Hybrid working – getting it right for your people, your business and your customers

Last week Diversity Mark partnered with Bidvest Noonan, one of Northern Ireland’s largest private employers, to host a series of round table talks about how modern work practices are impacting diversity in the workplace.

The first event in this series, hosted at Invest Northern Ireland’s headquarters, brought together senior leaders from some of the most important employers, agencies and authorities. The group discussed hybrid working and its effect on workplace diversity, sharing their expertise and perspectives to help chart a way forward. 

The sudden rise of hybrid working has been welcomed by some; however, others question its longer-term impact on our workplaces and industries. This change in working practice may create both winners and losers.

Paul Murnaghan, Head of BT in Northern Ireland and President of Northern Ireland’s Chamber of Commerce shared his perspective that hybrid working practices can be a powerful way to attract, support, and retain great talent from all backgrounds. A recent report by the CIPD bears out this view. The report found that 54% of employees expect to spend all or most of their work week in the workplace once the pandemic has passed; However, when asked about their preferences, 39% said they would like to work from home all or most of the time.

Hybrid working can exacerbate inequities, and some commentators fear that it could lead to the unpicking of hard-won gains for traditionally underrepresented groups. Research by Mckinsey found that underrepresented groups, such as people with disabilities and LGBTQ+ community members, favour hybrid working most.

There are concerns that hybrid workers, being distant from the office, will be less visible than in-workplace employees, making them less likely to be considered for promotion and reducing their impact in the business world.

These round table discussions aim to unearth issues and challenges posed by current working practices and seek to use the experiences of participating organisations to develop solutions and best practices. A number of significant themes emerged during the discussions at this first event.

Consult with your people

For Director of Employment Relations Services at the Labour Relations Agency, Mark McAllister consultation with employees is key to the success of any new working practices. “When the civil services 24,000 employees were asked about how they wanted to work going forward, 98% of staff said they didn’t want to come back to the same way of working as before,” says Head of NI Civil Service, Jayne Brady. “Working with staff and the unions was key to create a ground up formula that made sense for the departments implementing them.”

Be decisive and accountable

As Chief People Officer for Bidvest Noonan, a market leader for facilities services, Janice Brannigan takes responsibility for delivering a positive work experience for the company’s 27,000 employees. Janice said “The decisions we take in this post-pandemic environment, must provide for the needs of our people and the needs of our business whilst also ensuring that we are encouraging and supporting diversity.”

Danske Bank Employment Lawyer Jenny Moore shared a best practice example from IBM. At the start of the pandemic CEO, Arvind Krishna shared the company’s Work from Home Pledge on LinkedIn, outlining a set of remote working practices to follow.

As its colleagues return to the workplace, it has now created a playbook that sets out its timeframes and principles clearly to employees. “As leaders we don’t just need to talk, we need to advocate, and hold ourselves to account too. A working charter is a good way to do that,” she adds.

Communicate your reasoning, recognise the benefits

“Communication can enable or derail any transformation,” says Invest NI’s Executive Director of People and Culture, Denise Black. “We wanted to be clear in answering the key employee question ‘Why do I need to return to the office?’ And for us, that comes down to four Cs. Connection – because we’re social animals. Collaboration – including those collision collaborations that can be so productive and are lost at home. Creation – the energy and body language of a team working in person is hard to match on screen. And Care, which is a big one for me.

There is a mental health aspect that we need to recognise,’ Denise says. “I’ve worked in this role for two years and I’ve just met two of my team face to face in the past three weeks. A scheduled 30-minute check in is a great tool, but getting to know quieter staff or just grabbing a coffee is something you can’t get on screen,” she adds.

Trust your people

While recognising the need to provide a framework for hybrid working, Denise also urges leaders to be brave and to recognise their relationship with employers as an adult-to-adult one based on personal accountability and trust.

For Bidvest Noonan’s CEO, Declan Doyle ensuring his colleagues had access to the resources they needed and felt well supported has been a top priority; “We have colleagues living and working all across the UK and Ireland. Many found working from home to be a challenge. Some wanted access to our offices because their homes were too busy or didn’t have good broadband connections. We have made sure that our network of offices are available to those people and we have seen these offices get busier and busier in recent weeks,’ he says.

