Silver Diversity Mark for Liberty IT

Cathy Donnelly, Senior Director of Talent at Liberty IT and Willie Hamilton Managing Director of Liberty IT – awarded Silver Diversity Mark

Belfast-based Liberty IT has been ranked third in the ‘Best Workplaces for Women 2021’ listing by Great Place to Work UK and has been awarded a Silver Diversity Mark.

The digital innovation firm is one of only seven organisations in Northern Ireland to achieve the Silver Diversity Mark accreditation, for its commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Diversity Mark awarded this accolade to Liberty IT following the company’s work across a number of programmes, resulting in an increased number of females at entry and executive level; and enhanced awareness and learning through the roll out of their Pride Allyship sessions and company-wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Programme.

Willie Hamilton, Managing Director of Liberty IT said: “At Liberty IT our employees are at the heart of everything we do. We aspire to be a company where everyone feels included and that they belong, one that values diversity, not only in our words but in our actions, bringing our values to life every day.

“We are incredibly proud to have been awarded a Silver Diversity Mark and it’s testament to the work we have been carrying out for a number of years to ensure we lead the way in diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It’s recognition for our people, our Employee Resource Groups and leaders for all the great work they have completed, and continue to carry out, in our journey for the promotion of equitable opportunities for all.”

Cathy Donnelly, Senior Director of Talent added: “DEI is core within Liberty IT’s culture and we’re delighted to be recognised with two award wins in this area. As we are well aware, Northern Ireland has an under-representation of women working in STEM. However, at Liberty IT we are working hard to address this issue and to encourage female applications from entry level roles and above, as well as developing our highly-talented female engineers.

“We have introduced a number of initiatives including a female only scholarship, female representation on all interview panels and recruitment centres and have launched Mentoring Circles to help give female engineers at all levels the tools to realise and achieve their goals and aspirations,” she continued.

“We have lots of exciting things to come in the weeks and months ahead which will further reinforce our dedication to gender equality. This includes launching a Family Toolkit, which offers individual coaching for team members returning from extended leave, transitioning back to work.”

Huge congratulations to all the team at Liberty IT!

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.

Version 1 NI Awarded the Diversity Mark Bronze Accreditation

Huge congratulations to all the team Version 1 for being awarded the Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation. The Diversity Mark Accreditation is a ‘Mark of Progress’ that publicly declares commitment to building more diverse and inclusive workplaces to benefit all employees.

Jonas Cella, co-chair of the Version 1 NI commented:

“Receiving the Bronze Diversity Mark is an important milestone for us. It shows we are on the right track to have a diverse and inclusive workplace and makes Version 1 a great place to work in Northern Ireland. At Version 1 diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice we make every day”

Christine White, Head of Diversity Mark added:

“We are delighted to recognise Version 1 for their commitment to Diversity by awarding them the Bronze Diversity Mark accreditation.   

Our independent assessment panel commended Version 1 on a reflective application looking at a variety of specific and strategic interventions which will have the potential to collectively shape a truly inclusive culture and begin to address the gender balance across all levels of their business.

 We congratulate everyone at Version 1 on this achievement and look forward to working with them on their Diversity journey over the next number of 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.

Transparent Thinking – Breaking The Mould in Diversity and Inclusion

Making progress in manufacturing can’t be focused purely around improving technology, it must also be grounded in creating progressive cultures that breed opportunities for everyone, regardless of their demographic or background.

As many businesses around the world recognise the benefits that come with incorporating inclusive and diverse working processes, a large proportion are unsure where to even begin. How can they enact widespread changes in long-standing behaviour throughout their organisation, in a way which is both enduring and effective?

Christine White, Head of Diversity Mark

Christine White, our Head of Business talks with Encirc for Transparent Thinking – their new insight-led content series, which will uncover and confront the biggest issues facing the global manufacturing and beverages sectors. Christine shares her expert insight around the important first steps which those responsible must take to instil futureproofed values.

One of the biggest dangers facing the world of employment today is that companies and senior leaders see diversity as being only a tick-box exercise. This isn’t what embracing diversity and inclusion is all about. It must be about creating a positive and more meaningful culture. This takes a lot of hard work and commitment, but doing it properly also brings with it real rewards and will pay dividends if it goes beyond just lip service.

