Several Welsh businesses have been recognised for their commitment to diverse and inclusive practices within the workplace.

Gender equality charity Chwarae Teg is launching the Exemplar Employer Award to showcase businesses that have successfully broken down barriers affecting women’s recruitment, retention and career progression.

To qualify for an award, businesses must demonstrate evidence of a number of practices relating to positive workplace culture, including performance management, learning and development opportunities and flexible working.

Businesses can be eligible for three different levels of the award, representing organisations who are developing their cultural practices and those leading by example.

A number of businesses have been selected as qualifiers for the award, including marine energy company Marine Power Systems (MPS), IT support company Pisys.net, language services supplier Wolfestone and Voicebox, non-mechanical plant company HOS Hire and ICT training provider, Swansea ITeC Ltd.

Dr Gareth Stockman, managing director of MPS said:

“Qualifying for this award is really important for MPS as we want to be recognised as a company committed to equality and diversity in the workplace.

“We are delighted that the measures we have in place have resulted in a culture that is conducive to an environment where women in the industry can enter the workplace, develop their skills and build rewarding careers.”

Jo-Ann Miles, sales director at Pisys.net said:

“We believe in providing equal opportunities for all our current and future employees. We have developed policies that ensure these individuals collectively bring different attitudes, perceptions and learning experiences to the workplace, as well as ethnic, gender and personality differences to achieve organisational success.”

Helen Necrews, managing director at Swansea ITeC said:

“To be fair and transparent is at the core of all business objectives and functions. Having a diverse workforce supports an inclusive working environment for all staff to be valued and encourage ownership.

Maxine Barrett, director at HOS Hire Ltd said: “It is rewarding to know that the work we have put in to making our policies and procedures more than forms in a manual is of real benefit to the people who work here and to the company. Our team is extremely proud to have qualified for this award.”

Emma Hughes, HR manager at Wolfestone and Voicebox said:

“We have always built our business with flexibility at its core. Since day one we have remained open to reviewing working patterns and career progression opportunities regardless of length of service or any other arbitrary measure.”

“We are keen to remove any barriers to progression and personal development and prefer to look at each member of staff as an individual with individual needs.”

Jo Bishop, employer lead at Chwarae Teg said:

“This new award recognises that creating and sustaining diversity practices is a journey and that business culture develops over time. The organisations that have so far qualified for various levels of the award have set the standard by which all businesses in Wales should strive to achieve.

“Whether by introducing more inclusive recruitment policies or signing up to our career development programme, Agile Nation 2 (which is funded by the Welsh Government and European Social Fund), there are many key areas that represent a genuine commitment to diversity and gender equality within the workplace. This award is designed to celebrate and showcase those organisations leading the way.”

Original article by Business News Wales