Diversity Mark Breakfast hosted by Deloitte

Jackie Henry, Northern Ireland office Senior Partner at Deloitte welcomed a group of business leaders to an intimate Diversity breakfast to discuss the benefits seen at Deloitte since prioritising Diversity and Inclusion.

Jackie spoke passionately about being involved with Diversity Mark NI having been involved from the start as a founding partner. Jackie explained that she believes that companies need diversity and inclusive cultures to enable them attract and retain top talent and shared some innovative diversity and inclusion initiatives developed at Deloitte.

Christine White, Diversity Mark Head of Business shared with the group the straightforward sign up process and talked about being proud to have grown from fifteen to almost sixty members over the previous 12 months with a diverse range of companies on board from all sectors, all at different stages on their diversity journey.

Sir Malcolm McKibbin, Diversity Mark board member and former head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service explained the many business benefits from having more diverse senior teams with 3% added to the bottom line for every 10% increase in Gender Diversity in the senior leadership team.


To find out how your company could benefit from the Diversity Charter Mark contact christine@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk.

Allstate Diversity Breakfast

We would like to thank John Healy, Managing Director at Allstate for hosting our latest Business Leader’s Diversity breakfast. John Healy spoke passionately with the group about Allstate’s involvement with Diversity Mark and explained that he felt that they are ‘part of something really special’.

Kieran Harding, Diversity Mark Independent Assessor and Managing Director at Business in the Community talked to the group about the robust assessment process and shared that he believes that the Diversity Charter Mark will give companies ‘the competitive advantage’ moving into the coming years.

Diversity Mark is Northern Ireland’s only independent not-for-profit organisation enabling and supporting companies of all sizes in achieving a Charter Mark to recognise commitment to Diversity in the workplace.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Diversity Charter Mark and would like to attend a future breakfast event please email admin@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk.

Lesley Miller, John Healy, Colm McElroy, Angela Byrne, Christine White & Keith Lippert
Christine White, Janette O’Hagan and Colm McElroy
Allstate Diversity Breakfast discussions
Marie-Therese McGivern, Kieran Harding & Christine White

Upcoming Event: The 2nd Business of Diversity Lunch

Wendy Austin interviews Gary Kennedy, Chairman of Greencore Group plc, Connect Group plc and Green REIT plc and Co-chair of Balance for Better Business.

Wednesday 23rd October 2019 from 12.00pm to 2.30pm at the Canal Court Hotel, Newry.

We are thrilled to announce that we have secured Gary Kennedy as part of our compelling speaker line-up for our next in a series of exclusive Business of Diversity Lunch events.  Gary is Co-chair of Balance for Better Business which was launched by Leo Varadkar in July 2018 to improve gender balance in senior leadership in Ireland.  Gary is also the Chairman of Greencore Group plc, Connect Group plc and Green REIT plc and he will be interviewed by BBC broadcaster & journalist Wendy Austin.

Gary Kennedy

Gary’s executive career commenced in Deloitte in 1978; he spent 13 years with Nortel Networks in a variety of roles and geographies concluding as Vice President for Enterprise Networks EMEA and finished his executive career as Group Finance Director for Allied Irish Bank plc.

Gary is currently Chairman of Greencore Group plc, Connect Group plc and Green REIT plc. He co-chairs, with Brid Horan, the Government sponsored gender diversity initiative Balance for Better Business. He is a member of the council of the Institute of Directors.

He has had previous extensive experience, serving on boards including Elan plc, Allied Irish Bank plc, Friends First Holdings Ltd, IDA Ireland and was a Government appointed Director of IBRC.

Balance for Better Business, which was launched by Leo Varadkar in July 2018 was tasked with improving gender balance in senior leadership in Ireland.

Co-chaired by Gary Kennedy and Brid Horan, the Balance for Better Business Review Group is supported by the Department of Justice and includes senior figures in Irish business and the public service.  The organisation understands that there is compelling business case for more diverse boards and leadership teams, and they are committed to achieving a better gender balance at the senior levels of Irish companies.

