Diversity Mark are the awarding body of the Diversity Mark accreditation.
Part of the WIB Group of companies, Charity Number NI109037.
Our mission is to help businesses across the UK and Ireland build more diverse and inclusive workplaces, through accreditation, insights, best practice and peer support.
Helping businesses take the first step
Since 2017, Diversity Mark have been helping businesses remove the fear associated with diversity and inclusion. We understand the anxiety it can cause not feeling confident when using pronouns, or how difficult it can feel to address people from different genders, or talk to people with a disability. We’re here to help you overcome those fears and create a workplace where no one feels anxious and everyone feels respected.
Confidently approach diversity in the workplace
Most businesses don’t have the time, resource or budget to hire a dedicated D&I manager – that’s where we come in. By working as an extension to your HR department, Diversity Mark will help your business approach D&I by providing resource, council, information and insights. We will also work with you to set SMART goals using our D&I framework. These goals are not designed to overwhelm you, but to get you making real progress quickly, with small steps that make a big difference.
Diversity Mark’s origins
The Diversity Mark was the first accreditation of its kind, and was developed with the support of businesses who were committed to building more diverse and inclusive workplaces for all.
The accreditation was officially launched in September 2017. Within 3 years, over 80 progressive companies from all business sectors had signed the Charter and are committed to transforming workplace culture and attitudes for good.
The WiB Group
Diversity Mark is an integral part of The WiB Group. The WiB Group is an umbrella group of social enterprises that are dedicated in the mission to help create a prosperous, inclusive economy for Northern Ireland.
Through Women in Business, Diversity Mark, Timely Careers and Centre of Learning, The WiB Group is committed to driving positive change through connections, accreditations, employment opportunities and skills development. Join us in our mission, where the collective power of everyone’s contributions propels us towards a brighter, more equitable future for all.
Talk to us about how accreditation can help your business tackle diversity in the workplace
Christine joined Diversity Mark in its launch year and during the first four years she developed the accreditation and assessment process; and as Head of Business, she built a strong and committed community of employers, and many key stakeholder relationships. In September 2022 Christine moved to a new role within the WiB Group as Head Of Corporate with Women in Business, before returning to Diversity Mark in November 2023 to lead Diversity Mark into the future as Director. Christine feels passionately about the Diversity Mark mission towards inclusive and diverse workplaces where everyone feels welcome – whilst supporting the overall mission of The WiB Group to help grow a prosperous, inclusive economy. Prior to joining Diversity Mark, Christine spent over 20 years in the retail banking and motor trade sectors in a variety of key management roles.
Communications and Engagement Executive
Shruti moved to Northern Ireland with her partner a little over five years ago after a decade of experience in journalism and consulting firms such as KPMG back in Mumbai, India. She worked in the research and communications field for almost four years consulting with a global investment bank before joining Diversity Mark to facilitate and support companies in achieving their EDI goals.
Head of Engagement
Emma was appointed in January 2020 in a new role as Engagement Manager. She is responsible for engaging with the Diversity Mark signatories and enabling the sharing of best practice online events, round tables, communications, ezines, and sharing of research reports to grow a learning community focused on creating diverse and inclusive workplace cultures. Emma is passionate about building diversity and inclusion momentum for every organization regardless of size or stature.
Business Development Executive
Orla joined the Diversity Mark team in 2022 and brings a wealth of experience in D&I and a successful business background. Orla opened Boden Park Coffee Company & Roastery, the business was focused on being an inclusive space for all. Orla has also developed Still I Rise Storytelling™. This provides story sessions, workshops and training around issues typically not addressed in story books and resources including Race issues, neuro diversity, male mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, disabilities, diverse families, empathy & moving country, kind & inclusive language and more. “I want to live in a world where all people matter, where opportunities are equal and where each person can show up every day as their true authentic self in a trusted space. There is a positive impact to businesses through having a variety of different perspectives, increased creativity and profits, better decision making, higher employee engagement and reduced employee turnover.”
