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12th July 2017

Champions of Equality & Inclusion Celebrated at enei Awards

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PageGroup and HS2 were applauded for their equality and inclusion policies at yesterday’s Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (enei) Awards   (11 July 2017) which took place at The Law Society, London. 

Awarded the top honours of ‘Overall Winner 2017 – Private Sector and Public Sector’ respectively, the two organisations celebrated their achievements alongside the Southbank Centre which was named ‘Small Employer of the Year 2017’. PageGroup won the Inclusive Culture (Private Sector) Award this year, with global diversity & inclusion director Sarah Kirk and OpenPage director Sheri Hughes receiving the Team of the Year Award. HS2 also won two awards, taking the Impact through Innovation and Inclusive Procurement categories. Southbank Centre were recognised for their outstanding achievements with the Representative Workforce Award.

This year Santander and South East Coast Ambulance Service achieved the ‘Gold Standard’ for equality – enei’s online benchmark – for the fourth year running. They are joined by fellow Gold Standard employer Zurich Insurance for the second year, along with first time Gold Standard employers Nationwide Building Society and legal firm DWF.

Shomari Burford from the Ministry of Justice was presented with a Personal Achievement Award, in recognition of the way in which he not only exceeded all expectations but also changed the attitudes of his colleagues as a participant in the organisation’s Workfit scheme.

Accolades were granted to 13 organisations in 11 categories, with winners having to demonstrate a clear response to a specific challenge, definitive and measurable outcomes and evidence of significant impact. The awards acknowledged and celebrated those with a commitment to good practice above and beyond legal compliance and innovative approaches that will inspire other employers.  A further 9 organisations were Highly Commended for their work.

Addressing over 250 delegates at the event were vice president of The Law Society, Christina Blacklaws, who spoke about her personal challenge to promote diversity at senior levels in the legal sector, and chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, David Isaac, who spoke about how the EHRC was working to accelerate change in D&I practices and taking a more active role in taking to task those organisations who follow discriminatory practices.

Categories and Winners:

  • Overall Winner 2017 - Private Sector (Sponsored by Heathrow): PageGroup
  • Overall Winner 2017 - Public Sector (Supported by NHS Employers): HS2
  • Small Employer of the Year: Southbank Centre
  • Personal Achievement: Shomari Burford, Ministry of Justice
  • Gold Standard Award for Equality – DWF, Nationwide Building Society, Santander UK, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and Zurich Insurance UK
  • Global Diversity Award (Sponsored by Global Diversity Practice): IBM UK
  • Inclusive Culture Award (Private Sector) (Supported by NHS Employers): PageGroup
  • Inclusive Culture Award (Public Sector) (Supported by NHS Employers): Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Disability Confident Award (Sponsored by Department for Transport): Civil Service Workplace Adjustment Service
  • Representative Workforce Award: Southbank Centre
  • Equality and Inclusion Senior Champion of the Year: Seema Bains, senior partner, DWF
  • Community Impact Award (Sponsored by Buzzacott): Anchor
  • Impact through Innovation Award (Sponsored by My Family Care): HS2
  • Advancing Social Mobility in the Workplace Award: DWF
  • Inclusive Procurement Award: HS2
  • Team of the Year Award (Sponsored by Personnel Today): PageGroup
  • Employee Network Group of the Year (Private Sector) (Sponsored by CA Technologies): Standard Life
  • Employee Network Group of the Year (Public Sector) (Sponsored by CA Technologies): NELFT NHS Foundation Trust


Denise Keating, chief executive, enei commented: “The enei Annual Awards recognise the commitment of organisations to achieving diverse and inclusive workplaces, celebrating the teams and individuals who really are making a difference. We have been encouraged by the steps organisations have taken to promote equality and diversity and hope this will encourage other companies to follow their lead.  We are delighted that so many organisations are prepared to publicly share best practice and are delighted to be able to recognise the innovative work they are doing.”

 Ends -


For more information, please contact:                                             

Magali Merindol, head of communications, Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion / 020 7922 7834

Ben Budd, communications and PR executive, Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion / 020 7922 7958



The judging panel:

  • Mario Ambrosi, head of communications and public affairs, Anchor
  • Julie Ashdown OBE, diversity and inclusion specialist
  • Ben Black, director, My Family Care
  • Paul Deemer, head of equality, diversity and human rights, NHS Employers
  • Janet Hill, programme director, Disability Inclusion Team, Civil Service
  • Bar Huberman, senior employment law editor, XpertHR, Personnel Today
  • Sue Johnstone, research executive, enei
  • Farrah Qureshi, ceo, Global Diversity Practice


Sponsors and Supporters:

  • Event Sponsor – The Law Society
  • Overall Winner 2017 - Private Sector Sponsor – Heathrow
  • Overall Winner 2017 - Public Sector Supporter – NHS Employers
  • Global Diversity Award Sponsor – Global Diversity Practice
  • Inclusive Culture Award Supporter – NHS Employers
  • Disability Confident Award Sponsor – Department for Transport
  • Community Impact Award Sponsor – Buzzacott
  • Impact through Innovation Sponsor – My Family Care
  • Team of the Year Award Sponsor – Personnel Today
  • Employee Network Group of the Year Sponsor – CA Technologies