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Barclays, BP and others recognised for race equality

Helen Mayson

Richard Heaton CB and Stephen Howard

The 2014 annual Race for Opportunity awards recognised organisations who are showing best practice in their recruitment, retention and promotion of BAME staff. Helen Mayson reports

Several employers were celebrated at Race for Opportunity awards dinner in September 2014 for their work in promoting and recruiting BAME staff and leaders.

Barclays, BP and National Grid were among some of the top employers who scooped up awards for their work with BAME employees and recruits, while the African & Caribbean Diversity society, Citi, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Crown Prosecution Service and The Runnymede Trust were all highly commended.

“At a time when ethnic minority people aren’t reflected at senior level and barriers to equal progression still exist, it’s hugely uplifting to see that so many organisations are serious about changing this by setting clear targets for increasing BAME representation and measuring their success in reaching these targets,” says Sandra Kerr OBE, Race for Opportunity Director at Business in the Community. “Their work shows the positive impact of collaboration within and across organisations in attracting, retaining and progressing BAME talent, and I hope other employers will learn from their example.”

Adrian Joseph, Director of customer solutions and innovation at Google and Chair of Race for Opportunity, congratulated winners and said that the winners “are all demonstrating that it is good business sense for organisations to reflect the clients, customers and communities they serve.”

Full list of winners

Champion Award
This award is for an individual (who does not work in HR or diversity or inclusion) demonstrating leadership within their workplace in order to progress the race equality, diversity and inclusion agenda.
Winner: Charles Thompson, founder of PEN (Positively Ethnic Network) of BP
Highly Commended: Peter Lewis, CEO of Crown Prosecution Service
Developing Talent Award – Attraction
This award recognises organisations who have developed processes, initiatives and programmes that aim to help young ethnic minority people to prepare for and enter the UK workforce.
Winner: National Grid
Highly Commended: African & Caribbean Diversity
Developing Talent Award – Progression
This award recognises those organisations who are developing and implementing strategies to ensure that a strong BAME talent pipeline within their workforce.
Winner: HM Revenue & Customs
Highly Commended: EY
Employee Network Award
This award is given to an organisation with a race or cultural diversity employee network that has had an impact on performance and innovation in the workplace.
Winner: EY
Highly Commended: Citi
Future Workforce Award – Large Organisation and Small Organisation
This award recognises employers that are addressing the talent pool challenge by taking action to improve and enhance the employability skills and raising the aspiration and attainment of young BAME people. It is divided into two categories: Large Organisation and Small Organisation.
Large Organisation – winner: Civil Service
Large Organisation – highly commended: Barclays
Small Organisation - winner: Circle Housing Group
Recruiting Diverse Talent Award
Award to an organisation for a programme that is widening the pool of BAME talent entering the workforce.
Winner: Barclays and SEO London
Highly Commended: Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Transparency, Monitoring and Action Award
This award recognises best practice in monitoring and evaluating the attraction, recruitment, progression, development, employee engagement, appraisal/performance ratings and retention of BAME employee in their workplace.
Winner:  University of Manchester
Highly Commended: Runnymede Trust
You can see more about the awards here on the Race for Opportunity website


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