Greencore Group plc is a food company in Ireland and is today the world’s largest sandwich manufacturer. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.  It is a supplier of own-label products to all of the major UK supermarkets, and has world-class manufacturing sites with industry-leading technology and supply chain capabilities.

Green Reit is Ireland’s first real estate investment trust with a property value of 1.66bn Euros having developed an Irish property portfolio of the highest quality.

Connect Group is a market leader in News Wholesaling, and Mixed Freight distribution, with impressive reach and capability the company make over 20 million deliveries every year.

Tickets are priced at £25+ vat per person and tables of 10 are available.

Email today to secure your place at this exclusive event. 

  • Drinks reception from 12.00pm – 12.30pm
  • Welcome and keynote speaker interview 12.30 – 1.30pm
  • Lunch served 1.30pm – 2.30pm

Click here for credit card bookings or email admin@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to be invoiced for your ticket/table.   

Thank you to our key event sponsors Danske Bank and First Derivatives

Diversity Mark Milestone – 50 Members

We are delighted to announce that we have just reached a significant milestone for Diversity Mark – 50 Northern Ireland business leaders have committed to go on a journey to deliver diversity and inclusivity for their organisation.  

Diversity Mark’s very robust process is monitored on an annual basis, and as a result of our success we require additional independent assessors to join our current panel – so watch this space.

Do you have the Mark of Progress? If not click here to register and join us on your diversity journey. Alternatively get in touch with Christine White at Christine@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to find out more.

The ‘Mark of Progress’ billboard campaign

The ‘Mark of Progress’ billboard
We are delighted to present our new logo which we are promoting via a
billboard campaign ‘Look for the Mark of Progress’ around Belfast from
the 17th June. We have replaced the gender symbols with a ring to
represent all areas of diversity.

Organisations moving to silver & gold will have the opportunity to bring
in other areas of diversity. Diversity Mark members will be invited to a
Roundtable discussion on 22nd August to talk about the steps to silver
and gold. This will also be an excellent opportunity to share best practice
with other members.

To register your interest in the Roundtable event email:

Mary McAleese Diversity Lecture at Queen’s University

Roseann Kelly, Mary McAleese, Dr Bryan Keating CBE & Isabel Jennings

The Diversity Mark Board were delighted to be invited along the launch of the Queen’s Management School Annual Mary McAleese Diversity Lecture Series at Queen’s University on Friday 21st June.

The event, entitled: ‘An Interview with Mary McAleese’, was hosted by Queen’s Management School, in association with the Chief Executives’ Club and was compered by BBC broadcaster, Wendy Austin. Professor Ian Greer, President & Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s opened the event and explained that QUB were proud to hold the Diversity Charter Mark.

Mary McAleese, was elected the 8th President of Ireland in November 1997, succeeding Mary Robinson. She is the second female president of Ireland, the first president from Northern Ireland and served as for two terms until November 2011

The new lecture series is part of Queen’s Management School’s mission to promote greater equality and diversity in the workplace, particularly with regards to ensuring equality of opportunity and respect for diversity across the University and the wider community.

Read more here >>> https://bit.ly/2N8PMiH

Diversity Mark Presents at Powered by Talent Conference

Christine White, Head of Business at Diversity Mark NI was delighted to be invited along to present at this year’s Powered by Talent Conference hosted by the Abacus Talent Group at the International Convention Centre in Belfast on Wednesday 22nd May.

Powered by Talent united businesses from the professional services sector to highlight best practice in the attraction, development and retention of a company’s main asset; its people.

Christine White presented the breakout session ‘The diversity mix and creating the right environment for talent’.

Christine shared with the audience the cultural and financial benefits of prioritising Diversity & Inclusion and the audience took away valuable tips on how to create inclusive cultures.

Christine White presenting at the Powered by Talent Conference

Diversity Charter Mark Awarded to Northern Ireland Water

We were delighted to award Northern Ireland Water with the Bronze Gender Diversity Charter Mark.  They within their application have shown a real commitment to implementing inclusive growth and cultural shifts within the workplace.