Our independent assessment panel
Judith Gillespie CBE
Former Deputy Chief Constable, PSNI
Judith served as a police officer in Northern Ireland for 32 years, making history by becoming the first woman in RUC/PSNI to become an Assistant Chief Constable in 2004. As a Chief Officer for 11 years, she helped steer the organisation through significant change, including leading on the PSNI’s Gender Action Plan. On leaving PSNI in 2014 she became an independent leadership advisor. She served for four years on the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, for five years on the Garda Policing Authority, and for six years on Probation Board for Northern Ireland.
Board Member Invest NI & Belfast Harbour Commission
Deborah is a Certified Public Accountant with a lengthy career in international business and tax. She was Senior Vice President of Tax at Oracle Corporation in California for 20 years and before that worked in public accounting in London, Hong Kong and the U.S. Deborah is passionate about maximising every person’s potential through promoting diversity, equality and inclusion.
Managing Director at Business in the Community
Kieran has been with Business in the Community since 1990 taking on the role of Managing Director in January 2011 and has since played a leading role in the organisation’s growth, and been instrumental in championing the responsible business agenda in Northern Ireland.
Deborah has a long history in working on equality and human rights issues, and she is currently a Commissioner with the Equality Commission for NI. Recently she has been working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Ireland and as an adviser to the EU on women, peace and security strategic plans and evaluation.
Policy and Public Affairs Manager
Fergal is the Policy and Public Affairs Manager for the Children’s Law Centre; Northern Ireland’s leading children’s human rights centre. Prior to this he worked for Stonewall – the leading LGBTQ+ rights organisation – where he was responsible for supporting a wide range of employers to shape truly LGBTQ+ inclusive workplaces.
As Chair of the People and Culture Committee at the National Children’s Bureau, an advisory reference group member for the public policy Think Tank, Pivotal and former President of Northern Ireland’s National Union of Students, Fergal has extensive experience in driving change in a variety of settings.
Executive Coach & Leadership Consultant
Joanne is a highly experienced executive coach & leadership consultant, who specialises in impactful women’s leadership development. She has over twenty years’ experience, which includes successful delivery of executive education programmes for the William J. Clinton Leadership Institute at Queen’s University Belfast. Joanne is a passionate advocate for advancing diversity and inclusion, through coaching and facilitation of strategic gender diversity programmes to catalyse cultural change.
Furthermore, Joanne has significant proven experience as an assessor with various awarding bodies, supporting the achievement of robust quality standards. She is currently working part-time for Emergenetics International and developing her women centred coaching consultancy.
Talent Manager at A&L Goodbody
Talent Manager at A&L Goodbody is an experienced Talent Manager with over 15 years’ experience within the fields of Law, Financial Services, Oil and Gas, and Engineering. Currently at A&L Goodbody she leads the Talent Strategy in NI working closely with the partnership. At A&L Goodbody, Diversity and Inclusion is about respecting, valuing, and fostering the differences that exist in our people, and the domestic and international markets in which we do business. Culture is based on collaboration and creating an environment where all can belong. Our D&I guiding principles are, Be Kind, Be Curious, Be Brave and Be Accountable, and through these we are committed to ensuring that everyone is treated with respect, fairness and integrity.
Consultant at Aspiring Solicitors
Jonathan is a consultant for Aspiring Solicitors, the UK’s largest legal diversity platform. Having previously worked as a solicitor, Jonathan works with students and law firms to increase diversity in the legal profession through events, mentoring schemes and work experience opportunities. Jonathan was the first in his family to attend university and completed a history degree at Trinity College Dublin, before completing the GDL and LPC.
Throughout his training contract and on qualification as a BAME solicitor, Jonathan witnessed the relatively small number of other BAME solicitors working in the City and joined Aspiring Solicitors to help address this and inspire other underrepresented groups to join the legal profession.
Emma Patterson Bennett
Portfolio Manager, Inclusion at BBC Northern Ireland
Emma is the Portfolio Manager, Inclusion at BBC Northern Ireland. Emma works to ensure Diversity & Inclusion best practice is embedded across the organisation and supports the leadership team to deliver effective cultural change. Previously Equality & Diversity Manager at the Education Authority providing advice and guidance on all aspects of equality, diversity and inclusion. Emma developed the first Gender Action Plan for the organisation including designing and leading on the award-winning EA Menopause Workplace Policy.
