Brown Thomas Arnotts, Aon and Laya Healthcare recognised for commitment to diversity and inclusion

Luxury retailer Brown Thomas Arnotts, global insurance firm Aon, and Laya Healthcare are amongst the latest companies to receive accreditation from the Irish Centre for Diversity for their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.


The Irish Centre for Diversity runs the ‘Investors in Diversity Ireland’ initiative, Ireland’s first and only all-encompassing equality, diversity and inclusion mark. The initiative is supported by Ibec and the DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion. Companies that join the initiative are provided with a framework that offers tools to measure and improve their diversity and inclusion (D&I) policies and practices, whilst also recognising their efforts through accreditation at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.


Brown Thomas Arnotts received Bronze accreditation in recent weeks, having successfully demonstrated it has effective D&I policies in place; effectively communicates these policies to all staff; and provides D&I training for all company leaders.


Laya Healthcare and Aon, meanwhile, have both achieved Silver accreditation, which – on top of the requirements for the Bronze level – entails a staff-wide survey to measure the culture and embedding of best-practice D&I measures in the workplace.


Brown Thomas Arnotts, Laya Healthcare and Aon are joined by the likes of AIB, Matheson, Bank of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Pramerica, Irish Rail, the HSE and Three as participants in the ‘Investors in Diversity Ireland’ initiative.


Commenting today (08.09.20), Caroline Tyler, Director of the Irish Centre for Diversity, said: “We launched ‘Investors in Diversity Ireland’ in 2019, and we now have companies across a wide range of industries participating in the initiative, with demand from interested organisations growing month by month. Participants range from well-known consumer brands to state agencies, and from SMEs to global firms.


“They are all at different levels of their D&I journey. Some are just starting out, and are working towards achieving our Bronze accreditation, while others have deeply embedded and effective D&I strategies in place, and are working with us to measure the effectiveness of those strategies, and to truly embed D&I within their business. Laya Healthcare was one of our first corporate partners, for example, and has worked with us in a very proactive way over the past 18 months. In addition to advancing diversity and inclusion in their own organisation they are also offering our diversity and inclusion training to their corporate clients.


“2020 has been a particularly interesting year for our work. It has been good to see that, even in the face of Covid-19, companies are continuing to devote time and resources to ensuring they promote and embed diversity and inclusion.


“Alongside Covid-19, however, 2020 has also witnessed the growing prominence of the Black Lives Matters movement, and – in some parts of the world – growing discrimination against people of colour and LGBTI+ people. These global trends are, of course, impacting on Irish workplaces – employers are increasingly conscious of the need to meaningfully embed D&I in their organisations. Companies are being held accountable by their staff; they are asking the question, ‘What are we doing to ensure fairness for all in our organisation?’. Embedding best-practice D&I policies and actions is not just the right thing to do; it’s also expected by customers, suppliers and employees.”


Donald McDonald, Managing Director of Brown Thomas Arnotts, said: “We are incredibly proud to receive Bronze accreditation from the Irish Centre for Diversity. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive and dynamic workplace. We know that – by embracing different perspectives, welcoming different voices, and leveraging our collective strengths – we will become the best workplace we can be.”







BAME inclusion matters

The George Floyd video crashed through any delusion that racism doesn’t exists. A subdued and incapacitated suspect; a knee pushed down on his neck as he pleaded for breath; passersby screaming for his life as it ebbed away; officer Derek Chauvin blithely ignoring it all, sure that he’d face no consequences for his actions; a fellow officer standing guard to prevent anyone coming to Floyd’s rescue.

Not many people can believe this could happen to them. That an officer of the law could be so callous, so unconcerned about a life. That’s why, this time, there have been unprecedented numbers of white people declaring their allegiance to the antiracism cause.

Here in Ireland we have seen marches in support of Black Lives Matter which has been encouraging but we cannot be complacent about racism. It is not just present in the USA or elsewhere in the world . It is right here too in Ireland.

The March in Dublin saw placards held in the air with messages such as ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘White Silence is Violence.’Lucky Khambule, co-ordination of MASI – Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland said racism was very much present in Ireland in the form of many kinds of discrimination and abuse. He claimed the Direct Provision system in Ireland “put the knee on the necks” of the people who were forced to share cramped accommodation with people from different countries which violated their rights to privacy.