For Head of International & SME Development at NI Chamber of Commerce, Tanya Anderson, creating that culture of acceptance and trust is key. ‘Our system knows who is in the office and who is out, but we trust our departments to run their own diaries, they know their workloads and they manage it,’ she adds.

Consider your business needs

However, Tanya also recognised that organisations need ‘to keep their business hats on. For many, especially small businesses or those looking to grow internationally, having people in the office is important,” she says.

“The model we work to needs to fit the work that needs to be done and to ensure that there isn’t a dilution of service for customers and the people we serve,” Jayne Brady adds.

Challenge your technologies

Before the pandemic, few around the table would have considered that a project could go from idea to completion via work on Microsoft Teams, and it was clear that technology had a key part to play in enabling successful hybrid working.

For Jayne the civil service establishing the 11 Connect2 hubs throughout NI can be a game changer for those who due to caring roles could not commit to daily commutes to departmental HQs. “Having spoken to individuals they have indicated that this was a factor in self selecting themselves out of promotion opportunities. The Connect2 hubs can be a catalyst for innovative and inclusive new ways of working and ultimately delivering a more diverse and regionally balanced workforce.”

Consider wider options

Jenny Moore and Ian Campbell, Translink Director of Service Operations, were also keen to recognise key workers who didn’t have hybrid working as an option. Some 70% of Translink staff worked throughout the pandemic.

Jenny says “NI plc needs to work hard to ensure that it looks at flexibility in its broadest sense. Businesses choose how to define ‘flexibility’ and therefore should be flexible about what flexibility looks like for all with reduced hours, asynchronous schedules, job sharing and compressed work weeks on the table too.”

This roundtable is the first of our quarterly series facilitated by Lisa Strutt, Leadership Coach & Guide and Harvard affiliated and content produced by Alison McClintock. Attended by Jenny MooreIan Campbell, Mark McAllister, Janice BranniganJayne BradyDenise BlackPaul MurnaghanDeclan Doyle.

The Diversity Mark accreditation is awarded to companies following an assessment process which ensures they have reached the required standard of commitment to advancing Diversity and Inclusion. For Companies from all sectors the Diversity Mark is a ‘Mark of Progress’ that publicly declares commitment to building more diverse and inclusive workplaces to benefit all employees.

Find out more here.

Importance of challenging gender stereotypes and bias within education.

Helping children of all ages and all genders find inspiration and courage from women role models is key to education. Teaching children and young adolescents to actively question and openly challenge stereotypes and bias is important because it helps forge a more inclusive world.

It is for this reason that during the recent celebrations for International Women’s Day that an important collaboration with Puffin Schools provided practical and insightful classroom resources for teachers around the world. The education of children about gender issues is an important means by which equality can be driven.

See below the brilliant downloadable resources as inspiring classroom discussion starters to reinforce the important of gender concepts.

International Women’s Day videos

International Women’s Day school resources

Diversity Mark Signatory Primary Schools Holy Evangelists celebrated International Women’s Day by saying thank you to all their women in schools, their teachers, teaching assistants, secretaries, dinner ladies and cleaners, who day after day put first the children’s, nurturing and caring for their social, emotional and learning needs.

Local Preparatory School Inchmarlo and their Parents Association, recently surprised the Principal of RBAI Mrs Williamson and Head Teacher of Prep Mrs Morwood with flowers on International Women’s Day, to recognise their leadership at RBAI and Inchmarlo. Mrs Williamson was the first female (and youngest) to be a principal of a boys grammar school in the UK and Mrs Morwood first female head at Inchmarlo.

Principle Mrs Williamson, Nuala Murphy and Head Teacher Mrs Morwood

Our Interim Head of Business and member of of the Inchmarlo Parents Association Nuala Murphy was present on the day discussing the theme of ‘Break the Bias’ and highlighting the importance of changing the stereotypes of what leadership looks like.

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.

