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.

Diversity Mark Assessor Recruitment

Diversity Mark is a leading authority on Diversity and Inclusion throughout the UK and Ireland. The Diversity Mark Accreditation is awarded to companies following a rigorous assessment process that ensures they have reached the required standard of commitment.

As a diversity and inclusion assessor you will have evidence of commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace and or community.

Ideally you will be a strategic, visionary, and humble leader with strong communication and stakeholder engagement capability.

Overview of the role

Our Independent Assessors bring a highly robust standard to the accreditation process. The panel of sector experts are all incredibly passionate and committed to building a more equal and diverse workforce, society and economy and have worked at scale designing, embedding and managing diversity and inclusion initiatives for many organisations across the private, public and third sector.

The primary role of the Diversity Mark Independent Assessor is to assess, along with the wider panel, the signatory’s Bronze, Silver or Gold application. New assessors will be paired with an experienced assessor for the first year.

Role requirements

  • Experience in driving and/or advising on embedding a diversity and inclusion strategy within a large-scale business, organisation or community group
  • Experience in leading transformation within the D&I space (business, organisations or community) and evidence of delivering business results with clear line of sight to D&I initiatives

Person Specification

  • Strong personal interest in evidenced decision making, data and people analytics
  • Commitment to keeping current your knowledge of D&I
  • Progressive mindset with ability to consider complex data and use this to reach well informed decisions
  • Thinking of ways to do it better – what does even better look like?

Commitment

  • Typically, 6 hours per quarter; each assessment panel session will require approximately 3 hours on assessment day plus advance preparation time per quarter dedicated to review applications
  • Representation of Diversity Mark as and when required

Stipend

  • We can offer a contribution up to £1000 per year equivalent to £250 per assessment attended.

Application process?

Please email a copy of your cv along with a cover letter highlighting your suitability for this role to nuala@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk

Application Deadline

Friday 5th November 2021

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.

AMS named winner of 2021 ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ Awards Northern Ireland

AMS who hold the Silver Diversity Mark Accreditation has been awarded the ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ Award at the 2021 Responsible Business Awards in Northern Ireland. The Award is one of 11 Awards categories that form part of Business in the Community’s annual recognition event that recognises and rewards firms in Northern Ireland that are embracing the journey to build better workforces, create a sustainable economy and healthy communities.

Winners in all eleven responsible business categories were announced at a hybrid Awards event, hosted in-studio by TV and weather presenter Barra Best and broadcast live across Business in the Community’s digital platforms.

The Awards take place every year and in 2021 the event was run in partnership with JP Corry, SPAR and Department for Communities, and in association with Ulster Business and U105.

Kieran Harding, Managing Director of Business in the Community Northern Ireland pictured with Marcella McKeever, Head of Centre Belfast, AMS, winners of the Diversity & Inclusion Award at the 2021 Responsible Business Awards in Northern Ireland.

Marcella McKeever, Head of Centre, AMS Belfast commented on the news of this award, “We are delighted to have won this award and be recognised as an organisation that is committed to the diversity, inclusivity and wellbeing of our people.  We strive to enable our people to succeed in a truly diverse and inclusive environment. Our employee led working groups work tirelessly to initiate change internally and are visibly engaged in supporting our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) ambitions across all areas including social mobility, ethnicity, disability, cognitive diversity, LGBT+ and wellbeing. Our DE&I framework embeds our company culture promoting the value of difference and conscious inclusion, empowering our people who are passionate about equality and mutual respect for others.”

Kieran Harding, Managing Director, Business in the Community remarked: “Congratulations to each of the winning organisations for leading the way in responsible business. This year has been really challenging for a lot of businesses and people in Northern Ireland, so I want to thank our winning, and highly commended and shortlisted organisations for continuing to make responsible business action a priority. The judging process of the Awards is robust, and the standard of entries was phenomenally high this year. All winners demonstrated true leadership in the area of responsible business and their entries are sure to inspire others in their own responsible business journey.”

Huge congratulations to all the team at AMS on this fantastic 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.

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.

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.