A compelling business case

There is a huge difference between organisations with senior level buy in and those that do not really understand the true value of diversity and inclusion. For example:

Organisation A treats Diversity and Inclusion as a single initiative owned exclusively by HR, they think it is the right thing to do but it’s seen as more of a tick box exercise that they sometimes pay lip service to every now and then. Employees, therefore, also see it as a tick-box exercise with no authenticity.

Organisation B however, sees it as a growth enabler and the key to every decision within the organisation.  Every individual leader is bought into the value of belonging, both intellectually and emotionally. Leaders are authentic and visible champions for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion and they are equipped to be able to explain why they care, why it matters, and why it should matter to their direct reports and colleagues.

The business case for inclusivity and diversity has been clearly made over time and is backed up by numerous academic studies which have shown that companies with greater diversity perform much better and have significantly lower staff turnover rates as well as increased innovation. McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for Gender Diversity on executive teams are 25% more likely to have above average profitability. Harvard Business Review reported in 2020 if we act now to advance gender equality this could add $13 trillion to the global GDP by 2030.

Understanding the barriers

Analysis of data is key because you can not change what you can’t see, feel, hear, understand or quantify. Auditing the system and achieving systemic change requires quantitative and qualitative data and this should be measured regularly. At Diversity Mark we  provide a framework for organisations which assists with this important step. This data should be reviewed with a key team of stakeholders. The most important stakeholder is the wider workforce, especially underrepresented groups. This vital exercise should assist in identifying any potential barriers to women or underrepresented groups, which can then be acted on accordingly.

Creating an Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy

The aim of this activity would be to have a living document which outlines the values, principles, and goals of the business when it comes to Diversity and Inclusion.

An effective Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy should include how Diversity and Inclusion links to the company’s values, core operating model and growth strategy and it should be easy to communicate.

Companies are becoming increasingly aware of how important it is to create an inclusive employer brand. Glassdoor found that 67% of candidates said that diversity in an organisation is an important factor when considering a job offer, so it is imperative to make a statement and make your diversity goals and strategy visible both internally and externally.

Working Groups can also be invaluable when planning or implementing change, starting or reviewing your diversity journey, or enabling you to really hear staff views in relation to a particular issue.

Being involved in a diversity working group can be an excellent development opportunity for individuals, as they can take ownership of tasks whilst spreading the workload – rather than a couple of individuals in HR trying to drive change.

Encirc, for example, were able to establish their first internal Women’s Network, which now supports and champions gender equality across the business. Three projects were developed by the original committee; the first of which focused on championing gender diversity in the workplace.

Developing a positive culture for employees

If you attract the best people into your organisation – will they stay?  Do team members feel they will score extra points if they work excessive hours, answer emails at weekends and evenings and wear their burnout badge with honour?  If the answer is yes, then you are unlikely to retain top talent, especially women and working families.

Culture comes from the top, and managers should lead by example here. If you can make kindness, compassion, and trust central features of your culture you will attract the best people and retain your top talent. Culture audits, anonymous surveys and exit interviews can be helpful and will give you benchmarks to improve on. If you are in constant listening mode with your employees, employee satisfaction will increase, and turnover will reduce.

Building a diverse pipeline for the future.

Many of the STEM and manufacturing organisations on board with Diversity Mark, such as Encirc, are trying to attract more females and have initiatives around reaching out into the community.  For example, outreach to girls’ schools could include offering work experience opportunities, offering work related project opportunities, providing a sponsored prize for a manufacturing or STEM related project, and engagement with local primary schools using female role models to emphasise at an early stage that manufacturing, and STEM careers are for girls and boys.

Talent mapping is a vital process in identifying the capabilities, experience and potential of current employees and aligning this with your growth strategy to reveal talent gaps and development needs. It helps to identify the stars within your organisation, and you can work on their personal development to get them ready to participate at senior levels when the time comes, whilst retaining them.

