Awards will showcommitmentto diversity

Employers across Northern Ireland are being encouraged to showcase their commitment to diversity through the Northern Ireland Equality and Diversity Awards 2020.

The awards are organised by Antrim-based Legal Island, an award-winning, workplace compliance company which helps HR professionals understand employment law and how it applies to their workplace.

They are open to all organisations and individuals across the public, private and third sectors.

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Barry Phillips, chair of Legal Island, said: “We are delighted to see the number of award entries growing significantly year on year. It has been truly inspiring to find out about the programmes and initiatives that individuals and organisations are delivering to promote diversity.

“The awards not only provide a channel for recognising the fantastic work that companies across Northern Ireland are doing in the area of diversity, equality and inclusion, but they also showcase it and help to share best practice and inspire others.

“There are of course basic legal requirements associated with diversity, but by really embracing and valuing diversity, businesses and organisations can thrive.

“Advocating for diversity in the workplace helps to promote it in the wider community and this can only be good for Northern Ireland.”

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Award sponsor, Adrian Moynihan, head of First Trust Bank, added: “By applying for these awards organisations can formally thank employees for their outstanding work.

“They can also demonstrate the impact equality and diversity has had on their business and reinforce their commitment to equality and diversity best practice. Participating in the awards can also help businesses to attract employees who want to work for an organisation that is a driver of diversity.

“At First Trust Bank, we recognise and value diversity and it shapes all of our thinking and decisions making processes and ultimately enhances outcomes for our customers and the communities we serve.

“We are very proud to be sponsoring the Northern Ireland Equality & Diversity Gala awards, which showcase individuals and organisations who are truly committed to inclusion.”

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Paolina Hawthorne, founder, Diversity NI, commented: “I am particularly passionate about diversity in opinion, background and outlook, as it’s crucially important in order for companies to achieve their best potential.

“I am privileged to support this year’s Northern Ireland Equality and Diversity Awards. It provides a fantastic platform for organisations to celebrate and encourage the vast opportunities that cultural differences bring to the workplace.”

Award categories include Best Employer for Equality & Diversity in NI; Best Gender Initiative; Best LGBT Initiative; Best Disability Initiative; Best Race Initiative; Individual Diversity Champion and two new categories for 2020, Best First Initiative; and Best Age Initiative.

The deadline for entries is 12 noon on December 6. Each shortlisted entry will be invited to meet with the judging panel for an interview on January 31.

Winners will be announced at the Northern Ireland Equality and Diversity Gala and Awards 2020 on Friday April 3.