Emma has worked for CAJ where her focus was strategically working to effect change on critical equality and social justice issues through the use of the statutory equality duty. Also part of the BrexitLawNI Project identifying the human rights and equality aspects of the EU exit for Northern Ireland. Emma has also been involved in promoting and delivering gender equality through the use of human rights and equality mechanisms for the last 10 years.
Barrister specialising in Employment Law
Emma is a first-generation barrister who primarily specialises in employment law. She has a special interest in pregnancy discrimination and vulnerable claimants. Prior to qualifying as a barrister, she was a Kennedy scholar at Harvard University. She now publishes a monthly employment law newsletter known as McIlveen on Employment and was a co-founder of an Advanced Employment Course at the Institute for Professional Legal Studies. In 2021, she was shortlisted for a Next100Years Inspirational Women in Law award and recently completed a global leadership programme delivered by Cambridge University.
Alongside her employment practice, she serves as an independent assessor for the Commissioner of Public Appointments and serves as a Non-Executive Lay member on NI Practice & Education Council for Nursing & Midwifery. Outside of the Bar, she is a mother of three and is passionate about social mobility and advocating on behalf of working mothers.
Risk & Compliance at Allstate NI
Sorcha led technology and security teams at Allstate before heading up Risk & Compliance and Administrative Services, including responsibility for business conduct and ethics. She is involved in a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives across the business and is a member of the IDE steering group. She is Chair of the Board of Governors of Lough View Integrated PS and is a board member of the Integrated Education Fund. Sorcha is passionate about all areas of diversity and inclusion.
Dr Nazia Latif
Human Rights and Equality Specialist at Right Practice
Nazia has extensive experience of working on human rights, equality and diversity in NI and internationally. A highly experienced trainer and researcher, she believes in empowering communities through genuine engagement and collaboration. She worked for the NI Human Rights Commission for 13 years where she led a number of systemic investigations of international significance, including In Defence of Dignity, an investigation into the human rights of older people in nursing homes.
Nazia currently runs Right Practice and specialises in providing practical assistance to organisations in the public, private and voluntary sector to initiate and manage change in order to improve service delivery and internal management. Her focus is on helping organisations meet their human rights and equality obligations. Nazia is a Non-Executive Director on the Health and Social Care Board and a member of the NI Committee of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.
Director of Strategic Sourcing , Spirit AeroSystems
With over 22 years experience in Aerospace Supply Chain Nichola is currently a member of the leadership team at AeroSystems. She leads a team of sourcing professionals with responsibility for the planning and execution of sourcing strategies, managing the introduction of new programmes, and low-cost country development. Her leadership responsibilities include Value Engineering, where she leads a team of sourcing professionals who develop and implement innovative concepts. A graduate in Management Operations from UU, she also has a professional coaching qualification, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
Anne has been a leading figure in the world of learning and development in Ireland for the past 31 years. She was Director of Training and Corporate Development for B.I.C. Systems for eighteen years. Following the sale of the company to BT in 2004, she went on to work in PwC before joining Queen’s University to establish the William J Clinton Leadership Institute. By 2018, when she retired from Queen’s, Anne had successfully developed the Institute to be NI’s premier provider of high-end executive education. Anne has run a number of businesses during her career and has sat on a number of boards. She continues to work in the field of executive coaching and training consultancy.
Managing Director, Ravensdale Capital Investments LLC
Angela is the chairwoman of the board of the Virginia Distillery Company. She is active in marketing and championing the brand in markets across the U.S. and beyond. Also the Managing Partner of Ravensdale Capital, an investment platform created to provide venture capital investments in start-up and early stage technology businesses. MD of Macha Capital Partners, a private investment fund focused on investing in small, growth-orientated business in Ireland, with a special focus on women-led initiatives, in a broad range of sectors including, manufacturing, technology and trade. Angela serves on the boards of several organizations, and is a member of the Irish Global Economic Forum.