Job seekers and young people want to know what you are doing to increase diversity and inclusion in your company, which is a big reason to improve your recruitment practices.  Editing job description language thoughtfully and use of gender-neutral language, along with blind shortlisting and diverse interview panels, can help in reducing the risk of unconscious bias. In the case of Encirc, the company launched a Diversity Charter in 2019, which outlined its commitments in line with the above, to ensure a fair and balanced recruitment process. Find out more here.

If you want to find out more about the Diversity Mark accreditation programme visit www.diversity-mark-ni.co.uk or email info@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk

Prestige Insurance Holdings awarded Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation for championing gender diversity

Huge congratulations to Diversity Mark signatory Prestige Insurance Holdings, a Group of insurance businesses delivering specialist products and services in Broking, Underwriting and Insurtech – on being awarded the Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation for their commitment to championing gender diversity and inclusion.

The Diversity Mark is awarded to companies following an independent assessment process which ensures they have reached the required standard of commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion.  It is a ‘Mark of Progress’ that publicly declares that a company is committed to building a more diverse and inclusive workplace to benefit all employees.

The award has been granted to all businesses within the Group including AbbeyAutolinePrestige Underwriting Services, Prestige Underwriting Services (Ireland), Covernet, Stroll, Customer Claims Assist Limited, Octane Underwriting Services and Reliable Vehicle Solutions.

Trevor Shaw, Group CEO shared his pride in all the businesses for the key role they have played in helping the Group receive the Bronze Diversity Mark.

At Prestige Insurance Holdings we have always been fully committed to achieving gender diversity and inclusion in our workplace and we are delighted as a Group of businesses to achieve this recognition. 

“As well as gender diversity, we also aspire to enhance diversity and inclusion in other areas of organisational policy and practice including disability, race and ethnicity, LGBTQ+, age diversity and social mobility, so we regard this Bronze Diversity Mark as a first step on our journey.

“Throughout all businesses within the Group we are proud to have both male and female professionals in senior positions, playing a key role in the growth of each respective company and the Group as a whole.  Developing and maintaining a diverse workforce is championed at all levels throughout Prestige Insurance Holdings.

“Our Values define what Prestige Insurance Holdings believes in and how, as a core part of our strategic foundation, our people strive to deliver. Our pledge to “Respect and Integrity” highlights our commitment to treating people with kindness, dignity and professionalism, building trust through responsible actions and honest relationships.  

“Achieving the Bronze Accreditation reaffirms this ethos and we look forward to working together as a Group of businesses to achieve more in the future, including development of a Group-wide Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Policy.”

The Diversity Mark accreditation process and application framework enables organisations to identify and take action on any institutional barriers facing minorities and underrepresented groups that can impact on their career progression. 

The Diversity Mark Assessment Panel provide expert annual independent feedback to assist organisations in building workplace environments in which all individuals feel valued, are treated fairly and respectfully and have equal access to opportunities.

Christine White, Head of Business at Diversity Mark added: 

“We are delighted to recognise Prestige Insurance Holdings Limited by awarding them the Bronze Diversity Mark Accreditation. Our independent assessment panel welcomed their well-constructed and carefully thought through submission showing an interconnectedness between each of their targets representing a high level of ambition to enhance gender diversity across the group. We congratulate everyone at Prestige on this achievement and we look forward to working with them as they develop their diversity initiatives 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.

Diversity Mark Accreditation for Belfast City Council marks public sector first

Belfast City Council has become the first NI public sector organisation to be awarded a Silver Diversity Mark Accreditation in recognition of its commitment to promoting equality and diversity within its workforce. 

Launched in 2017, Diversity Mark is the leading authority in diversity in the UK and Ireland. The accreditation recognises an organisation’s commitment to embracing diversity and creating an inclusive culture for all staff. 

Councillor Áine Groogan, Chair of Belfast City Council’s Women’s Steering Group, said:

“Council is committed to increasing diversity within our own workforce to ensure it is reflective of all the communities we serve, so that we are best placed to deliver for all of our citizens.   

“We’re delighted to be awarded the Silver Diversity Mark as recognition of the work that has taken place to date, and our commitments for the future.” 