The Irish press reported a 16-year-old girl who was born in Ireland to West African parents telling the crowd she lives in fear of being teased, taunted and verbally abused on the streets of Dublin because she is black. Reeta Wilson, who grew up in an African American family in Chicago, told the crowd several stories of day-to-day racism she and her family experienced, including how her mother was terrified when the family were stopped by the police in a white neighbourhood while driving home from shopping. Their car was searched and they were told burglars in the area matched their description.

Diversity & Inclusion is on the agenda in many organisations now in Ireland, but this is where leadership really counts: the day-to-day decisions, at the most senior levels, that affect black lives. To make lasting change, we ultimately have to get off the streets and into the rooms where these decisions are made. The Irish Centre for Diversity is here to support you in understanding all diversity strands- let us not forget racism.

By Pam Brown
Senior Consultant

Inclusive Leadership Training – 22nd November Croke Park

Inclusive leaders get the best out of all their people, helping their organisations to succeed in today’s complex, diverse national and global environment.

Through their skills in adaptability, building relationships and developing talent, inclusive leaders can increase performance and innovation.

This course provides participants with an understanding of how to become a more inclusive leader, engage and support your teams to reach their potential.
This training will be delivered by Irfaan Arif a senior trainer with the Irish Centre for Diversity.

His work has focused on developing and delivering unconscious bias workshops, cultural awareness and inclusive leadership training to over 1500 people in the last 3 years globally.
Irfaan holds an MBA, an MA in Human Resource Development & Consulting and is currently completing his Masters in Psychology. He is a qualified coach, excellent communicator and a creative trainer.

Learning Objectives

1. Reflection of own leadership skills.

2. Characteristics of Inclusive leaders and how to adapt and enhance current management practice.

3. Understanding how unconscious bias might be impacting culture and organisational processes.

4. Understanding the importance of positive role modelling and getting the best out of teams so they reach their potential

Tickets can be booked here

CIF launch their Diversity and Inclusion Charter in collaboration with the Irish Centre for Diversity

The Irish Centre for Diversity has collaborated with Construction Industry Federation on their Diversity and Inclusion charter

This charter is available for all Construction Industry Federation members to sign up to and outlines their commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in their company. By signing up to this charter, members are publicly committing to taking small steps to promote diversity and inclusion in their workplaces and our industry.

Core Wins Silver ‘Investors in Diversity’ Award from ICD

Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company has picked up a Silver in the ‘Investors in Diversity’ awards in recognition of its diversity and inclusion programme and ongoing self-evaluation and improvement procedures.

The award was made by the Irish Centre for Diversity (ICD), which is supported by Ibec and the DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion, which aims to transform businesses’ diversity practices and culture. The silver award focuses on employees’ sense of fairness and belonging to the business and provides an overview of key strengths and areas for development.

As part of its application for the award, Core aimed to evaluate how it could improve existing practices by seeking out detailed feedback from team members across the business, and benchmark itself against other leading businesses.

According to Jill Downey, lead for Diversity & Inclusion at Core: “We’re delighted to have received this award in recognition of our efforts to date, and are looking forward to improving further.

“Designing and implementing a diversity and inclusion programme is a challenge for businesses of any size. But, as the saying goes, ‘you can’t manage what you don’t measure.’ Engaging with Investors in Diversity was a natural step for us to take in our journey, so that we could accurately capture what people in our business felt across the entire diversity and inclusion spectrum and continue to improve.”

Caroline Tyler, Irish Centre for Diversity adds: “Research shows that inclusive and diverse organisations are successful. As a trailblazer for its sector, Core recognises the importance of celebrating the diversity of its staff and being an inclusive organisation, both for itself as a company but also the communities and organisations within which it works. Working with the Irish Centre for Diversity and achieving Investors in Diversity Silver sends a clear message to everyone of how seriously Core takes its commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, now and as part of its ongoing journey towards excellence.”

As part of its feedback following the award, Core identified additional training needs to challenge unconscious biases in the workplace. Going forward, Core plans to provide all staff with training in this area, and has already held a number of talks and workshops this year.

