Northern Ireland Civil Service retains Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation

Huge congratulations to Northern Ireland Civil Service who has retained the Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation for their ongoing commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

Since first achieving the Bronze Diversity Mark in November 2019, the Civil Service has continued to work to make improvements within all areas of diversity and inclusion.

Diversity Mark Head of Business, Nuala Murphy and Head of Civil Service, Jayne Brady.

Jayne Brady, Head of the Civil Service said:

“‘We are proud to have maintained our accreditation which recognises the ongoing commitment of the Civil Service to diversity and inclusion. We want to build a culture and working environment that brings out the best in us, where everyone can contribute and achieve their full potential. We have set new targets for the coming year and with the help of our diversity networks and Champions, along with NICSHR we look forward to making further progress.’

In achieving the Diversity Mark Accreditation the Civil Service have committed to an annual independent assessment and have set three gender diversity targets for the year ahead.

The Northern Ireland Civil Service want to build a culture and working environment that brings out the best in all employees, where everyone can contribute and achieve their full potential. 

Diversity Mark’s Interim Head of Business Nuala Murphy commented:

We are delighted that Northern Ireland Civil Service have maintained the Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation. The Independent Assessment Panel applauded the energy and commitment displayed in the annual review and within the ongoing gender initiatives that Northern Ireland Civil Service are working on. As a high profile, major employer in Northern Ireland, it is vital that Northern Ireland Civil Service exemplifies good practice and influences the wider debate on gender equality. We congratulate everyone at Northern Ireland Civil Service on this wonderful achievement and we thoroughly look forward to working with them over the coming years.”

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.

Unite Against Hate and Diversity Mark: “Conflict without Combat” Workshop

Thank you to everyone who recently joined our “Conflict without Combat” workshop in partnership with Unite Against Hate.

The session was hosted by Dorcas Crawford, former Senior Partner Edwards & Co. Solicitors, founder of The Better Way, Mediator, Facilitator and Public Speaker provided practical resources and valuable insights to those at all stages of their Diversity and Inclusion journey.  

Throughout the workshop Dorcas reiterated that communication is key.

“Listen, Listen, Listen”

Attendees got to take part in breakout rooms were they had the opportunity to practice some of the techniques that Dorcas had showcased with open conversations.

Key Skills and Takeaways summarised in below slides and resources:

Great resources below that highlights how you can disagree with people respectfully. It recognises that we are not all going to agree with each other, because let’s face it, “people are different”. However, we do have a choice as to how we treat people when we do disagree with them: respectfully.

“Conflict is inevitable, combat is optional” Max Lucado

“I will listen to you, and when I disagree with you, I will listen harder” Barack Obama

Free online workshop/courses can be found at: https://workshops.uniteagainsthate.org.uk/ 

The online workshops are user-led courses that can be completed at your own pace, and cover the topics of overcoming bias, building braver communities and communicating in a healthy, combat-free manner. They’re also completely free!

Thank you to Dorcas, Nuala, the Unite Against Hate Team and the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building for making the session possible.

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.

Carson McDowell awarded Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation

Diversity Mark are delighted to announce that Carson McDowell, Northern Ireland’s largest independent law firm, has been awarded the Bronze Diversity Charter Mark in recognition of their ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

Pictured (left to right): Marie McKeown, HR Manager, Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark and Neasa Quigley, Senior Partner, Carson McDowell.

The Diversity Charter Mark is awarded to companies following an independent panel assessment. It is a ‘mark of progress’ that publicly declares a company has reached the required standard of commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion to benefit all employees.

Carson McDowell is committed to creating an inclusive environment, accepting of every individual’s differences, enabling all employees to achieve their full potential, and as a result, allowing the business to reach its fullest potential. By valuing each person’s differences they allow everyone to contribute their unique experiences, which can have an extremely positive impact on work, other employees, motivation, productivity and client experience.

Marie McKeown, Human Resources Manager at Carson McDowell commented, “We are dedicated to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace for our people. We encourage teamwork, mutual support and respect and we want all our people to enjoy the work they do and the place they do it. Achieving this accolade is an important milestone in our journey and testament to our commitment in building and sustaining a positive working environment for our current and future employees.”

The Bronze Diversity Mark is awarded to organisations who show commitment to addressing gender diversity at all levels in their organisation. To achieve this award Carson McDowell has set three gender diversity targets to promote female representation and build a positive inclusive culture.