Councillor Groogan added: 

“A key focus for us is working towards a positive gender balance at all levels within Council.  Since achieving the Bronze level Diversity Mark in 2018, Council has achieved an equal gender balance at our most senior officer level. In the autumn we will be launching a recruitment academy, encouraging applications from women, people with disabilities and other under-represented groups for roles within our frontline teams, working to keep our local communities clean and green.” 

Belfast City Council’s Gender Action Plan for 2021-2024 was ratified at June’s Council meeting. The plan sets out how, over the next three years, Council will continue to focus on promoting gender equality in the council, and also within the community, in the economy and in the city. 

The Silver Diversity Mark accreditation also recognises Council’s commitment to developing and implementing a Minority and Ethnic Inclusion Plan by February 2022.  The action plan will address how Belfast City Council can better communicate and engage with and support existing minority ethnic staff, as well as identify what it can do to attract a more diverse applicant pool. 

Council has also approved a three-year LGBT+ Action Plan, for 2021-2024.  The plan focuses on supporting LGBT+ staff, as well raising awareness of LGBT+ issues amongst the wider workforce and increased community activity. 

Christine White, Head of Diversity Mark added

“We congratulate everyone at Belfast City Council on this very significant achievement, being the first public sector organisation to have reached the standard for this highly robust accreditation. Our independent assessment panel commended the Council for its strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and clear measurable progress made since joining Diversity Mark in 2018.  We look forward to continuing to work with Belfast City Council as they progress their Equality and Diversity plans with significant ambition across a range of equality dimensions which will positively impact the lives of many people within their organisation and the wider community.” 

Huge congratulations once again to all the team at Belfast City Council.

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.

Alchemy Technology Services ranked number 11 on the UK’s Best Workplaces™ for Women List 2021

Anne O’Neill (Head of HR), Katie Forrest (HR Assistant), Lauren Baker (Resource Manager)

Congratulations to Diversity Mark signatory Alchemy Technology Services who ranked number 11 of the female on the UK’s Best Workplaces for Women List 2021.

100% of the female workforce at Alchemy said, “Taking everything into account, I would say this is a great place to work”

This follows the company’s recent ranking as number 29 on the UK’s Best Workplaces List.

To make the list of Best Workplaces for Women, Alchemy had to meet additional criteria from their UK Best Workplaces recognition including having at least 25% women in the workforce, at least 25% of women in senior positions and at least 80% average positive survey responses from the female workforce. 

Considering factors such as daily encounters of innovation, inclusivity, company values, and the effectiveness of leaders, the women of Alchemy rated their workplace experience as consistently great. 100% of the female workforce at Alchemy said, “Taking everything into account, I would say this is a great place to work” and on average, rated the company 93% across the board.

John Colwell, Board Sponsor for Diversity and Inclusion said, “We have always been proactive about ensuring we have a female workforce who feel supported and secure in their roles. The Tech industry is renowned for having few women in roles at all levels, so we are delighted to see that our efforts are paying off and that we have a higher-than-average female to male ratio and women in Leadership at Alchemy.”

Anne O’Neill, Head of HR said, “It is so important that we not only create an environment where our female employees are treated fairly and equitably but that we lay the groundwork to ensure that young women and girls coming through school and higher education feel that a successful and prosperous career in Tech is within their reach. We have been and will continue to be active within schools and various groups to break down stereotypes and ensure that young women feel empowered to consider and are supported to pursue IT as a career.”

Alchemy have already achieved the Bronze Award Accreditation with Diversity Mark which is a “Mark of Progress” that publicly declares their commitment to advancing Diversity and Inclusion across the organisation. Through this process they established targets to review all policies and procedures for gender bias, increase the percentage of women in the workplace and through engagement with external bodies supporting gender equality, encourage and support women to become more confident and successful.

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.

FinTrU introduces Pregnancy Loss Policy for all employees

Diversity Mark Signatory FinTrU has officially introduced a comprehensive Pregnancy Loss Policy which will be available to all employees across the company.

The FinTrU Pregnancy Loss Policy caters for both the pregnant individual and their partner in the event of a pregnancy loss. Statistics show that one in eight pregnancies can end in miscarriage, and this policy aims to support FinTrU employees in ensuring that they have the time and care they need after such a tragic event.

