisations can formally put on record their thanks to employees for their outstanding work.

“They can also demonstrate the impact equality and diversity has had on their business and reinforce their equality and diversity message. Participating in the awards can also generate positive marketing and PR which can help businesses to attract employees who want to work in an environment that pioneers diversity,” he added.

Award sponsor, Tina McKenzie, CEO of Grafton Recruitment Ireland, is encouraging employers to apply and demonstrate their active support for equality and diversity.

“Maintaining and indeed promoting an equal and diverse workplace is increasingly important in the global market we are operating in,” she added.

Fellow awards sponsor, Ciara Fulton, Senior Partner, Jones Cassidy Brett, said at a time when equality and diversity issues are the focus of so much media attention in light of campaigns such as #Metoo and recent high-profile investigations in Hollywood and Westminster, it is more important than ever to champion the good work that many employers in Northern Ireland are doing.

Paolina Hawthorne, Founder, Diversity NI Ltd said being an inclusive business entity enhances performance, boosts the confidence of a firm’s existing talent, whilst outwardly generating huge positivity around the company’s brand.

The deadline for entries is noon on Thursday, December 6.



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