As well as offering a range of training, Core also has a dedicated team who have celebrated International Women’s Day, Africa Day and most recently Pride month. In addition, Core has hosted a ‘Lean In’ event with Sheryl Sandberg, the 30% Club Council and just recently held a workshop with BeLonG To exploring inclusivity of and allyship with LGBTQi.

Matheson Awarded Investors in Diversity Silver Standard

Matheson has today announced that the firm has been recognised by the Irish Centre of Diversity and awarded their Investors in Diversity Silver Standard. The Irish Centre for Diversity, supported by Ibec and the DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion, work in partnership with organisations across Ireland to help them embed equality, diversity and inclusion in all they do.

Their Investors in Diversity (IiD) mark is Ireland’s first all-encompassing equality, diversity and inclusion accreditation and offers a clear and structured framework to transform diversity practices and culture.

Matheson is the first Irish law firm to receive this standard and recognises the work that has been achieved at the firm in developing and implementing a people focused D&I strategy.

Commenting today, Managing Partner Michael Jackson said –

“At Matheson, we are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace where all our colleagues and their contributions and perspectives are valued and respected. This accreditation is testament to the work taking place across the firm to ensure diversity and inclusion are immersed into everything that we do.”

In memory of former colleague and friend Cara O’Hagan, our commitment to diversity and inclusion is our Cara Commitment. Cara spearheaded many of the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and it is only fitting that our Commitment will honour her and continues to build on the important work she started.

Building on previous initiatives and work over the last few years, our Commitment is the roadmap for the firm’s D&I strategy with the initial focus on the core areas of multiculturalism and social mobility; gender; generational; family and working parents; disability and LGBT.

Speaking about D&I at Matheson, Director of HR Lorraine Roche said –

“Our D&I strategy is the work of everyone at Matheson and through our D&I ambassadors, who represent all areas across the firm, that strategy is being brought to life and integrated into everything that we do.”

To find out more about our Cara Commitment and wider D&I strategy, please contact Lorraine Roche, Director of HR at Matheson.

Ireland’s first National Diversity and Inclusion Conference set to attract industry leaders and disruptors

Ireland’s first and only National Diversity and Inclusion Conference for thought leaders, practitioners and professionals will take place in The Helix, DCU, on Wednesday 4th September from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

This exclusive, one day event will allow business leaders to engage and connect with national and international thought leaders, disrupters and experts in the field of Diversity and Inclusion.

The event will feature high-profile keynote speakers from Google, Bloomberg, and Sodexo including, Manisha Mehrotra, Head of Diversity and Inclusion Europe, Middle East and Africa for Bloomberg LLP and Vasileios Madouros – Director of Financial Stability – Central Bank of Ireland, and Margot Slattery, Country President of Sodexo Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The event will be hosted by Donna De Berry, a global diversity and inclusion thought leader who has led change for brands from Starbucks to Nike. De Berry will be travelling specially from Texas to lead this inaugural event and to inspire change across Irish businesses.
With 20 years of experience in the field of inclusion and diversity, De Barry specializes in
innovative tactics that include implementing new technologies and pursuing advanced strategies that lead to an inclusive culture. She has successfully provided transformational strategies for some of the largest Fortune 500 companies in the world, as well as high profile leaders and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and others.

A speaker at the event, Rosarii Mannion, National HR Director, HSE said, “A diverse and inclusive workforce is crucial for organisations that want to attract & retain talent. People are at the heart of every organisation and workplaces are stronger through diversity of thought for innovation. At the end of the day, having a diverse workplace is good for the bottom line.”

Talent has overtaken capital in the economy at a time when many millennial job seekers are researching individual company culture around diversity and inclusion. Attracting and retaining talent has become of paramount importance and this is particularly relevant as a diverse and inclusive culture is increasingly becoming a deciding factor in the decision to accept or reject a job offer.

The conference, for which the theme is ‘Inclusion Works’, promises to explore trusted and proven approaches that can secure the best talent globally. It will also examine how attracting and retaining talent, brand reputation and mitigating risk are the key drivers of delivery and implementation in diversity and inclusion interventions.

This pioneering event will be hosted by the DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and The Irish Centre for Diversity; both leaders in the sector in Ireland.