Exploristics awarded Silver Diversity Mark Accreditation

Huge congratulations to Exploristics who have been awarded the Silver Diversity Mark in recognition of the milestones they have met and their ongoing commitment to increasing equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Aiden Flynn, Exploristics CEO

Aiden Flynn, Exploristics CEO said “I am thrilled that Exploristics has received this award. It is a testament to the dedication of our team who strive to ensure that we offer the most open, fair and inclusive work culture we can. We are grateful to Diversity Mark for providing us with the framework and guidance to help us achieve this, and by doing so supporting our efforts in attracting and retaining the best talent.”

Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark said “We are delighted that Exploristics 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 were impressed with their application, and the progress that has been made since embarking on their Diversity Mark journey. The energetic and committed approach adopted across the organisation from Board level through the committee to feedback from ground level is inspiring. We look forward to them continuing their progressive and innovative initiatives moving forward.”

Huge congratulations to all the team at Exploristics 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.

New Chartermark collaboration to deliver Diversity & Inclusion excellence across NI and beyond

Diversity Mark and Legal Island, two leading all-Ireland certification bodies, have joined forces to deliver a sole accreditation recognising diversity and inclusion (D&I) excellence in the workplace.

Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark and
Barry Phillips, Chairman at Legal Island.

A response to the growing demand for independent D&I accreditation in the pandemic era, the newly-formed Chartermark will enable organisations to establish targets and milestones on their path to greater inclusion.

Speaking on the collaboration, Nuala Murphy, Head of Diversity Mark, said:


“This is an exciting development for organisations as the newly-formed Chartermark offers the employer the very best of both worlds. It includes ambitious targets and milestones that will mark the D&I journey towards excellence in diversity and inclusion practices, with evidence of up-to-date D&I policies and all-staff D&I training required from February 2023.”

Since launching in 2016, Diversity Mark’s accreditation process has required organisations to set out clear goals and milestones relevant to D&I activity, all of which are thoroughly reviewed by independent assessors. The feedback provided then enables organisations to develop their D&I initiatives as they seek to build a more inclusive workforce. 

“We want companies to be courageous about change,” Nuala added. “Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion is a top organisational priority, particularly in the pandemic era, and as an awarding body we welcome organisations to reach out and begin their journey towards greater inclusion. Our community of signatories is growing rapidly across the rest of Ireland and the UK with public declarations to build workplaces where everyone feels seen, heard, and appreciated for who they are.”

With its focus on compliance and proactive training for all business sectors, coupled with its annual D&I Awards at Titanic Belfast, Legal Island has given unprecedented profile to the importance of robust D&I practices in organisations across Northern Ireland and beyond.

Barry Phillips, Chairman at Legal Island, added:

“We believe this combination of compliance and stretch targets is unique in the marketplace and it’s a really exciting development. At times, Northern Ireland has perhaps been considered something of a backwater for D&I activity. This development really positions us front and centre.

“No other region of the UK or indeed Ireland offers employers such a unique and thorough accreditation process, together with the opportunity for recognition at an annual D&I Awards evening.  Couple this with relevant and readily accessible online D&I training, and employers large and small across all sectors can expect to excel.”

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.

Danske Bank launches new Diversity and Inclusion policy

Danske Bank has launched a new Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) policy during its first ever D&I Spotlight Week, in a sign of its commitment to creating a workplace in which all colleagues truly feel that they belong. During D&I Spotlight Week, Danske colleagues learned more about the Bank’s commitment to D&I, about the support systems in place, and about the ambitions of the Bank’s colleague-led affinity networks – its Gender Network, Rainbow Network, Enable Disability Network and Origins, its Race Equality Network. 

Jenny Moore, Employment Lawyer and Chair of Danske’s Belong Steering Committee, said: “Advocacy, allyship and accountability are just some of the themes we’ve explored during our Spotlight week.  Of course, an inclusive workplace that really makes colleagues feel as though they belong, means different things to each individual. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work. “Diversity, equality, and inclusion practices have to be meaningful, with colleagues heard and supported at all levels of our business. Creating a culture that fosters a true sense of belonging must be thoughtfully created, actively championed, and constantly evolving. We’re committed to that approach right across our business and our focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging is not a ‘nice to have’, nor an ‘add-on’, it is an absolute business and colleague imperative.” 