Sinead Carville, FinTrU Chief HR Officer

FinTrU Chief Human Resources Officer, Sinead Carville, said of the new policy “As FinTrU continues to grow, we are always looking at our employee demographic to support them in whatever way we can. Traditionally when a pregnancy loss occurs, people can feel uncomfortable speaking about it and tend to use other reasons for compassionate leave. We want to completely remove that barrier and ensure that our employees and managers are fully equipped with the knowledge, training and support they require should they encounter this devastating situation in life. Our organisation is evolving and we are always looking at ways for us to evolve as a provider for our people. FinTrU will continue to monitor and implement employee centric policies to support them in their careers as well as their personal lives.”

Should a loss of child occur, this policy will entitle the pregnant employee to two weeks of paid leave. The policy also extends to employees who are the partner of a pregnant individual who has lost a child to entitle them to one week of paid leave. This leave can be flexible to suit to needs of the individual’s recovery following a pregnancy loss event.

As the FinTrU employee demographic continues to evolve, training has been designed and will be delivered to all Line Managers. This training will focus on those who manage pregnant people and their partners, those who have lost a child, and the appropriate and careful management of the employee’s return to work.

Founded in December 2013, FinTrU is a multi‐award winning RegTech company in the Financial Services sector that is committed to giving local talent the opportunity to work on the global stage with the largest International Investment Banks. FinTrU works with clients to design solutions to help them meet their regulatory obligations in areas such as Legal, Risk, Compliance, KYC, Operations, Consultancy and Technology. FinTrU’s clients are all global Investment Banks, based in North America, Europe and Asia and the company’s business model is to provide technology enabled solutions to clients to augment and support their existing internal functions. Headquartered in Northern Ireland, FinTrU employs over 750 people across Belfast, Derry/Londonderry, London and New York. Read more about FinTrU at www.fintru.com

FinTrU recently received the Silver Diversity Mark for leading commitment to diversity and inclusion. Going forward, the aim for FinTrU is to continue to support employees to ensure that their place of work is as welcoming, supportive and open as 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.

Diversity Mark Signatory Roundtable Event ‘Gender Balance in STEM’

Thank you to everyone that attended our recent roundtable event ‘Gender Balance in STEM’. This event gave attendees the opportunity to connect with peers from other organisations and sectors, and share ideas, challenges and good practice around achieving gender balance in the STEM sector.

Diversity Mark signatories attending ‘Gender Balance in STEM’

During the session, signatories completed a poll advising the main challenges for them to achieving gender balance within their organisation. The top three barriers were listed as:

  • Talent Pipeline -so few women interested in applying

  • Girls not studying the relevant subjects/degree not suitable

  • Male dominated environment

The great news is that we are moving the dial within STEM. Looking collectively at four IT companies that joined us in the early days, Liberty IT, Allstate NI, Learning Pool and Outsource Solutions they have jointly increased their female workforce by 27% overall and by 30% specifically in senior management positions. All four companies have grown collectively by 401 employees since they joined Diversity Mark with 47% of all new hires being female, tipping the overall gender balance collectively in favour of women by 3%.

Thank you to Frank Fleming from the Equality Commission NI for his offer to help with policies, culture audits and training. Please CLICK HERE to find out more.

Attendees came away from the session with a list of over twenty practical tips, strategies and initiatives to review and implement where possible within their organisations.

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.

80,000 Employees To Gain Greater Inclusivity

We are delighted to announce that we recently reached a significant milestone with organisations signed up, working towards achieving and maintaining the Diversity Mark representing over 80,000 employees, with almost 40% of those companies based within the STEM sector.

Four of NI’s leading IT firms – Allstate, Learning Pool, Liberty IT and Outsource – have been accredited through Diversity Mark for over 2 years, and in that time have jointly increased their female workforce by 27% overall and by 30% specifically in senior management positions. All four companies have grown collectively by 401 employees since they joined Diversity Mark with 47% of all new hires being female, tipping the overall gender balance collectively in favour of women by 3%.

