Diversity Mark Signatory Roundtable Event ‘Gender Balance in STEM’

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

Diversity Mark signatories attending ‘Gender Balance in STEM’

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

  • Talent Pipeline -so few women interested in applying

  • Girls not studying the relevant subjects/degree not suitable

  • Male dominated environment

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

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

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

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

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

Alchemy Technology Services reach no. 29 On UK’s Best Workplaces List


Bronze Accredited Alchemy Technology Services announced on Thursday that they had reached the top 30 on the UK’s Best Workplaces list.

Based on confidential employee surveys, Alchemy achieved some of the highest scores among the 183 companies listed with 97% of Alchemy employees saying that Alchemy was a “Great Place to Work”.

Alchemy Founder and CEO, John Harkin said, “We are delighted to have achieved a place on this year’s Best Workplaces List. We have worked hard to create a workplace where our people feel supported and valued, have the best opportunities for progression and can become the best versions of themselves. We have grown the company from 2 employees in 2018 to over 100 at the end of 2020 and we’re just getting started. We have two separate recruitment campaigns running at the moment due to client demand.

Our staff have progressed at an extraordinary rate, some doubling their salaries in 2 years through promotions and progressions and the majority seeing anywhere between a 25-50% pay rise at the end of their first year with us. We have proved we have industry leading opportunities and salaries for people locally.”

100% of Alchemy employees surveyed said “When you join the organisation, you are made to feel welcome.” While 98% said “I’m proud to tell others I work here.”

Head of Human Resources, Anne O’Neill said, “We are very proud of this achievement. We have a very unique working culture at Alchemy and I think that has driven our success, both in achieving a place on the Best Workplaces list and as a business. We are progressive and quite different in how we do things. As we have a flat structure, we have developed a coaching and mentoring culture to support and develop our employees.  We have also developed a system of progression which is open and transparent.

What makes it different from traditional promotion processes is that there is no limit on the number of people who can be promoted at any time. Very simply if you make the grade, you get the reward, creating an environment that is collaborative and supportive as there is no competition for roles. It puts the individual firmly in control of their own career path.”

Alchemy launched in Derry/Londonderry in September 2018 and have since held 6 Assured Skills Academies. They are currently recruiting experienced insurance software professionals for senior roles as well as graduates for their 7th Academy. More information can be found at www.alchemytechs.com/careers

Congratulations to all the team at Alchemy from Diversity Mark.