Christine White presented NI Water Chief Executive Sara Venning and HR Business Partner Janine Murphy with the award at a recent visit to NI Water.

Read more here >>> https://www.niwater.com/news-detail/11650/ni-water-awarded-the-bronze-charter-mark-for-our-commitment-to-gender-diversity/

Diversity Breakfast at the Ulster Bank

Business leaders gathered today at an intimate diversity breakfast hosted by Richard Donnan, Head of the Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland. This event was another opportunity to highlight the importance of prioritising Gender Diversity in the workplace. Richard shared some valuable insights from Ulster Bank’s diversity journey with the guests.

Richard explained that they have been focussing on cultural change over the last few years by prioritising diversity and inclusion. He spoke about the importance of ensuring that everyone in the organisation feels supported to bring their ‘best self’ to work. He also explained that the organisation are on a journey and are now seeing the benefits of this positive transformation with a 30-40% increase in their staff engagement survey.

The Ulster Bank now have a 50/50 gender split at their Regional Board and an active RBS Women’s Network and Male Allies Group. All of which are playing a big part in creating an inclusive culture, enabling all genders to achieve their full potential.

Richard Donnan & Christine White at the Diversity breakfast
Some of the breakfast attendees

Colin McNab, Judith Gillespie & Rosemary Chapman

The Business of Diversity Lunch – with keynote speaker Gary McGann

Gary McGann, Chairman of Paddy Power Betfair Plc

Paddy Power Chief – Bets on Gender Diversity

Over 160 of Northern Ireland’s CEO’s and senior business men and women gathered on 2nd April, to attend Diversity Mark NI’s Business of Diversity Lunch, sponsored by Allstate Northern Ireland the iconic Belfast Harbour Commissioners Harbour Office.

The lunch was an opportunity to highlight the significance of gender diversity and encourage organisations to make the changes necessary to bring about sustainable and significant improvements in women’s career progression and create environments that are fair and positive for everyone.

Gary McGann, Chairman of Paddy Power Betfair plc, former CEO of Aer Lingus and Smurfit Kappa, and former Non-Executive Director of the Anglo Irish Bank, was the keynote speaker who shared his passion and insights into the benefits of promoting gender diversity in businesses.

Recognised as one of Ireland’s most successful CEO’S, McGann spoke passionately on how changes in organisations are necessary if gender diversity is going to be implemented successfully into organisations.

Speaking at the event McGann said, “Seeking gender diversity in businesses is not simply about making up numbers, it is logical. There is a wealth of incredible talent on offer from women and there is no sense in businesses limiting their talent seeking to a tighter market.

“In all aspects of life, women are instrumental in making decisions. Females have a huge input in the end market, so why are they missing in action in middle level decision making process? The reasons are threefold: there are not enough women putting themselves forward; females tend to hold themselves to higher standards; and the education process is preordained to position men in senior business roles.

“To tackle this imbalance, the tone must be set from the top. Procedural processes must be implemented in the workplace to challenge inequality, to enable people to overcome barriers to gender equality.”

Speaking at the lunch event, Head of Business at Diversity Mark NI Christine White commented, “The time to act on gender inequality is now and we are calling on all businesses to assess their gender equality procedures. Organisations must seek to remove obstacles faced by women at key points of career development and progression, implementing structural and cultural changes that help advance gender equality and put in place a strategy and an action plan to effect meaningful change.

“Diversity Mark NI’s Charter recognises that organisations cannot reach their full potential unless they benefit fully from the rich and wide-ranging talents and abilities of all their employees. A balanced workforce is good for business: it is good for customers; for profitability; and workplace culture.

“With 38 organisations now signed up for a Gender Diversity Charter Mark we are making strides to tackle disparity in the workplace and events such as todays are crucial in encouraging others to make the steps to developing an unbiased workplace to benefit everyone.”