Launched in 2017 by Women in Business, Diversity Mark are now the leading authority in Diversity in the UK & Ireland and the accreditation recognises an organisation’s commitment to embracing diversity and creating an inclusive culture for all staff.

A McKinsey report published last year found that companies in the top quartile of gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to experience above-average profitability than peer companies.

Terry Moore – CEO of Outsource, Nichola Robinson – Director of Strategic Sourcing at Spirit AeroSystems and Diversity Mark Chair, Paul McElvaney – Group CEO of Learning Pool, John Healy OBE- Vice President and Managing Director of Allstate NI, Christine White – Head of Business at Diversity Mark and Willie Hamilton – Managing Director of Liberty IT.

Christine White, Head of Business at Diversity Mark, said: “We are delighted to have reached this landmark milestone representing 80,000 employees. At Diversity Mark it is our mission to platform issues around inclusivity in the workplace and create equal opportunities for all. It is well known that having a diverse workforce can unlock greater innovation within a company, driving its performance and success. We look forward to further progressing in 2022 and are delighted to work with organisations new and old throughout the UK & Ireland as they continue their exciting journeys towards greater diversity.”

John Healy OBE, Vice President and Managing Director at Allstate NI, said: “Diversity is central to everything we do, and it’s needed now more than ever in the IT sector. As the first company in Northern Ireland to receive the Silver Diversity Mark, Allstate are committed to be the catalyst for change.

“In a sector where females are underrepresented, I am delighted to see the progress Allstate and the other companies have made to address this. The frameworks and resources provided by the Diversity Mark team have been invaluable in helping us to set goals, track performance and benchmark against other organisations. Allstate’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion will help drive change and attract more females to join the IT sector.”

Paul McElvaney, Group CEO of Learning Pool, said: “Our strong commitment to diversity benefits our entire company. We recently ranked as the top indigenous company in Northern Ireland to work for, and part of this success can be attributed to our dedication to inclusion.

“Diversity Mark’s accreditation programme has helped build on this ongoing commitment to maintain an inclusive culture. We’ve made significant investments in building a flexible workplace and nurturing a culture where everyone has equal opportunity to achieve their potential in terms of career growth, pay fairness, and skill building. In the current climate, it’s more important than ever to foster this kind of experience, where people feel valued and have a voice in what they do.”

Willie Hamilton, Managing Director at Liberty IT, said: “Partnering with Diversity Mark NI to achieve our accreditation has played a key role in pushing us even further in our DEI journey. We’re growing our teams and continuing to bring diversity of talent into our organisation is critical to this.

“We’re seeing improvements in gender balance across all job families including the Executive Team, and our Women in Tech Employee Resource Group have launched mentoring circles and a buddy programme, and our Talent team have introduced coaching and toolkits to support parents and those returning from a period of leave. Our DEI Council has just been established and I am excited to partner with this group to evolve DEI even further across Liberty IT.

Terry Moore, Founder and CEO of Outsource, said: “At Outsource we have always prided ourselves on our commitment to diversity, inclusion and the general wellbeing of our staff, our participation in the Diversity Mark accreditation journey has undoubtedly accelerated and placed more structure on the senior management team’s implementation efforts.

“With the support of the Diversity Mark team, Outsource are proud to be the only Managed Service and Security Provider in NI to have been awarded the Bronze Diversity Mark but as importantly we genuinely believe that this commitment to diversity and inclusion is and will continue to be a major advantage to us as we progress with our plans for Outsource and our ground-breaking OSG Cloud solution to grow nationally and internationally. For any company that genuinely wants to grow or attract the best candidates the Diversity Mark is a fantastic way to show you are a genuinely inclusive and welcoming place to work, where skills and talents from all sections of the workforce are actively encouraged and welcome.”

To learn more about Diversity Mark Accreditations please click here.

To sign up to become a Diversity Mark Signatory please click here.

