Diversity Mark – Fourth in Series of Industry Events

We recently hosted our fourth in the series of industry events: Building a truly diverse and inclusive workplace ‘Breaking Down the Barriers’ with Allstate NI.

Diversity Mark has seen great growth in the technology and professional services sector so for this event we brought together some visionary leaders to share their journeys and insights with our community of existing and future signatories.

The focus and importance of data was a consistent them when getting started and measuring success. We discussed recruitment and retention, culture and belonging and the importance of a framework and structure when embarking upon a mark of progress.

Nuala Murphy our Interim Head of Business kicked off the event by welcoming John Healy Managing Director of Allstate NI who spoke regarding the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

“The reason we are involved with Diversity Mark is simple, because it is part of our shared purpose, our values and it feeds directly into employee engagement and satisfaction, and it drives the performance of our business.” John Healy

Nuala jumped right into the panel Q&A starting with Allstate’s Lesley Miller asking her about her inspiration; motivation and determination to lead in this space. Lesley shared how, coming from a big family of boys and girls there were no stereotypes established in her home with great parental support she always felt she could do and be anything.

Key take-aways of the event included:

  • Intersectionality: “Through an awareness of intersectionality, we can better acknowledge and ground the differences among us.”

  • Data: Its role and importance.

  • 3 R’s – Representation in building a culture from the first interaction with your company from recruitment and how building a culture where everyone can bring their full selves to work enables retention.

Core theme through all above was the importance of communication, being clear and creating the right place and time to share goals and intention. Own your timing to deliver maximum impact.

Jonathan Patel of Aspiring Solicitors joined us to explain who they are and the barriers they are breaking down within social mobility and the law sector, after recently partnering with Silver Accredited A&L Goodbody.

Julianne Miles CEO and Co-Founder of Women Returners spoke on the opportunities they can provide to both employees and employers and how deliberate we have to be in acknowledging bias in order to see successful outcomes.

“We know it’s not just one thing that is needed, its systemic change and challenge across society and the economy at large. But we can all start somewhere and do what we can with what we have.” Nuala Murphy

Lesley Miller Senior Manager at Allstate NI “You cannot improve what you do not measure.”

David Mulholland CEO at Bar NI “Challenging ourselves to see what we can do and not what we cant do.”

Jill Michael Talent Manager at A&L Goodbody “Talent is everywhere but opportunity is not”

Kerri Bradley HR Director at Cleaver Fulton Rankin “It is all about timing and communication”

Honey-Bell Oke Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Version 1 “Creating awareness, providing training and empowering employees”

Event panelists

Thank you to everyone that attended the session. The event was recorded and can be sent upon request to our Diversity Mark community by emailing info@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk.

Keep your eyes peeled for the details of our upcoming 2022 events.

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to info@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.

Queen’s University celebrates Silver Diversity Mark Accreditation

Queen’s University Belfast is celebrating having been awarded the Silver Diversity Mark recognising its commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Pictured with the Silver award are (l-r): Professor Karen McCloskey, Director of Queen’s Gender Initiative, Conor Curran, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Queen’s University Belfast, Joanne Clague, Registrar and Chief Operating Officer of Queen’s University Belfast, Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business, Diversity Mark, Alistair Finlay, Interim Director of Human Resources, Queen’s University Belfast and Professor Margaret Topping Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation, Queen’s University Belfast

The Silver Diversity Mark Accreditation highlights the University’s progress in advancing gender, race and disability equality and its ambitious plans in this space.  

Speaking about the award, Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Greer said:

“We are committed to ensuring that Queen’s University is a welcoming and inclusive place for our staff, students and visitors. We are extremely proud of the diversity of our staff, students and community and of the work that continues to be done by them to embed equality, diversity and inclusivity at our University.

Our 2030 Strategy places significant emphasis on the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion. It resonates with our students, our staff and our focus on internationalisation, positive culture change and sustainability. This award will also ensure that we continue to hold ourselves to a high standard of achievement in this important area and continue to attract the students and staff from around the world to study, research, work and live in Belfast.”

