Rewind : Our Inclusive Networks Awards 2015

Rewind : Our Inclusive Networks Awards 2015

In this special feature we look back on our inaugural staff network group awards, the Inclusive Networks Awards. Network groups at Tesco, Lloyds Banking Group, PwC, EY, Action for Children, Bradford University, Standard Life, Transport for London, BNY Mellon and York St John University were recognised at the UK’s first awards event dedicated to network groups back in 2015.

On 19th November 2015 over 200 network group heroes and workplace role models attended the inaugural Inclusive Networks Awards, aka the UK’s Staff Network Group Awards. The awards were the first ever awards dedicated to network groups and were held at iconic live music venue Band on the Wall in Manchester. The awards are recognised as being a pioneering initiative.

Sponsored by organisations including PayPal, Fujitsu, EY, WeAreTheCity, Contracts IT, Manchester Pride, Diversity Jobs, Canal St and Action for Children, the awards recognised the people who make the networks live and breathe, many of whom volunteer substantial amounts of their own time, as well as thank the organisations that support and encourage their work and that of an inclusive society.

“It was an awards event with a difference that celebrated and recognised employee, professional and community focussed network groups covering all diversity strands and sectors, from all over the UK.”

Winners included GLEE@PwC who were named Employee LGBT Network of the Year, North East London NHS Foundation Trust, Ethnic Minority Staff Network who were named Employee Race, Ethnicity & Cultural Heritage Network of the Year and Lloyds Banking Group, winners of the Investor in Network Groups award.

What makes these awards different is that they celebrate and reward the work of the doers, individuals and teams who show an extraordinary amount of commitment and dedication to support employees, the wider community and help influence the views of the wider public on their perception of the organisations they represent through their work – creating and developing more inclusive and diverse workplaces and communities. They’re real drivers for positive change.

It was an awards event with a difference that celebrated and recognised employee, professional and community focussed network groups covering all diversity strands and sectors, from all over the UK.

Thomas Anderson, Founder of the Inclusive Networks Awards, said : “Having Chaired an employee network group for many years I founded the awards to authentically recognise the doers and recognise all the different elements that make a network group successful. All of our finalists and winners really make a positive difference in the workplace and beyond and it was amazing to be able to recognise the awesome work, dedication, commitment and impact of network groups covering many diversity strands and sectors in the same room. It was a truly inspiring evening with a diverse crowd of network group heroes and it was an honour to celebrate the work of so many awesome networks at an authentic, informal, fun and diverse event.”

“All of our finalists and winners really make a positive difference in the workplace and beyond and it was amazing to be able to recognise the awesome work, dedication, commitment and impact of network groups covering many diversity strands and sectors in the same room.”

Guests were welcomed by the sounds of the Caribbean from the awesome Steeldrumband and the welcome bubbly was generously served by Barefoot Wine. The awards host, Manchester based stand-up Kate McCabe, was a hit with the crowd and provided lots of laughs throughout the fun and uplifting night. Further entertainment came from record breakers Ri Ri’s Dance Academy and up and coming singer Maria Kelly.

Inspiring guest speakers at the event were Sanjay Sood-Smith, Apprentice 2014 candidate, and founder of Girls Out Loud, Jane Kenyon, who each delivered awesome speeches that inspired attendees.

Programme sponsors of the awards included Tesco, UK Parliament, Royal Navy, PwC, Cardiff University, The Co-op Bank, Brown Brothers Harriman and Transport for London.

Goody bag sponsors included The Co-op Food, PopChips, Shloer, Sticky9, Percy Nobleman and Get Fruity.

The Inclusive Networks Awards 2015 winners :

Congratulations to all of our awesome finalists and winners. Thank you to our sponsors and supporters for helping make the event a reality. We couldn’t have done it without your support!

Employee LGBT Network of the Year, sponsored by Manchester Pride
PwC : GLEE@PwC

Employee Gender Network of the Year, sponsored by WeAreTheCity
EY : EY Women’s Network

Employee Race, Ethnicity & Cultural Heritage Network of the Year
North East London NHS Foundation Trust : Ethnic Minority Staff Network

Health & Wellbeing Network of the Year
Lloyds Banking Group : Access Network

New Network of the Year, sponsored by EY
Standard Life : Young Persons’ Development Network (Joint Winner)

New Network of the Year, sponsored by EY
Action for Children : Celebrate LGBT (Joint Winner)

Inter-Sector Network of the Year, sponsored by Fujitsu
Black Solicitors Network

Professional Network of the Year, sponsored by Contracts IT
Citymothers and Cityfathers

Social Network of the Year, sponsored by Canal St
Manchester Lesbian & Gay Chorus

Network Team of the Year, sponsored by Diversity Jobs
Tesco : OUT at Tesco

Network Leader of the Year, sponsored by Girls Out Loud
The University of Bradford, n-able : Cath Rose and Gill Cockburn

Inspiring Member of the Year, sponsored by Action for Children
Funke Abimbola

Collaboration of the Year, sponsored by Tuk In
BNY Mellon’s PRISM Network and George House Trust – UK AIDS Memorial Quilt

Network Event of the Year, sponsored by Barefoot Wine
PwC, GLEE@PwC : #bigGLEEday

Network Engagement Initiative of the Year, sponsored by PayPal
Transport for London, OUTbound : #RideWithPride

Network Champion of the Year
York St John University : Jo Thompson

Investor in Network Groups
Lloyds Banking Group

CHECK OUT SOME OF THE #INAWARDS2015 TWEETS :

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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