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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FinTrU introduces Pregnancy Loss Policy for all employees

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

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

Sinead Carville, FinTrU Chief HR Officer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FinTrU awarded the Silver Diversity Mark for their commitment to diversity and inclusion

FinTrU is delighted to announce that the company has been awarded the Silver Diversity Mark for its continued commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The Diversity Mark is awarded to companies following an independent assessment process which ensures they have reached the required standard of commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion. FinTrU is one of seven organisations in Northern Ireland to have been awarded the Silver Diversity Mark out of 90 organisations.

Darragh McCarthy, Founder & CEO

Speaking of the achievement, FinTrU Founder & CEO, Darragh McCarthy said “FinTrU’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is unwavering as we continue to grow as a company. We want all employees to have a sense of belonging at FinTrU and to be their true selves at work. I am very proud of the teams, committees and leaders at FinTrU who have brought our diversity and inclusion commitment to life with their dedication to events, education and engagement. Our goal is to continue to be a leading employer in Northern Ireland and we are steadfastly focused on ensuring our company provides everyone with the opportunity to be comfortable at their workplace and excel in their careers.”

Diversity Mark’s independent panel commended FinTrU for succeeding the target for Gender diversity at entry level, commitment to female development at all levels, employee centric response to BAME related matters, and the continued efforts in educating employees on issues affecting those within both BAME and LQBTQ+ communities. They have recognised FinTrU’s diversity and inclusion efforts as exemplary and noted that as a leading organisation in Northern Ireland, they can be at the forefront of influencing others to follow their lead.

Christine White, Head of Business at Diversity Mark addedWe congratulate everyone at FinTrU on their innovative and progressive approach and we look forward to supporting them on their Diversity and Inclusion journey over the coming years.”

Sinead Carville, Chief Human Resources Officer

FinTrU Chief Human Resources Officer, Sinead Carville, added “We are very proud of this recognition and we want to acknowledge the fantastic work that our employees have put in to create a welcoming environment for all people. We strongly believe that giving our people a voice to drive employee engagement in this area has led to this recognition. FinTrU is extremely committed to diversity and inclusion as a means to support our employees. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also plays an imperative role in the successes achieved by our people at FinTrU.”

With the Silver Diversity Mark achieved, FinTrU’s target moves towards Gold recognition. There are currently no organisations in Northern Ireland with the Gold Diversity Mark and FinTrU will continue to strive to demonstrate this standard.

Once again huge congratulations to all the team at FinTrU on being awarded the Silver Diversity Mark.

You can read more about Diversity Mark Accreditations here.

You can learn more about FinTrU’s commitment to diversity here.