Neasa Quigley, Senior Partner at Carson McDowell added, “Receiving the bronze accreditation is excellent recognition of our significant investment in progressing our overall diversity agenda, ensuring that both our policies and practices match our commitment to equality and inclusion.

I am delighted to have been actively involved in all key diversity and inclusion initiatives already launched by Carson McDowell and I look forward to working with Diversity Mark and our internal team on our continued diversity and inclusion drive.”

Congratulating Carson McDowell on their bronze accreditation, Nuala Murphy from Diversity Mark, concluded:

“We are thrilled that Carson McDowell has been awarded the Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation for their commitment to advancing Diversity in the workplace. Awarded by our Independent Assessment Panel who congratulated them on an excellent application. Huge congratulations to all the team at Carson McDowell on this impressive achievement, we look forward to continuing your journey.”

Huge congratulations to all the team at Carson McDowell on this achievement.

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.

Importance of challenging gender stereotypes and bias within education.

Helping children of all ages and all genders find inspiration and courage from women role models is key to education. Teaching children and young adolescents to actively question and openly challenge stereotypes and bias is important because it helps forge a more inclusive world.

It is for this reason that during the recent celebrations for International Women’s Day that an important collaboration with Puffin Schools provided practical and insightful classroom resources for teachers around the world. The education of children about gender issues is an important means by which equality can be driven.

See below the brilliant downloadable resources as inspiring classroom discussion starters to reinforce the important of gender concepts.

International Women’s Day videos

International Women’s Day school resources

Diversity Mark Signatory Primary Schools Holy Evangelists celebrated International Women’s Day by saying thank you to all their women in schools, their teachers, teaching assistants, secretaries, dinner ladies and cleaners, who day after day put first the children’s, nurturing and caring for their social, emotional and learning needs.

Local Preparatory School Inchmarlo and their Parents Association, recently surprised the Principal of RBAI Mrs Williamson and Head Teacher of Prep Mrs Morwood with flowers on International Women’s Day, to recognise their leadership at RBAI and Inchmarlo. Mrs Williamson was the first female (and youngest) to be a principal of a boys grammar school in the UK and Mrs Morwood first female head at Inchmarlo.

Principle Mrs Williamson, Nuala Murphy and Head Teacher Mrs Morwood

Our Interim Head of Business and member of of the Inchmarlo Parents Association Nuala Murphy was present on the day discussing the theme of ‘Break the Bias’ and highlighting the importance of changing the stereotypes of what leadership looks like.

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.

Staffline achieve Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation

Staffline has been awarded the prestigious Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation by Diversity Mark, marking its firm commitment to promoting greater gender equality and parity in the workplace. 

(L-R) Paula McDermott, Group HR Manager, Tina Nzeye, HR Systems Administrator, Sinead Sharpe, HR Director, John Kelso-Mason, Learning and Development Co-Ordinator.

As one of the leading recruitment firms across Ireland, Staffline has a 56% female senior leadership team and an impressive 68% of females in management roles.  Given its significant influence in the recruitment sector, this is a welcome trend which has received recognition from Diversity Mark. 

Speaking on the recent award to Staffline, Nuala Murphy Interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark said: 

“Diversity Mark is the leading authority on Diversity and Inclusion. The Bronze Diversity Mark accreditation is awarded to companies following an independent assessment process which ensures they have reached the required standard of commitment to advancing Gender Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. Not only will it help attraction and retention of staff, but it will contribute to building a more equal, representative, and inclusive society that at the end of the day is good for our economy.”

Director of HR at Staffline, Sinead Sharpe said:

“Staffline Ireland is proud to be a diverse company, we believe our diversity is our strength, and only enhances the service we provide to our clients and workers. It’s our ongoing aim to maintain a truly inclusive workplace that diversity, equity and belonging is reflected in supportive employee training, benefits and policies. Staffline are especially pleased to endorse policies which ensure traditional barriers to gender equity are removed, including hybrid working, enhanced maternity pay policies, role salary bands which reflect the real UK living wage and performance-based promotions among others.”

Huge congratulations to all the team at Staffline on this achievement.

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.

Exploristics awarded Silver Diversity Mark Accreditation

Huge congratulations to Exploristics who have been awarded the Silver Diversity Mark in recognition of the milestones they have met and their ongoing commitment to increasing equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Aiden Flynn, Exploristics CEO

Aiden Flynn, Exploristics CEO said “I am thrilled that Exploristics has received this award. It is a testament to the dedication of our team who strive to ensure that we offer the most open, fair and inclusive work culture we can. We are grateful to Diversity Mark for providing us with the framework and guidance to help us achieve this, and by doing so supporting our efforts in attracting and retaining the best talent.”

Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark said “We are delighted that Exploristics have been awarded the Silver Diversity Mark in recognition of their progress and ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion and we congratulate all the team on this very significant achievement. The independent assessment panel were impressed with their application, and the progress that has been made since embarking on their Diversity Mark journey. The energetic and committed approach adopted across the organisation from Board level through the committee to feedback from ground level is inspiring. We look forward to them continuing their progressive and innovative initiatives moving forward.”

Huge congratulations to all the team at Exploristics on this achievement.

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.

New Chartermark collaboration to deliver Diversity & Inclusion excellence across NI and beyond

Diversity Mark and Legal Island, two leading all-Ireland certification bodies, have joined forces to deliver a sole accreditation recognising diversity and inclusion (D&I) excellence in the workplace.

Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark and
Barry Phillips, Chairman at Legal Island.

A response to the growing demand for independent D&I accreditation in the pandemic era, the newly-formed Chartermark will enable organisations to establish targets and milestones on their path to greater inclusion.

Speaking on the collaboration, Nuala Murphy, Head of Diversity Mark, said:


“This is an exciting development for organisations as the newly-formed Chartermark offers the employer the very best of both worlds. It includes ambitious targets and milestones that will mark the D&I journey towards excellence in diversity and inclusion practices, with evidence of up-to-date D&I policies and all-staff D&I training required from February 2023.”

Since launching in 2016, Diversity Mark’s accreditation process has required organisations to set out clear goals and milestones relevant to D&I activity, all of which are thoroughly reviewed by independent assessors. The feedback provided then enables organisations to develop their D&I initiatives as they seek to build a more inclusive workforce. 

“We want companies to be courageous about change,” Nuala added. “Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion is a top organisational priority, particularly in the pandemic era, and as an awarding body we welcome organisations to reach out and begin their journey towards greater inclusion. Our community of signatories is growing rapidly across the rest of Ireland and the UK with public declarations to build workplaces where everyone feels seen, heard, and appreciated for who they are.”

With its focus on compliance and proactive training for all business sectors, coupled with its annual D&I Awards at Titanic Belfast, Legal Island has given unprecedented profile to the importance of robust D&I practices in organisations across Northern Ireland and beyond.

Barry Phillips, Chairman at Legal Island, added:

“We believe this combination of compliance and stretch targets is unique in the marketplace and it’s a really exciting development. At times, Northern Ireland has perhaps been considered something of a backwater for D&I activity. This development really positions us front and centre.

“No other region of the UK or indeed Ireland offers employers such a unique and thorough accreditation process, together with the opportunity for recognition at an annual D&I Awards evening.  Couple this with relevant and readily accessible online D&I training, and employers large and small across all sectors can expect to excel.”

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.

Danske Bank launches new Diversity and Inclusion policy

Danske Bank has launched a new Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) policy during its first ever D&I Spotlight Week, in a sign of its commitment to creating a workplace in which all colleagues truly feel that they belong. During D&I Spotlight Week, Danske colleagues learned more about the Bank’s commitment to D&I, about the support systems in place, and about the ambitions of the Bank’s colleague-led affinity networks – its Gender Network, Rainbow Network, Enable Disability Network and Origins, its Race Equality Network. 

Jenny Moore, Employment Lawyer and Chair of Danske’s Belong Steering Committee, said: “Advocacy, allyship and accountability are just some of the themes we’ve explored during our Spotlight week.  Of course, an inclusive workplace that really makes colleagues feel as though they belong, means different things to each individual. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work. “Diversity, equality, and inclusion practices have to be meaningful, with colleagues heard and supported at all levels of our business. Creating a culture that fosters a true sense of belonging must be thoughtfully created, actively championed, and constantly evolving. We’re committed to that approach right across our business and our focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging is not a ‘nice to have’, nor an ‘add-on’, it is an absolute business and colleague imperative.” 

Caroline van der Feltz, HR Director at Danske Bank added: “At Danske Bank, we have a clear purpose – helping customers, colleagues and society thrive – and our Diversity and Inclusion strategy is central to that. “While our new D&I policy is a sign of our continued commitment to this area, as an organisation we are in always in listening mode, and our colleagues will remain pivotal in developing our strategy. They bring it life every day; D&I is truly embedded in our DNA. “We’re proud of our passionate, focused affinity networks, who are empowered and supported by senior management to set ambitious targets, take meaningful action and report on progress. “And diversity also makes great business sense – it leads to better performance outcomes for organisations, supports their safety and soundness, and promotes financial stability.” 