Queen’s is one of only ten organisations to achieve the Silver Diversity Mark sharing a platform with others such as Belfast City Council, Danske Bank, FinTru and Liberty IT.

Professor Karen McCloskey, Director of Queen’s Gender Initiative said:

“The Silver Accreditation reflects significant progress since the University was awarded Bronze almost three years ago. This award not only reflects the progress made at Queen’s on gender, race, and disability equality, but also recognises our ambitious plans to do more in these spaces. To maintain the Silver Diversity Mark, Queen’s will report annually on the initiatives we are delivering to drive forward further progress and meet agreed targets.”

Conor Curran, Head of Diversity and Inclusion said:

“We are delighted to be one of only 10 employers in Northern Ireland to have achieved Silver Award status now.

It reflects the significant progress which has been made since we were awarded Bronze almost three years ago, and the important work by carried out by many colleagues on campus, in various faculties, schools and directorates. It also gives us added determination to push on and address many other equality and diversity issues over the next few years.”

Interim Head of Business, Diversity Mark, Nuala Murphy, said:

“We are delighted that Queen’s University Belfast 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 noted their submission included many considerable strengths and evidenced an ambition in the organisation to strive for further excellence in diversity and inclusion. We look forward to them continuing their progressive and innovative initiatives moving forward.”

Huge congratulations to all the team at Queens University Belfast 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.

Qarik Awarded Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation

We are delighted to announce that Qarik have been awarded the Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation in recognition of their ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

The Bronze Accreditation is achieved following an independent assessment to demonstrate the required standard of commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion and starts with the setting of three gender specific, diversity targets.

Claire McIntyre, Chief Operating Officer at Qarik Group commented:

“Being awarded the Bronze Diversity Mark is a demonstration of Qarik’s commitment to ensure an inclusive and diverse workplace for current and future employees. Qarik is a family-focused company that believes that no one should be at a disadvantage professionally, financially, or socially. Qarik continues to invest in its future and continuing support for equality and inclusivity policies and practices to be upheld throughout the company.

We are proud to be recognised for our efforts to date and will continue to build as we see diversity, equality and inclusion essential for business.”

Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark said:

“We are thrilled that Qarik has been awarded the Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation for their commitment to advancing Diversity in the workplace. Awarded by our Independent Assessment Panel who endorsed and welcomed the commitments made within their submission.

We congratulate everyone at Qarik on this achievement and we look forward to working with them as they develop their diversity initiatives over the coming years.”

Huge congratulations to all the team a Qarik 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.

IQ-EQ Belfast awarded Bronze Diversity Mark for a second year

Diversity Mark are delighted that IQ-EQ have maintained the Bronze Diversity Mark for a second year. This was awarded in recognition of our progress and commitment to Gender Diversity.

Senior HR Business Partner, Ruth Hennessey said:

We are so proud to receive the bronze award for a second year and recognise the positive impact of creating a safe and inclusive environment for our people to grow and develop. Creating a culture of inclusion, acceptance and mutual respect and celebrating differences is not only good for our employee value proposition but for our clients and business alike. I am excited to see what the next year brings with an even bigger focus on diversity, equity and inclusion across the IQ-EQ group“.

Since receiving our first Bronze Diversity Mark in 2020, IQ-EQ have established an Employee Led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee who work in collaboration with local leadership teams to create a cluster which truly embraces and reflects the communities around us and values the diversity of thought that comes with it.

The committee recently published a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Charter and an Employee Led Network playbook setting out the IQ-EQ mission statement, our behaviour expectations and how DE&I will be monitored.

In support of this and for the first time, a DE&I survey was sent to staff to collate diversity data on people which will be pivotal in shaping the DE&I strategy going forward.

Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business Diversity Mark commented:

“We are delighted that IQ-EQ has maintained the Diversity Mark Accreditation for their continuous commitment to advancing Diversity in the workplace, awarded by our Independent Assessment Panel. We congratulate everyone at IQ-EQ on this achievement and we look forward to working with them as they develop their diversity initiatives over the coming years.”

Huge congratulations to all the team at IQ-EQ  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.