Caroline van der Feltz, HR Director at Danske Bank added: “At Danske Bank, we have a clear purpose – helping customers, colleagues and society thrive – and our Diversity and Inclusion strategy is central to that. “While our new D&I policy is a sign of our continued commitment to this area, as an organisation we are in always in listening mode, and our colleagues will remain pivotal in developing our strategy. They bring it life every day; D&I is truly embedded in our DNA. “We’re proud of our passionate, focused affinity networks, who are empowered and supported by senior management to set ambitious targets, take meaningful action and report on progress. “And diversity also makes great business sense – it leads to better performance outcomes for organisations, supports their safety and soundness, and promotes financial stability.” 

Earlier this year, the Bank achieved the highest level of CORE – the Business in the Community Standard for Responsible Business. Danske also holds Silver status of the Diversity Charter Mark and in 2021 was listed in the top ten ‘Best Companies’ to work for in Northern Ireland.

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.

“Making Tech More Inclusive” in partnership with Deloitte

Thank you to everyone who attended our latest Industry Peer Event, “Making Tech More Inclusive” in partnership with Deloitte. Within the 1hr virtual session we explored Deloitte’s strategies for getting more women into technology roles.

We heard from five speakers, Kerrie Irvine, Director in Human Capital and Diversity Sponsor, Joanna Karlic, Manager in Technology Strategy, Gary Semple, Director in Systems Engineering, Ashleigh Gibney, Manager in Systems Engineering and Fiona Savage, Analyst in Technology Strategy and Brightstart Scheme Apprentice on their journeys both inside and outside Deloitte, and how they have been breaking down the stereotypes that society has attached to tech roles.

Gary Semple, Director in Systems Engineering at Deloitte

Kerrie Irvine kicked off the session noting Deloitte’s journey with Diversity and Inclusion to date, including being accredited the Silver Diversity Mark and the impact this has had on the organization.

Joanna Karlic spoke of a long list of benefits of a gender balanced tech sector however highlighted a focused top three for Deloitte

  • Better overall outcomes
  • Equal representation in product design
  • High paying tech jobs can aid towards reducing gender pay gap

The session closed with Nuala Murphy our interim Head of Business hosting a fire side Q&A chat engaging in more insights and diving deeper into what more we can do to drive change, taking some great questions from attendees on the call.

Thank you to the team at Deloitte for their time, expertise and willingness to challenging change within the tech sector and sharing their best practices with our Diversity Mark community.

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.

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

Nuala Murphy our interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark chats to Sync NI about her journey, the organisation and the importance of diversity and inclusion in business.

Nuala Murphy, Interim Head of Business at Diversity Mark

Nuala tell us about Diversity Mark and your role with the organisation?  

Diversity Mark is the leading authority on Diversity and Inclusion. The Diversity Mark accreditation is awarded to companies following an independent assessment process which ensures they have reached the required standard of commitment to advancing Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. The independent assessment panel is led by co-chair Judith Gillespie CBE former Deputy Chief Constable and Deborah Lange Board Member INI and Harbour Commission – alongside Kieran Harding Managing Director BITCNI, Fergal McFerran Stonewall UK, Deborah Donnelly Commissioner for The Equality Commission and Dr Joanne Stuart Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Tourist Alliance.  

For Companies from all sectors the Diversity Mark is a ‘Mark of Progress’ that publicly declares commitment to building more diverse and inclusive workplaces to benefit all employees. There are three stages of accreditation: Bronze, Silver and Gold. At Bronze we ask companies to commit to three gender goals, at Silver we ask for another two goals from the broader diversity spectrum. At Gold level, and subject to interview with our independent assessment panel, there will be an independent audit and staff survey carried out with all members of staff before an accreditation is awarded.  

My role as Interim head of business is to help organisations understand how they can start their journey to building a more diverse and inclusive workplace. When a company signs up to Diversity Mark they automatically get access to a range of resources helping them to get started.  We have our monthly newsletter bringing news from a global and local perspective, we have a series of industry and community events where we bring together existing signatories at the different stages of accreditation to share their journey with us and with the D&I agenda. We also love to connect organisations doing great work up with our signatories who are focusing on their different goals. This is the part of my role I enjoy the most – collaboration.  

When did you first get interested in diversity and inclusion? 