Andrea McIlroy Rose
Head of the Belfast Office, Pinsent Masons
Andrea specialises in investment and development work and has over 25 years experience of acting for clients in both NI and England. Andrea is an active advocate of D&I with a particular emphasis on the advancement of women in business and aside from being on the board of Women in Business she also sits on the Board of NI Chamber of Commerce. She was previously the international chair of the Pinsent Masons internal female networking group, Female Futures whose membership spans all of their 26 offices for over 7 years and has recently been appointed as the gender representative on the Pinsent Masons Global Inclusion Board
Senior HR Business Partner, NIE Networks
With over 30 years experience in the Utility Sector Paula is a member of the senior leadership team in NIE Networks. She leads a team of HR professionals. In addition to a number of responsibilities her main focus is on organisational training & development, change management and employee engagement. A graduate in Business Studies from Ulster University Paula and then a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management. In addition to this she has a number of Management Qualifications and also has a professional coaching qualification. She is a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.
PR Consultant, JPR
Joris is an award-winning PR consultant who trained at the National Geographic Society as a journalist in Washington DC. After a successful 10-year career in business journalism in London and Madrid, he returned to NI to join the PR industry in 1992. As PR consultant, trustee of Belfast’s top arts centre, and strategic adviser, Joris has helped facilitate the creation of major new capital investment projects including the MAC, HMS Caroline and Kilkeel Regeneration. He is skilled in all aspects of public relations including crisis communications management, profile building, corporate communications, reputation protection and consumer PR. Joris speaks French and Spanish, writes a weekly food column for the Belfast Telegraph.
CEO of HCIL
The driving force behind the HCIL ethos and vision, Mairead is an award winning, female entrepreneur. HCIL is a leader in care, support and housing solutions with a 1,200 strong team across Ireland. In an era of emerging technologies, Mairead recently founded ‘iCare Digital’, a progressive solution focused on improving the delivery of social care. She is the founder of EVOLVE, a women’s network that inspires and supports strong female leadership across the community. Also a founding partner of LIFT Ireland, which focuses on character and value-based leadership for future generations. A finalist in EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award, Mairead has been recognised for her innovation in Business and recently received a National Special Recognition Award.
Officer, Vice President, Deputy Information Security Officer at Allstate
With 30 years of experience in financial services, Keith is currently VP, Officer, and Deputy Information Security Officer for the Allstate corporation. As Allstate’s first Security Officer outside the US, Keith is building global thought leadership for cyber security in NI. Prior to Allstate, Keith has been a board member or Chairman of Banks in India, Russia, Mexico, Canada and in the US. As the first non-USA based Security Officer in our near 100-year history, Keith is responsible for establishing and driving individualized information security strategy and programs for each of the major Allstate business lines. For the largest publicly held personal lines property and casualty insurer in America.
Managing Director of Power NI
Stephen has been MD of Power NI for the past 15 years. Power NI is Northern Ireland’s largest electricity supplier serving 475,000 homes and 35,000 businesses. He is on the executive board of the Viridian Group. A past President and Board Member of the NI Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Stephen has worked within the energy industry since 1986, and joined initially as a chartered engineer and then transitioned into a variety of senior management roles. He holds an engineering degree, a masters in corporate leadership and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School. Stephen originally hails from Co Tyrone and is married to Amanda, and they have two children, Rachel and Jonathan.
Sir David Robert Sterling
KCB, Former Head of NI Civil Service
David is the former Head of NI Civil Service, whose civil service career spanned over four decades. David retired in August 2020 after leading the Northern Ireland Civil Service in the absence of Stormont ministers, following the collapse of the executive in 2017. Providing strategic counsel to the Women in Business Board, David says “I am delighted to be welcomed on to the Board and to join a group of impactful and influential business minds in making an important difference in the workplace in Northern Ireland…Diversity, Entrepreneurialism and Leadership are crucial to Northern Ireland’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”
“Working with Diversity Mark has helped our organisation to grow and thrive. They have supported us on every step on our journey.“Bridgeen Mullin, Head of employee relations, FinTrU
“Terex are embracing a new diversity and inclusion initiative with one of the main aims being to encourage more women to forge a career in the sector. Diversity Mark are helping us achieve this“Barry Taylor, Terex
“The Diversity Mark Accreditation programme has been invaluable to Translink in helping us make connections and develop plans that will continue to make a real difference to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for the benefit of all employees within Translink. Cara Woods, Translink“Cara Woods, Translink
We will continue to educate & support businesses whilst pushing for progress every single day
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