Sky, AstraZeneca and Diageo were named amongst Women’s Business Council winners at the group’s fifth awards.
On Monday morning, the council gave out awards in the following categories: Men as Change agents; Starting Out; Getting on; Staying On award ; Enterprise; and returners.
The categories are designed to aware firms helping redress gender imbalances at each stage of a woman’s career – as well as noting men who are helping in this process.
The winners in each section were:
Men as change agents: Ivan Menezes, CEO, Diageo and Conrad Longworthy, Head of Software Engineering Academy, Sky
Starting Out: Karen Sutherland, VPHE Medicine, Astrazeneca
Getting On: Clare Francis, Group Resourcing Manager, Willmott Dixon
Staying On: Professor Jo Brewis, Professor of People and Organisation, The Open University
Enterprise: Francesca Warner, Co-founder, Diversity VC
Returners: Karen Mattison, Co-founder, Timewise
Dame Cilla Snowball DBE, Chair of the Women’s Business Council, explained that she hoped other businesses could learn from these best practise examples.
“We have advocated from the very start that organisations can learn from each other on best practice and measures that have been effective – to ensure their own actions to close these gaps are targeted, evidence-based and integrated,” she said.
Clare Francis, Group Resourcing Manager, Willmott Dixon, who was awarded for ‘Getting on’ best practise, noted the hard work their firm are doing to help working mothers. She told HR Grapevine: “I feel honoured and extremely pleased. It’s a team effort.
"I’ve got a big team of people at Wilmott Dixon who have all been instrumental in getting this award today.
“I’m fortunate to work at a business where the CEO has driven our aspirational targets within the gender space – support from the top has really helped to drive initiatives through.
“Some of the initiatives we’ve done include a returner programme this year for the first time so we’ve got five women on this programme and we’ve changed the trainee programme too.”
Susan Williams, Baroness Williams of Trafford, Minister for Equalities, who gave a keynote at Monday’s event, added: “The Women’s Business Council has been at the forefront of promoting change, showcasing those companies that are breaking down barriers to support women’s progression within the workplace. This is good news for business and good news for women.”
The awards compliment the council’s ‘Five years on’ report which looks at progress in business and society for women.
Since being set-up by Theresa May in 2012, the report has noted that women’s salaries have increased by 11.2% compared to a 9.5% increase for men and that 35.5% of managerial roles are now filled by women.
The gender pay gap currently stands at 17.9%. This is down from 19.7% in 2013.