For years I have been an impassioned advocate for women’s equality and have a deep commitment to creating workplaces where every person has a seat at the table and a chance to be heard.  For more than 7 years, I have led a network of thousands of women through Lean In Belfast / Ireland—a grassroots community that supports women to achieve their ambitions. What started as a few friends meeting up at a cafe in Belfast grew to a nationwide community that supported women through mentorship, skills-building, and trainings that helped members to achieve promotions, take on leadership opportunities, and accomplish their goals. Through this experience, I became part of a global community of women who led grassroots groups in countries like Iraq, India, and the United States, which has bolstered my ability to work across cultures and race.   

I led conversations with Sheryl Sandberg in London and then Dublin in front of an audience of thousands, and I was selected by Lean In to come to Silicon Valley as a leader who had shown outstanding promise and commitment to women. Through this experience, I gained insights into the working culture of companies rooted in Silicon Valley and developed my D&I skillset on a global scale. In this role I’ve led corporate partnerships with companies to enhance the private sector’s support for women leaders. Having lived and worked in many countries I am very aware of cultural differences to consider when rolling out any product, service, and initiative and count myself very fortunate to be able to support leaders and companies wanting to do the same.  So that is where it all began.  

What have you seen the biggest challenges for companies are to start their diversity and inclusion agenda?  

Getting started is hard. What I have noticed is that some companies are afraid to make mistakes, because they don’t know how or where to start. This is totally normal. It is also important to highlight that everyone’s starting point is different. My main message is to encourage companies and leaders to do what they can with what they have. We, myself and Emma Lyttle Diversity Mark’s Engagement Manager, are here to walk companies through how to get started. It’s a pretty simple onboarding via our website. Signing up and subscribing to the journey, you choose when you want to submit your first application, with four submission points throughout the year, you could sign up in November and start working on your submission for January or March. We don’t want to rush you, we want to support each company with a flow that works for them.  Our community events are great opportunities for new signatories to see how others have started, goals they set, action plans they have put in place, impact and challenges.   

Do you have any key insights you can share with us from a global and local perspective?  

The McKinsey LeanIn.org Women In The Workplace study 2021 revealed that 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. There’s a risk that it will be relegated to a new form of “office housework”—work that is critical to the business but not compensated—and in most organizations, what gets rewarded is what gets prioritised.  

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.  

Eighty-six percent 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 prioritize 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.  

Key Findings  

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

Almost 70 percent of companies hold senior leaders accountable for progress on diversity goals—but only 30 percent hold managers, who play a critical role in hiring and promotion decisions, accountable.  

 Only 34 percent of employees have participated in anti-racism training in the past year, and just 14 percent have received allyship training.  

Why should organisations commit to a public accreditation?  

More and more I am hearing from organisations how at the interview stage they are being asked about their diverse and inclusive policies and initiatives. It is very much an employee market right now where commitment to and evidence of policy and practice has never been higher up the agenda for candidates. Speaking recently to a large business network it was shared that the EDI agenda along with the green agenda is where their members want to be better equipped.  This is and will affect change across the board and I encourage leaders to get on board before they are left behind.  

What advice do you have for organisations wanting to get started but don’t know where to begin?  

 If you are a business leader, a HR manager or someone who wants to drive change in your organisation, you can start your own journey by joining the rapidly growing Diversity Mark community of signatories 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 your 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.  

About Diversity Mark  

Diversity Mark is a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on enabling and supporting companies of all sizes across the UK & Ireland in achieving an Accreditation to recognise commitment to diversity and inclusion. The Accreditation follows a methodology of self-assessment and prioritises continuous progression, with goals set by and appropriate to each individual organisation. The Accreditation commits organisations to support the progression of women (or men, if underrepresented) into senior roles by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level. It recognises that organisations are diverse and the starting points for each may differ, and thus each organisation will set its own targets, strategy and implementation plan.   

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.

ALG Celebrates Silver Diversity Accreditation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.

Diversity Mark Second in Series of Industry Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sinead Carville, Chief Human Resource Officer at FinTrU

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

If you have not yet joined Diversity Mark on your company’s Diversity and Inclusion journey please reach out to emma@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to discuss the benefits and process.

You can CLICK HERE to join Diversity Mark and work towards achieving the Diversity Mark accreditation.