Sandra Healy, Director of the DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion said, “Diversity and Inclusion is an increasing priority for most organisations today. Hearing and engaging with academic experts and global leaders in this space will help shift the dial and take diversity and inclusion interventions to the next level. Building inclusive workplaces enables organisations to attract and retain top talent, foster creativity and innovation and increase employee productivity.”

Tickets for the event are €475 plus VAT, including all refreshments and lunch, as well as a post-conference networking drinks reception, and are available

Mark of honour in diversity and inclusion


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.


Matheson Announces Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship in association with Trinity College Dublin

Leading Irish law firm Matheson has today announced the formation of the Matheson Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship in association with Trinity College Dublin (TCD).  The Scholarship will be open to second year undergraduate law students in TCD including students on the Higher Education Access Route or the Disability Access Route to Education schemes, mature students and students who face barriers in participating in third level education. 

Commenting today, Michael Jackson Managing Partner at Matheson said:

A key focus of Matheson’s Diversity and Inclusion Commitment is to proactively address the issue of social mobility. We believe that initiatives to support students who face barriers in participating in third level legal education are an important way of ensuring greater accessibility to careers in law and a more diverse and inclusive profession. 

“Matheson is proud to partner with Trinity College Dublin to launch the Matheson Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship in furtherance of this important aspect of our Diversity and Inclusion Commitment, which we have named our Cara Commitment in honour of our late partner, and Trinity graduate, Cara O’Hagan.”

The recipient of the Scholarship will receive:

         a place on Matheson’s Summer Internship programme;

a financial contribution of €5,000 for each remaining academic year of their undergraduate degree;
an assigned mentor from Matheson to support them during their university journey; and
access to the firm’s library and online learning platform.

The first recipient of the Scholarship will participate in our internship programme in June 2019.  To find out more – or contact our Director of Learning and Development, Nicola White.

The Irish Centre for Diversity were delighted to speak at IAPI’s International Women’s day event.

The Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI) marked International Women’s Day with a unique celebration at the RHA Gallery in Dublin.

‘Out of the Mouth of Babes -Achieving the Balancing Act’ which was sponsored by explored the concept of how equality of input feeds into a balanced business culture and greater output. editor Sybil Mulcahy stepped in to act as MC for the event and welcomed DMG CEO Paul Henderson to the stage.

The morning began with a screening of the Out of the Mouth of Babes video.


IAPI tasked children from 3rd-6th class in Griffeen Valley Educate together school to share their unfiltered views on equality and diversity.

This was followed with a one-of-a-kind workshop with keynote speaker Natasha Broomfield Reid. Natasha is a recipient of the Stonewall Cymru’s LGBT+ ‘Ally of the Year’ Award.


She also achieved special mention in the UK National Centre for Diversity’s Inspirational Person Award in 2016.

Natasha believes that lack of diversity in creative industries will halt organisation’s growth and success.

Too often, leaders tend to choose male leadership traits when female leadership traits  such as creativity, collaboration and trustworthiness are proving that they are the traits that can get best results.

The interactive workshop questioned the skills needed for business success by dissecting whether certain skills are perceived as predominantly perceived as male or female

Her recommendations to foster diversity included flexible working hours for all staff. She also championed the idea of actively minimising the gender pay gap.

Natasha was followed by Caroline Tyler, County Director for the Irish Centre for Diversity with Charley Stoney CEO of IAPI also taking to the stage.

‘I often reflect that we here in Ireland are very fortunate as we only have to contend with our own internal barriers; we do not have to battle discriminatory laws or legislation as others around the world in less fortunate circumstances do.

‘We must ensure that we do not fall victim to our own stereotypes or gender biases,’ she said.


The morning was closed by Charlotte Barker, IAPI Board Member and Chair of the Diversity Council. Deputy Managing Director at Dynamo, Dublin Design Agency, Charlotte was also the winner of the 2017 IAPI Doyenne Award for Leadership Excellence.

Charlotte was delighted to announce the launch of the new IAPI initiative, the IAPI INCLUSION NETWORK which will roll out a continuous Diversity & Inclusion programme supporting IAPI member.

IAPI hosts inspirational International Women’s Day event to encourage equality of input