ENEI Awards 2018: Employee Network Groups of the Year Award

Winner Private Sector: IBM UK Ltd

IBM UK are a technology solutions provider employing over 10,000 people in the UK. The UK EAGLE LGBT network is supported by three highly visible senior Executive Sponsors, an inspirational Executive Mentor and a growing legion of allies. The network works in partnership with IBM’s HR champions and 1,000 LGBT+ Allies work alongside a 500+ strong community. They use the organisation’s technological platforms to reach a wide audience.

 

The UK EAGLE network has taken a leading role in raising awareness of LGBT+ issues. They have launched campaigns on intersectionality, cross network collaboration and worked with Pride in the City for the event ‘LGBT+ & BAME // Why the divide?’ In 2017 they launched the 365 Ally programme, the purpose of which is to create a community of allies championing workplace equality every day. Allies are highly visible, wearing rainbow lanyards, and are easily accessible with a dedicated Microsite and the use of Slack to support training and drive engagement. Continued action is encouraged using gamification, with different levels available which encourage participation and engagement. By the end of 2017, ‘365 Ally’ had signed up over 1,000 Allies, held 10 UK roadshows, mentored other organisations and IBM teams globally, raised the IBM Rainbow flag over IBM Hursley, partnered with global IBM teams to create a digital Ally badge, and was announced as #7 of the top 12 achievements for IBM UK in 2017. 

 

 

Winner Public Sector: Department of Transport

The Department for Transport employs 2,000 people and supports 19 Agencies and Public Bodies, all of whom work together to maintain and improve the UK’s transport infrastructure.

 

The Positive Support Group is the Department’s BAME Staff Network that works with senior management to represent the interests of BAME staff. The Positive Support Group has been supporting Tricia Hayes, the Department’s Board Level Diversity Champion. They have been driving declaration rates for ethnicity by acting as local champions, contributing to a 16% rise in declaration from 55.2% to 71.5%. Of those who have declared their ethnicity, 27% are from a BAME background. Through the Positive Support Group’s collaboration with executive champions a number of initiatives have been introduced which aim to increase the number of BAME staff promoted into higher grades. As a result of this there are now 10 BAME members of the Senior Civil Service at the Department for Transport, 75% of staff who have participated in the initiatives have achieved a promotion and 20% of BAME candidates have either been made an offer or placed on a merit list.

 

Thanks to the Positive Support Group’s efforts, engagement scores for BAME employees have risen by 10% over the last four years. The PSG are helping to shape the future by influencing the DfT’s D&I strategy including ‘building bridges’ the cultural awareness programme.

 

Highly Commended: Croydon Council

With c.3,000 employees Croydon Council’s diverse population is reflected in the diversity of its employees. Its staff network groups, formed in 2014, cover Disability, LGBT+ Allies, Women, BAME and Working Carers.

 

The Chairs of all the networks form part of the Culture Board chaired by the Chief Executive. The other network, Mental Health & Wellbeing, cuts across all the others. With 142 members it tackles the big wellbeing issues that affect the members of each group. This network strives to increase awareness of mental health and wellbeing (MH&W) throughout the organisation.

 

The MH&W group consists of over 140 members, 40 workplace champions and 78 mental health first aiders (MHFA). The active membership is dedicated and passionate about reducing stigma and discrimination along with promoting positive wellbeing for all employees, especially through challenging times. This group is chaired and pioneered by the council wellbeing lead and Mental Health First Aid Instructor (Theresa Dent-Gater) who ensures that the topic is valued, visible, influential and far reaching. Impact includes reduced stress and depression absence, increase in staff survey responses (45% in 2015 to 75% in 2018) with 82% of staff feeling comfortable talking about their mental health.

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