Organisations in Wales were showcased for their commitment to diverse and inclusive practices within the workplace at a special event in Swansea on Tuesday.
Gender equality charity, Chwarae Teg, launched the Exemplar Employer Award in June to celebrate businesses that have successfully broken down barriers affecting women’s recruitment, retention and career progression.
To qualify for an award, businesses had to demonstrate evidence of a number of practices relating to positive workplace culture, including performance management, learning and development opportunities and flexible working.
The Exemplar Employer Award represents three different levels of achievement and is designed to recognise the organisations that are currently developing positive cultural practices and those already leading by example.
Cardiff-based advertising agency, S3 Advertising, was presented with the highest award level of Leading Employer after demonstrating strong results across all categories of the award criteria. It is the first business to achieve an award at this level.
Matt Jones, CEO at S3 Advertising, said:
“When the results were announced, I couldn’t feel more proud and honoured: S3 Advertising is the first company to obtain the award at leader level, and first company to go straight in at this level following the survey.
“Being chosen for this award by the selectors, sponsors and by our peers in the region is, for us and for me, the greatest reward.”
A total of 15 businesses from across Wales were recognised at the ceremony, including Swansea-based Wolfestone Translation, RGM Security Ltd, Darkin Architects and The Big Issue Cymru.
Emma Hughes, deputy director at Wolfestone Translation said:
“This award is an acknowledgement of all the hard work we have put in over the last 10 years, to not only adhere to legislation but to put in place best practice policies and train our management team to be agile and open when it comes to meeting the needs of their staff.
“The icing on the cake is that this award was given to us following a survey and feedback from our own staff regarding Equality and Diversity in Wolfestone and VoiceBox, that’s what makes it special for us.”
Michael Angill, business development manager at The Big Issue Cymru said: “The Big Issue Cymru is delighted to receive this award as we drive forward continuous improvements and commitment to equality and diversity in the workplace.”
Jo Bishop, Employer Lead at Chwarae Teg said:
“The organisations that have so far achieved the various levels of the award have set the standard by which all businesses in Wales should strive to achieve.
“Whether by introducing more inclusive recruitment policies or signing up to our Employer’s Programme, there are a number of key steps that businesses can take to improve overall diversity and gender equality within the workplace.
“We are proud to be recognising and celebrating the organisations who are leading the way.”
The Employer’s Programme, which is delivered by Chwarae Teg as part of Agile Nation 2, supports businesses to implement equality strategies and modern working practices.
Agile Nation 2 is funded by the Welsh Government and European Social Fund with the aim of improving the position of women in the workforce across nine priority sectors.