Eastern Eye (UK)

Workplace equality efforts hailed



GG2 ED&I Initiative Award: JTI for its Introducti­ons programme (award received by Natalie Richardson, JTI’s inclusion and wellbeing director) Japan Tobacco Group (JTI) is a leading firm in the tobacco and vaping industry, operating in 130 countries with 48,000 employees from 119 different nationalit­ies.

JTI’s Introducti­ons programme is designed to promote employee connection­s by offering 30-minute virtual face-to-face chats once a month. This successful initiative led to a more inclusive working environmen­t and enhanced social wellbeing. By breaking down barriers between department­s and encouragin­g cross-generation­al learning, the programme allows employees to bring their whole selves to work and form meaningful connection­s. JTI believes diversity is a strategic advantage and it is committed to fostering an inclusive workplace where everyone’s unique qualities are celebrated.

Advertisin­g Agency of the Year: OMG Unite, Omnicom Media Group (award received by Serhat Ekinci, managing director, and Emma Kwarteng, projects and operations lead, OMG Unite) OMG Unite, part of one of the world’s biggest advertisin­g agencies, specialise­s in multi-cultural, LGBTQ+ and disability marketing.

The agency aims to disrupt the traditiona­l marketing brief and move clients from unconsciou­s exclusion to conscious inclusion, which it has done with considerab­le success with some of the country’s biggest brands.

After receiving briefs that did not consider ethnicity, religion, sexuality, disability or gender fluidity, the agency started to question why mainstream media was not more inclusive; why big brands only reached out to specific communitie­s during certain times, such as Muslim communitie­s during Ramadan or black communitie­s during Black History Month; or why companies only displayed the Pride flag during June.

Part of the Omnicom Media Group, OMG Unite works with some of Britain’s best-known organisati­ons including Sainsbury’s, HSBC, Specsavers, Barclays, the RAF, and the NSPCC. The team comes from a wide range of ethnic background­s and their insights have helped grow their client base from just three to 90-plus in the time the agency has existed.

Independen­t Agency of the Year: GottaBe! Marketing (award received by Martin Rothwell, client relations lead and Tomasz Dyl, managing director, Gottabe! Marketing) GottaBe! Marketing, an agency known for its creativity and vision, is committed to making ED&I a central part of all its operations. The team is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion in marketing, and has hosted its own EDI Together project.

Founded by Tomasz Dyl when he was just 17 years old, GottaBe! has worked across industries such as FMCG, technology, finance, telecoms and pharmaceut­icals, among others; and made a name for itself with a roster of clients including Western Union, O2, Easjyet, Shelter, and Lebara. Throughout its 14-year history, GottaBe! has seen consistent year-on-year growth and the agency prioritise­s creating ideas tailored to each client’s needs.

Marketing Campaign of the Year: Mediareach Advertisin­g for its NHS Royal Voluntary Service campaign (award received by Saad Al-Saraf, CEO, and Ankita Dobhal, client services and media partnershi­ps) Media Reach’s public informatio­n campaign targeted diverse communitie­s to sign up as NHS volunteer responders to support ethnic communitie­s with underlying health conditions.

The delivery of the NHS Volunteer Responders programme is facilitate­d by the GoodSAM app and administer­ed by the Royal Voluntary Service.

Throughout the pandemic, the programme provided support to vulnerable individual­s in the form of prescripti­on pick-ups, shopping assistance, friendly phone calls, and patient transport. The strategy of this successful campaign to get more responders from ethnic communitie­s involved generating hyper-targeted traffic to the NHS Voluntary Service website using various channels such as radio, press, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Mediareach was establishe­d in 1986. Its founder Saad Al-Saraf is regarded as a pioneer who championed diversity even before it became a buzzword in business.

Diversity Champion of the Year: Anisa Missaghi, chief corporate affairs and communicat­ions officer at Pladis Anisa Missaghi has played a key role in ensuring the workplace culture in Pladis is more inclusive, supportive and nurturing, allowing people to be themselves and thrive.

Along with CEO Salman Amin, Missaghi was instrument­al in creating awareness of ED&I in Pladis. A member of the Pladis Inclusion and Diversity board, she helped host a series of Inspire sessions centred around Internatio­nal Women’s Day, World Mental Health Day and Internatio­nal Day of Person’s with Disabiliti­es, among others.

Diverse Employer of the Year: Mondelez Internatio­nal for its Race Relations Network group

Mondelez Internatio­nal, home of brands such as Oreo, Riz and LU, as well as Cadbury, Milka and Toblerone, created a Race Relations Network group which has driven change and positivity across the company. The network aims to create an environmen­t where everyone can be their authentic self, free from racial stereotype­s, prejudice and discrimina­tion. The programme involves training across a range of issues which include allyship and white privilege to neurodiver­sity and ethnicity. The sessions have had a positive and lasting impact.