Danske Bank Embed Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging into Organisational Culture

Christine White, Head of Business at Diversity Mark NI, Kevin Kingston, CEO at Danske Bank UK and Caroline van der Feltz, HR Director at Danske Bank UK
Christine White, Head of Business at Diversity Mark, Kevin Kingston, CEO at Danske Bank UK and Caroline van der Feltz, HR Director at Danske Bank UK

Caroline van der Feltz, HR Director at Danske Bank outlines the approach to embed diversity, inclusion and belonging within the organisation. Their commitment has resulted in Danske Bank being awarded the Diversity Mark Silver accreditation.

Danske Bank signed up as a Diversity Mark Signatory in January 2018 and have proved to be an organisation with a laser focus on measurement, using data and employee feedback to drive strategy and to set clear and ambitious targets around diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Caroline herself is an experienced HR Director, having spent over 25 years’ within the Financial Services, FMCG, Travel and Retail sectors. At Danske Bank UK Caroline leads the People Strategy as part of the Banks Executive Committee with Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging being a significant element of their strategy. Caroline also gives her time to be a Diversity Mark Buddy, providing guidance and expertise to new signatories.

Caroline van der Feltz, HR Director at Danske Bank discussing diversity inclusion and belonging policies.
Caroline van der Feltz, HR Director at Danske Bank

What prompted Danske Bank to join the Diversity Mark Accreditation Programme?

The Diversity Mark underpins our commitment to drive diversity, inclusion and belonging and be a force for good in Northern Ireland. The application framework enables us (and other organisations) to identify and take action on any institutional barriers facing minorities and underrepresented groups that can impact on their career progression and sense of belonging. 

How knowledgeable was Danske Bank about Diversity and Inclusion at the start?

We were knowledgeable, but are always seeking to grow and expand our knowledge base across all facets of our business to help us embed diversity, inclusion and belonging right in the heart of our culture at Danske Bank.

What have been the main benefits of participating in the Diversity Mark accreditation programme to date?

Collaborating with the fantastic Diversity Mark team to host an event as part of the Diversity and Inclusion series – ‘Disabilities, Mental Health & Belonging’, growing external diversity and inclusion networks, giving back through the Diversity Buddies Programme and participating in some fantastic webinars and diversity and inclusion events has been hugely beneficial for our team.

What have you learned on your journey so far and how has it impacted the organisation?

At Danske Bank people are at the heart of everything we do and we want to ensure that every colleague and customer feels supported, accepted and included. As part of our Danske Belong strategy we have very strong employee networks which are driven by passionate volunteers with the focus and ambition to make Danske Bank a place of work where people feel they can be their true selves. The networks have been instrumental in opening up debate, introducing new initiatives and challenging for change, and they have the full support of our senior management team. Of course, working life has transformed since the pandemic and we will continue to listen to colleague feedback, collaborate to introduce new policies or initiatives where necessary, and also step up our focus on wellbeing.

What are the next steps in the Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging journey to help you to retain the Diversity Mark accreditation?

We are continuously working on progressing our diversity, inclusion and belonging initiatives. Below are a few highlighted areas:

  • Launching our Origins Affinity Network
  • Further embedding our Belong strategy into the organisation’s culture.
  • Launching our Domestic Abuse: Support for Colleagues Policy and tangible support offerings.
  • Finalising our Suicide Awareness programme of work for colleagues and people leaders.
  • Roll out of our Belong Journal (an empowerment tool to help colleagues remove the first barrier to belonging which, in many cases, can be a conversation with their line manager on a personal, sensitive, or emotive subject to them).
  • Data collation, analysis and implementation of data informed action points.
  • The Belong Mission Statement publication and communicating to our colleagues through our Belong Hub and Belong e-booklet.

What support have you received from Diversity Mark to help you on your journey so far?

Excellent support. Diversity Mark have always been on hand to provide market analysis, best practice learnings, collaboration opportunities and networking introductions.

Would you recommend the Diversity Mark accreditation programme to other organisations?

Absolutely, and we have done so publicly in our external marketing communications, and through conversations with other businesses in the Northern Ireland market – both private and public sector.

Can you briefly summarise your experience to date on the accreditation programme?

Diversity Mark has been instrumental in enabling us to grow and expand our knowledge base across all facets of our business, to help us embed diversity, inclusion and belonging right in the heart of our culture at Danske Bank.


Find out more about the Diversity Mark Acreditation Programme.