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion: Good for Business

Interim Head of Business Nuala Murphy takes a look at why diversity, equality and inclusion have never been more important.

‘Supporting women in work to achieve their ambitions, whatever they may be, has been a focus of mine over the past eight years through my voluntary capacity as a Lean In Network leader. We have seen thousands of women from across all industries benefit from being part of the Lean In Circle programme in their communities and organisations.

Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark

The benefits have seen eight out of 10 women saying that being part of a supportive group has had a positive impact on their lives, in work we have seen those who wanted a promotion, change in working patterns or indeed change in career, fulfil their goals.

Companies with more women on their boards, perform better. Mixed gender startups raise more money and build more inclusive products. More diverse teams perform better.

Since taking up my role with Diversity Mark, I have been encouraged to see the commitment among the growing number of signatories to their ‘Mark of Progress’ across Ireland and the UK. There is no doubt the pandemic shone a light on the disproportioned work women do at home and in work compared to male colleagues and partners and as such, leaders had to take heed and find ways to better support and enable their employees.

According to the McKinsey LeanIn.org Women In The Workplace study 2021: “At a time when the stakes have never been higher, women are showing up as better people-focused leaders and stronger advocates for diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) they are more likely, than men at their levels, to take consistent steps to promote employee well-being, such as checking in on their team members and helping them manage their workloads.

“They are also more likely to support DEI initiatives and to be active allies to women of colour. But although this work drives better outcomes for all employees, it is going largely overlooked by companies.”

The key findings

More than 90% of companies track women’s overall representation, but only 65% track gender differences in promotion rates.

Almost 70% of companies hold senior leaders accountable for progress on diversity goals – but only 30% hold managers, who play a critical role in hiring and promotion decisions, accountable. Only 34% of employees have participated in anti-racism training in the past year.

Senior-level women are twice as likely as senior-level men to spend substantial time on DEI work that falls outside their formal job responsibilities.

Some 86% of companies say it’s “very or extremely” critical that managers support their team members’ well-being, but only twenty-five percent formally recognise those who do this – and a similar trend holds for DEI work.

When managers take action to promote employee well-being and companies prioritise DEI, employees are happier, less burned out, and less likely to consider leaving their company.

To drive change, companies need to invest deeply in all aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

To improve representation of all women across the pipeline, companies need to double down on reducing bias in reviews and promotions, and they need to hold leaders and managers accountable for progress. But diversity in numbers isn’t enough. Companies also need to create a culture that fully leverages the benefits of diversity – one in which women, and all employees, feel comfortable bringing their unique ideas, perspectives, and experiences to the table.

What action can we take?

You can start and continue your own journey by joining the rapidly growing Diversity Mark community of signatories across Ireland and the UK and commit to building a more diverse and inclusive workplace where all employees can feel valued and supported to do their best work. We want to support you and enable your success in this area. Not only will it help you attract and retain 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.’

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.

ALG Celebrates Silver Diversity Accreditation

ALG Belfast office was recently awarded the Silver Diversity Mark by Diversity Mark in recognition of its continued commitment to gender diversity and progress made against ambitious targets in the areas of social mobility and disability.

Jill Michael, Talent Manager at ALG, Gregory Martin, Diversity Partner at ALG and Nuala Murphy interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark

ALG was commended for delivering and committing to a wide-ranging inclusion agenda – described as being “both meaningful and responsive” to the needs of its 120-strong team of lawyers and business support professionals in its Belfast office.

Gregory Martin, diversity partner at ALG Belfast office, said: “This accolade is testament to ALG’s drive and commitment to ensuring a diverse and inclusive workforce for current and prospective employees and clients.

“We continue to invest significant time and effort in progressing our overall diversity agenda, ensuring that both our policies and practices match our commitment to equality and inclusion. Alongside gender diversity, we have focused on other areas of diversity, such as LGBTQ+, disability, ethnicity and social mobility.

“We recognise that respecting, valuing and leveraging the differences that exist in our employees, clients and communities is good for our business – both in terms of the service we deliver and in building and sustaining a positive working environment for our people.”

