Ireland’s first ever all-encompassing Diversity and Inclusion Awards for Irish businesses are under way. The Investors in Diversity Ireland (IiD) award was introduced by the Irish Centre for Diversity, supported by Ibec and DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion.

The awards, which are rated on a bronze, silver and gold merit, recognise the work undertaken by Irish organisations with proactive diversity and inclusion policies in place.

Caroline Tyler of the Irish Centre for Diversity said the awards system was available to all organisations from SMEs right up to large-scale companies.

“Investors in Diversity offers a clear and structured framework to transform diversity practice and culture,” she said. “We recognise that every organisation is different and has a different starting point. Whether you have one employee or 20,000, whether you are in the private, public or voluntary sector; if you are just starting your journey towards equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) or are already well established, our Investors in Diversity framework will recognise your efforts and support you on your journey of continuous improvement, through one of our three levels.”

Since the awards were introduce in February, many companies have already secured the accolade which is based on an organisation’s work around fairness, respect, equality, diversity, inclusion and engagement (FREDIE). AIB, Nestle Ireland and Core Media are among those to have achieved and award.

Jill Downey, managing director at Core Sponsorship, said: “Engaging with Investors in Diversity was a natural step for us to take in our journey, so that we could capture in detail to temperature of what people felt across the entire diversity and inclusion spectrum. The Investors in Diversity silver questionnaire itself was a valuable learning process for our internal diversity and inclusion committee and served as a prompt for further debate and discussion. For example, one such question asked about the person’s knowledge of the discrimination grounds, quite a simple question, but one that may have been overlooked or taken for granted, had we not engaged with IiD.”

Tyler said that each award takes an approach towards instilling a strong ethos of EDI into the workplace.

“Investors in Diversity Bronze is all about helping you build a strong foundation that you can use as a platform, to embed EDI into wider organisational systems,” she said. “Investors in Diversity Bronze is designed to help get your organisation ready for your unique journey to becoming a diverse and inclusive organisation.

“Building on the requirements of Bronze, Investors in Diversity Silver will measure the sense of fairness and belonging from your employees’ perspective. Investors in Diversity Silver is designed to liberate the voice of your people and allow you to benchmark against other organisations while providing an overview of your key strengths and areas for development.

Investors in Diversity Gold is all about demonstrating the “lived experience” of embedding diversity and inclusion across your organisation.”

To achieve an Investors in Diversity Gold award, organisations are required to undertake an in-depth self-assessment of practices across principal pillars which include: Diverse and Inclusive Leadership; Policies, Procedures and Processes; Recruitment, Retention and Progression; Recording and Monitoring; and Impact on External Diversity.

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