Diversity and inclusion

Do you have the Mark of progress?

Diversity Mark is Northern Ireland’s only independent not-for-profit organisation enabling and supporting companies in achieving a Charter Mark to recognise commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, initially focussing on gender diversity.

Developed in 2017 by Women in Business NI, Allstate, Queen’s University Belfast, Gilbert Ash and the Northern Ireland Civil Service, the organisation now has 50 progressive companies signed up for a Diversity Charter Mark from a variety of sectors.

Christine White, Head of Business at Diversity Mark states: “I’m delighted to see the Diversity Charter Mark continue to grow. The businesses that address their culture and understand the power of diversity will have the competitive edge moving into the coming years. The top quarter of businesses on gender diversity are 21 per cent more likely to have above-average profits than the bottom quarter. So, this is not just the right thing to do socially, it’s the right thing to do for business.

“Gender is the keystone to unlocking inclusivity in the workplace and research shows that if companies get gender diversity right the other areas of diversity will fall into place.”

Member organisations initially focus on initiatives to improve gender diversity, and as they progress to silver and gold they will be addressing other areas of unequal representation, such as LGBT, disabilities and age diversity to create environments that enable everyone to feel valued, supported and able to achieve their full potential.

“The Mark of Progress demonstrates that organisations are committed to building a positive and inclusive workplace culture to benefit everyone and this makes them attractive employers to future talent. We are delighted that 50 business leaders have now committed to go on a journey to deliver diversity and inclusivity for their organisation and as a result of our success new independent assessors have joined our current panel.

“We support and encourage our members by providing valuable independent feedback on an annual basis along with peer networking at keynote speaker events and round tables for sharing of best practice. The process to become a member is straightforward; and our assessment process is robust. Companies can join us at any stage of their diversity journey, whether they are just starting out or have been focussed on diversity and inclusion for many years, so there are no barriers to joining us on your diversity journey.”

One of the Diversity Mark Independent Assessors, Judith Gillespie, former Deputy Chief Constable of the PSNI says: “One of the many reasons why I became involved in the Diversity Mark Assessment was to help recognise that despite continuing challenges, many organisations are making real progress in innovative ways to remove cultural and other barriers to full gender integration and equality in Northern Ireland.”

To find out how your business could benefit from Diversity Mark membership visit www.diversity-mark-ni.co.uk or contact Christine White christine@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk.

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