Earlier this year, the Bank achieved the highest level of CORE – the Business in the Community Standard for Responsible Business. Danske also holds Silver status of the Diversity Charter Mark and in 2021 was listed in the top ten ‘Best Companies’ to work for in Northern Ireland.

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.

“Making Tech More Inclusive” in partnership with Deloitte

Thank you to everyone who attended our latest Industry Peer Event, “Making Tech More Inclusive” in partnership with Deloitte. Within the 1hr virtual session we explored Deloitte’s strategies for getting more women into technology roles.

We heard from five speakers, Kerrie Irvine, Director in Human Capital and Diversity Sponsor, Joanna Karlic, Manager in Technology Strategy, Gary Semple, Director in Systems Engineering, Ashleigh Gibney, Manager in Systems Engineering and Fiona Savage, Analyst in Technology Strategy and Brightstart Scheme Apprentice on their journeys both inside and outside Deloitte, and how they have been breaking down the stereotypes that society has attached to tech roles.

Gary Semple, Director in Systems Engineering at Deloitte

Kerrie Irvine kicked off the session noting Deloitte’s journey with Diversity and Inclusion to date, including being accredited the Silver Diversity Mark and the impact this has had on the organization.

Joanna Karlic spoke of a long list of benefits of a gender balanced tech sector however highlighted a focused top three for Deloitte

  • Better overall outcomes
  • Equal representation in product design
  • High paying tech jobs can aid towards reducing gender pay gap

The session closed with Nuala Murphy our interim Head of Business hosting a fire side Q&A chat engaging in more insights and diving deeper into what more we can do to drive change, taking some great questions from attendees on the call.

Thank you to the team at Deloitte for their time, expertise and willingness to challenging change within the tech sector and sharing their best practices with our Diversity Mark community.

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.

Diversity Mark and Boardroom Apprentice Industry Peer Event

Diversity Mark recently hosted an Industry Peer Event in collaboration with Boardroom Apprentice. Within the one-hour session we heard from founder Eileen Mullan and thrilled to have been joined by the following Boardroom Apprentice participants Jo McGinley, David Johnston and Adriana Morvaiova who shared their own journeys.

The event was finished up with our Interim Head of Business Nuala Murphy hosting an insightful Q&A Session including questions from attendees on the call.

Boardroom Apprentice is all about delivering diversity, creating change and achieving aspirations, allowing those without board experience, to gain experience and enhancing their knowledge and understanding through in depth learning and support. You can find out more information on this years cohort by clicking through to their website.

Eileen Mullan is Founder of Boardroom Apprentice, enabling and empowering the next generation of decision makers. She is a powerhouse in advocating for diversity and a champion for change. Eileen is a trusted expert in governance and has transformed organisations across the public, voluntary and private sectors. She is a highly accomplished trainer and award-winning Chair and as a trusted Board advisor, Eileen enables Boards alongside their Executive Teams to have the conversations they need to have. Eileen is a frequent contributor to conferences and events along with delivering a TEDx talk “make time for what matters to you”. She holds an MSc in Management and Corporate Governance, an IOD Diploma in Company Direction and is a trained Mediator.

Jo McGinley has extensive experience in change management, coaching, PR, communications and stakeholder engagement. She has led large scale transformational change programmes in the private and public sector and, more recently, has experience working with senior leadership teams to help them design, deliver and implement their strategic business plans.

Adriana Morvaiova was born in Slovakia, raised in a multilingual family with Hungarian roots. Adriana relocated to Northern Ireland in 2006 where she joined Sensata Technologies. Her role in team development supports high performing teams in form of coaching, organizing training and events, building a hybrid working model post pandemic and encouraging innovation through strengthening DE&I. She delivered a TED talk addressing accent bias and misconceptions around linguistic diversity.

David Johnston was born to a Jamaican father and Northern Irish mother, David is married with three teenage children. Prior to retiring in 2021, he had been a Human Resources practitioner for over 25 years, having worked in several high-profile, complex, and dynamic public service organisations. Is hosted by the Community Relations Council, whose functions focus on enhancing diversity and including across the communities in Northern Ireland. In 2021 he received the CIPD NI HR award for outstanding contribution in the field of people development in Northern Ireland.

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.