IN Awards : REACH Network of the Year

IN Awards : REACH Network of the Year

Photo : North East London NHS Foundation Trust, Ethnic Minority Staff Network

Our finalists are all amazing. Network groups truly rock. The networks are all driving equality in the workplace and beyond and each support a more inclusive society through their awesome work. You only need to look at the diversity in boardrooms to see there’s obviously a long way to go in many organisations where black and ethnic minority and female representation is low – and they lack any LGBT role models. With reported bullying and harassment levels in the workplace on the increase and costing the UK economy £18 billion pounds in lost producivity, there is still inequality in pay levels between men and women in many roles, 62% of LGBT students going back in the closet when they enter the workforce – it’s clear that network groups that drive change and offer a safe space for employees, and a place to seek confidential support, are needed. They are doing a fantastic job and challenging their organisations to ensure equality and diversity are not just buzz words.

WINNER : North East London NHS Foundation Trust, Ethnic Minority Staff Network

Established in 2012, the network has strong board support and has been critical in driving change. Following discussions with staff across the organisation they devised a three-year strategy, endorsed by the board and overseen by a steering group including staff from each directorate. Three years on progress has been made, with 9 assistant or associate directors employed at band 8c from a BME background out of a total of 26 staff at this level in the organisation. Staff reports a more open culture where people feel more able to talk about issues of race and racism not just in relation to staff, but how they impact on the care provided to patients and service users.
Follow the trust on Twitter @NELFT

The Metropolitan Police, The Metropolitan Black Police Association

Founded in 1994, the association was formed to improve the working environment of black police staff and officers within the Metropolitan Police Service. They support staff and officers encountering difficulties at work, deliver social activities and events for their members, work towards achieving equality of opportunity for all BME staff working within the service, work with the service to improve recruitment of BME staff and they actively participate in policy development – and much more. Recent successes include their 100 Years of Women in British Policing event (2015 marks 100 years of women in policing), the publication of their Black History Month magazine and the informative Black History Walk.
Follow the association on Twitter @MetBPA

Photo : Lovepreet Samra, Anisha Seth and Amarjit Singh from the EY Sikh Network

Deloitte, Deloitte Multicultural Network

Launched in 2007, the network aims to ensure the organisation engages with wider numbers of people from ethnic minorities in order to attract talent to the organisation. At 42%, applications from ethnic minority graduates remain above the industry average but they want to do more to encourage and retain ethnic minority talent at all levels and right across the firm. They’ve developed a mentoring programme that encourages their people to connect with colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds. The network hosted a special event to discuss the portrayal of BAME individuals in the British media. Other successful events include their Diversity and Inclusion in Sports event and the Multicultural Network Insight Evening.
Follow Deloitte on Twitter @DeloitteUK


The network was established in 2011 as a part of EY’s interfaith network and wider commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce. Its aim was to provide a forum where anyone can openly discuss issues that they face, a route to leadership, and a platform to raise awareness of the Sikh faith. The network has delivered a number of exceptional events including working with the Mayor of London to bring the Vaisakhi celebrations to City Hall in London – which was visited by 6,000 guests. The network also hosted the SINGH Project art exhibition, which aimed to capture the diversity of British Sikh men through two prominent symbols, the turban and beard, and The Untold Stories of Sikh Soldiers in WW1 event.
Follow the network on Twitter @EYSikhNetwork

Lloyds Banking Group, GEM Network

The network aims to connect, support and develop ethnic minority colleagues within Lloyds Banking Group, and is open to all colleagues as either members or supporters. The network is run by a volunteer steering group of mixed ethnic minority colleagues who drive the network forward and work to understand the needs of their members. During the last 12 months the team have delivered a number of exceptional events including the Cultural Awareness and Mentoring event. The network also ran a number of Live Meet events, where colleagues dial in and hear stories from inspirational colleagues and senior leaders who share their career paths, stories and top tips that have a wide appeal to all colleagues.
Follow the Lloyds Banking Group diversity team on Twitter @LBG_Diversity

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Black and Minority Ethnic Staff Development Network

The network is open to all disciplines and staff with an interest in promoting racial and cultural equality within the workplace. Achievements during the past 12 months include hosting the trusts first Black History Month celebration, their first BME Network Bulletin was published and they developed two Leadership Programmes, a Personal Development Workshop – and much more. The network has attended many trust events to help raise the profile of the network. The network continues to be the HR and OD Department’s ‘critical friend’, supporting and challenging the trust in the publication of statistical information and truly delivering racial equality.
Follow the trust on Twitter @NHFTNHS

About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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