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.

Diversity Mark Third in Series of Industry Events

Diversity Mark hosted third in the series of Industry Events ‘In conversation with TLT’

TLT shared ideas and their journey towards gender inclusion to-date, as well as some of the firm’s practices and initiatives designed to promote gender equity.

Emma Lyttle, Engagement Manager welcomed all attendees to the event and we heard from TLT leaders who are making change happen. Location Lead for Belfast, Partner and active member of the gender inclusion network, Katharine Kimber, plus Partner and Women’s Equality Network Co-Lead, Siobhan Fitzgerald. TLT’s Chief People Officer, Helen Hodgkinson who spoke alongside Katharine and Siobhan sharing the firm’s work in promoting inclusivity.

TLT openly shared the below key areas:

  • Diversity Mark journey so far
  • Spotlighted their work in reproductive health
  • Flexible and part time working
  • The employee lifecycle
  • The journey to 30% and beyond
  • TLT World
  • Their vision for the future of gender inclusion in TLT.

It finished with our Interim Head of Business Nuala Murphy hosting a quick-fire Q&A session.

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.

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.

Greiner Packaging Partner with Equality Commission to Improve Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Diversity in the workplace is high on the agenda for Greiner Packaging.  In recent months, their Northern Ireland team have taken proactive steps to champion equality, diversity, and inclusion in the manufacturing sector.

Greiner Packaging, part of the Greiner Group operates a global network of production facilities and employs 290 staff at their Northern Ireland plant in Dungannon.  The thriving business is passionate about making a positive impact in the world, from their sustainable approach to making plastic packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable, to adopting ethical and inclusive processes to recruit, train, and manage the wellbeing of employees.

In 2019, Greiner signed up to Diversity Mark and has since achieved the robust Bronze Diversity Mark accreditation. The company’s management team identified a number of diversity and inclusion goals including updating company policies and educating and training staff on diversity and inclusion.  This process has been made easier with support from the Equality Commission in Northern Ireland.

The Equality Commission provide advice to employers to help them establish equality related policies and train staff on equality, diversity, and inclusion.  Greiner Packaging availed of this support, receiving expert advice and recommendations that enabled the manufacturing company to update their policies.  The Equality Commission also participated in training events to educate staff on the main aspects of equality legislation, definitions of discrimination, positive work environments, and other relevant diversity and inclusion issues. During the sessions, employees were briefed on their responsibilities, and the company’s action plan to meet its equality, diversity, and inclusion goals.

Diversity and Inclusion lead within Greiner Packaging, Maeve Turbitt, was grateful for the contribution made by The Equality Commission:

“The Equality Commission have been very helpful in supporting us to get everyone in our business trained on Diversity and Inclusion.  This is a target we set ourselves in the first year of gaining our Bronze Diversity Mark Award.

The Equality Commission worked with me to devise the training content and co-presented this for two sessions to approximately 90 colleagues via Teams.  They also reviewed our Equal Opportunities Policy and Positive Work Environment Policy and made recommendations accordingly so we could relaunch these in line with the training.”

During the training, the Greiner team took the opportunity to remind everyone of the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code the company signed up to and is audited on, as well as the Greiner Code of Conduct and the Whistle Blowing Policy and phone number. Employees completed a short quiz after the training to ensure they understood the content.  Ongoing training on equality, diversity and inclusion is being rolled out in-house by Greiner’s People and Culture Team.

If your company has decided to commit to embedding equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace, please get in touch with our team at Diversity Mark.

The Equality Commission would also be keen to talk to you about the support they can provide.  Contact Frank Fleming at ffleming@equalityni.org for more information.