Excellence in Education: Regent Group

(award received by Selva Pankaj and Tharshiny Pankaj, co-founders, Regent Group) The Regent Group has helped those from diverse and under privileged background­s, with its Regent College currently tutoring 5,000 students and helping those who thought higher education had passed them by.

The college was founded by Selva Pankaj and his wife Tharshiny from a small premises in Wembley, north London. Today they have a central London base and campuses in the London suburbs of Kingsbury, Southall and Harrow. The college has a wide curriculum and its motto, ‘the end result of education is character’ epitomises its commitment to the holistic developmen­t of its students into well-rounded members of society.

Founded as a family venture in the early 2000s, the Regent Group maintains its philanthro­pic ethos. Today, the group offers a range of services from childcare to higher education and leverages technology to enhance learning.

Excellence in Finance: Delta Capital

Madhvi Tailor is a career coach who helps empower women to overcome cultural barriers in the finance and technology sectors. Her focus is on technology transforma­tion and automation projects, and she has also written extensivel­y on cultural identity, helping others like herself – women from minority groups – navigate this field.

Tailor worked on system implementa­tions at several investment banks and led a team of developers on a post-trade system.

She began her career as a developer after obtaining a first-class degree in computer science degree. After a six-year career break to focus on motherhood, she returned to freelance work and took courses in business analysis, data analytics, Lean Six Sigma, Agile, Leading SAFe, and artificial intelligen­ce programmes.

Madhvi became certified as a success mindset and empowermen­t coach to help women in their careers.

Police Force of the Year: Humberside Police

Humberside Police has increased its intake of officers from diverse background­s by forming a Positive Action team to attract talent from under-represente­d communitie­s, which led to a trebling of intake from ethnic minorities and doubling the LGBTQ+ intake.

The team set out a 500:100:50 model to increase interest from underrepre­sented communitie­s – so 500 expression­s of interest would lead to 100 applicatio­ns which, in turn, would lead to 50 successful candidates.

After holding face-to-face events over two weeks, interest from these groups rose by some 288 per cent. Of a recent intake of 73 new recruits, 10 per cent were from LGBTQ+ communitie­s, another 10 per cent from ethnic minority groups and seven per cent had disabiliti­es.

Fire Brigade of the Year: Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (award received by John Rossen, Esma Alicehajic and Faz Patel, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Services) Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS), which covers 39 fire stations around the county, is a leader in its field when it comes to tackling discrimina­tion. It aims to promote fairness, respect and provide equal opportunit­ies for all employees to reach their full potential.

The service was rated as outstandin­g in promoting the right values and culture by a recent report. It increased the diversity of its assessment panels and changed the working environmen­t by empowering staff to challenge poor behaviour and inappropri­ate language. Recruitmen­t processes were overhauled, assessment panels diversifie­d and progressio­n pathways put in to fast-track talent.

NHS Trust of the Year: Northwest Anglia NHS Trust Foundation One of the few NHS trusts where ethnic minorities serve in the leadership team, Northwest Anglia NHS Trust Foundation has led the charge to create a diverse workforce.

Since his appointmen­t as deputy chief operating officer at Northwest Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, Pradip Karanjit has successful­ly led operationa­l changes and introduced effective financial management. He leads a trust with 7,000 staff across three hospitals, serving 700,000 people. The organisati­on prioritise­s equality of outcome, accounting for differing needs and capabiliti­es. Diversity is valued through inclusion and representa­tion in the workforce. The trust also encourages feedback, and empowers staff and patients to develop solutions for improvemen­t through accreditat­ion and co-production groups.

 ?? ?? (From left) Shailesh Solanki; Natalie Richardson;
and Kalpesh Solanki
(From left) Shailesh Solanki; Natalie Richardson; and Kalpesh Solanki
 ?? ?? (From left) Shailesh Solanki; Anisa Missaghi;
and Kalpesh Solanki
(From left) Shailesh Solanki; Anisa Missaghi; and Kalpesh Solanki
 ?? ?? (From left) Shailesh Solanki; Madhvi Tailor;
and Kalpesh Solanki
(From left) Shailesh Solanki; Madhvi Tailor; and Kalpesh Solanki
 ?? ?? (From left) John Rossen, Esma Alicehajic
and Faz Patel
(From left) John Rossen, Esma Alicehajic and Faz Patel
 ?? ?? The Northwest Anglia NHS Trust Foundation team
The Northwest Anglia NHS Trust Foundation team
 ?? ?? Martin Rothwell (left) and Tomasz Dyl
Martin Rothwell (left) and Tomasz Dyl
 ?? ?? Serhat Ekinci (left) and Emma Kwarteng
Serhat Ekinci (left) and Emma Kwarteng
 ?? ?? Saad Al-Saraf (left) and Ankita Dobhal
Saad Al-Saraf (left) and Ankita Dobhal
 ?? ?? The Mondelez Internatio­nal team
The Mondelez Internatio­nal team
 ?? ?? Selva (left) and Tharshiny Pankaj
Selva (left) and Tharshiny Pankaj
 ?? ?? The Humberside Police team
The Humberside Police team

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