Diversity Mark is a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on enabling and supporting companies of all sizes across the UK and Ireland in achieving an Accreditation to recognise commitment to diversity and inclusion. The Accreditation follows a methodology of self-assessment and prioritises continuous progression, with goals set by and appropriate to each individual organisation.

Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark, commented: “We are delighted for A&L Goodbody on achieving the Silver Diversity Mark. Huge congratulations to all the team for their innovative and progressive approach. We look forward to working with them on their Diversity journey over the next number of years.”

To maintain the Silver Diversity Mark, ALG will now commit to reporting annually on the initiatives it is delivering to progress against these internal targets and to support the transparency and accountability needed to drive change.

Huge congratulations to all the team at A&L Goodbody 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.

Diversity Mark Second in Series of Industry Events

Diversity Mark hosted second in the series of Industry Events ‘In conversation with FinTrU’.

Nuala Murphy Interim Head of Business and Emma Lyttle Engagement Manager at Diversity Mark was joined by Sinead Carville, Chief Human Resource Officer at FinTrU, Bridgeen Mullen, HR Business Partner at FinTrU and Chloe McAlary, Chair of FinTrU’s Women in Finance Network.

Sinead kicked off the session by showcasing FinTrU‘s Diversity and Inclusion journey to date. FinTrU joined Diversity Mark in October 2018, were awarded Bronze in March 2019 and achieved the Silver Diversity Mark in June 2021. Some of their achievements to date include:

  • Greater gender parity at entry level
  • TrU Women Mentoring Programme
  • Introducing new corporate level of Senior Vice President
  • Increased scrutiny and a deep and robust review of performance and progression
  • Established BAME community
  • Introduced TrU Voice

Nuala Murphy then hosted a detailed Q&A diving into the above wide range of areas that FinTrU are excelling in as industry leaders.

Below are some key takeaways from the session that other signatories will find beneficial on their journeys.

  • Pay it forward, FinTrU attended a Diversity Mark /Allstate Event previously and gained valuable lessons from what they were doing.
  • Importance of starting at the start even for high achieving organisations and leaders.
  • Everyone is on their own journey, step back and do what you can with what you have. Small steps will build the momentum.
  • Understanding when is the right time, placing D&I on the boardroom table conversations and understanding what is important for key stakeholders.
  • Have all employees voices represented, some great things can come from it.
  • Huge benefits came from Diversity Mark Buddy System
  • Entrepreneurial in their Data capture system and design.

Sinead Carville, Chief Human Resource Officer at FinTrU

Thank you to everyone that attended the session. Keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming announcement of our next event.

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.

Invest Northern Ireland awarded Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation

Pictured (L-R): Denise Black, Executive Director, Human Resources, Invest NI; Donal Durkan, Executive Director, Strategy, Invest NI; Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business, Diversity Mark

We are delighted to announce that Invest Northern Ireland have received the Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation in recognition of their ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. 

The Bronze Accreditation is achieved following an independent assessment to demonstrate the required standard of commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion and starts with the setting of three gender specific, diversity targets. To do this Invest Northern Ireland identified three gender diversity target areas and developed a vision to help achieve them. The targets reflect the organisation’s aspirations and commitment to focusing on gender diversity, acknowledging that this will help drive growth and a culture of continuous improvement.

Denise Black, Executive Director, Human Resources, Invest NI 

“At Invest NI, we’re really committed to having tangible evidence of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and want to encourage a diverse and inclusive mindset in all our decision making. As an organisation we are committed to building a culture of inclusion and ownership. We want an environment where everyone feels they matter, where everyone feels they contribute and where they can thrive. As part of this commitment, we signed up to Diversity Mark and we’re delighted to have received the Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation. We’re looking forward to continuing this journey with all our staff.”

Huge congratulations to all the team at Invest Northern Ireland 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.

Baker McKenzie awarded Silver Diversity Mark Accreditation

We are delighted to announce that Baker McKenzie have been awarded the Silver Diversity Mark Accreditation for their ongoing commitment to advancing Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace.

Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark, James Richards, Executive Director at Baker McKenzie and Lauren Diamondis, Senior HR Business Partner at Baker McKenzie awarded Silver Diversity Mark Accreditation.

James Richards, Executive Director at Baker McKenzie commented “As a global firm, diversity is part of our DNA and we take considerable pride in what we do to advance equality around the world. We believe that no one should be put at a disadvantage, professionally, financially or socially, on the basis of who they are. Here in Belfast, our Inclusion and Diversity Networks have been doing a lot of work both within the office and in the community to champion equality. We are incredibly proud to have been awarded the Silver Diversity Mark and I’m thrilled that this work is being recognized.”

Baker McKenzie hosted an internal event to celebrate their success as a team. Nuala Murphy, Diversity Mark Interim Head of Business was invited as a guest to attend the event and take part in a Q&A along side Dianne Foster, IT Director at Baker McKenzie. Nuala detailed her personal experience with Diversity and Inclusion throughout her career as well as highlighting all the strategic and progressive initiatives Baker McKenzie have implemented and embedded into their organisation.

Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark said “We are thrilled that Baker McKenzie 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 praised Baker McKenzie’s substantial efforts in shaping a truly inclusive workplace as well as showing leadership as a role model to other organizations. We look forward to them continuing their progressive and innovative initiatives moving forward on their Diversity and Inclusion journey.”

Huge congratulations to all the team at Baker McKenzie on achieving this accolade.

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.

‘The Business case for Diversity and Inclusion’ panel at Digital DNA

This week Diversity Mark hosted a panel “The business case for Diversity & Inclusion” at Northern Irelands largest tech event Digital DNA. Thanks to the fantastic panelists Gareth Quinn, Ritu Bhatt and Fergal McFerran for joining and imparting their advice, experience and practical tips to our audience. Our Interim Head of Business Nuala Murphy led the conversation. See her wrap up below.  

Nuala Murphy, Fergal McFerran, Ritu Bhatt and Gareth Quinn speaking at Digital DNA Event, Belfast.

Gareth Quinn shared the need for a diverse team to represent his diverse customers for KairosTech Solutions, a scheduling platform for elite athletes. He shared his challenges of being in tech, sports tech and how recruitment has been tough. I mentioned networks like Women of Wearables (WoW)® and connecting up with individuals such as Marija Butkovic.

We all know Gareth Quinn as founder of Digital DNA. Indeed it’s how we first met when he asked me to be on panel for marketing while I was Head of Marketing at Totalmobile Ltd. Back then Gareth understood the need to have more representation at conferences and ensured focus was placed on that each year. As someone who walks the walk when it comes to the business of Diversity and Inclusion, he shared just how tough it is and how he continually tries to do better.

Ritu Bhatt MD of iEngageIT a tech company that is diverse by nature with teams in Belfast, London, India and soon to be Belgium, shared her motivation to start brownscafe to celebrate the successes of brown and non white people in Northern Ireland and the need to inspire the younger generation. She also shared the reality that smaller businesses see D&I as an overhead but if you are thinking of building a global company you need to have D&I embedded in your culture right across the board.

Businesses need to create safe spaces for all staff to feel a sense of belonging. The business benefits are clear; better performance, higher returns, more product teams, more innovation, staff retention….the list goes on. So why is it so tough?

Fergal McFerran from Stonewall a non profit that stands for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace (LGBTQ+) people everywhere, shared how organisations are afraid to get things wrong. He suggests they listen to their staff and understand them and what they need. He also shared the importance of commitment right across the board and true collaboration with organisations and groups. What does that look like? Accepting getting things wrong is part of the process but listening and basing action on insights will see change.

As an independent assessor with Diversity Mark he talked about the importance to start on a structured journey, to focus on one or two things and do them well. Spreading yourself too thinly doesn’t bring success. Personally, as interim head at Diversity Mark I have seen a shift from “good thing to do” to “business need” when it comes to company’s trying to build more diverse teams, boards and organisations. It’s a no brainer for sure and I’m encouraged to see commitment in this area.

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.