Schofield Sweeney Solicitors
Law firms often recruit professional staff with an emphasis on academic qualifications and previous experience. We did too, so when we began to look at our diversity statistics we realised that we were diverse more by accident than design. Now, we are proud of our diversity statistics that are, perhaps undeservedly, worth shouting about.
We won't shout, however, because statistics are only half the picture. Inclusion and diversity is more about how people feel at work, how we celebrate both our similarities and differences and how we create an environment which is welcoming, inclusive and embracing. It is also about how we harness the opportunities that a diverse and inclusive workforce creates.
On that, we think that our journey is ongoing. We can improve on our celebration of our different faiths, we can work closer with our charities and NGO partners and our diversity group could identify more internal and external opportunities. Whilst we are aware that others are leading the way in building inclusive workplaces, we are starting to create a culture within the firm which acknowledges the need for improvements to our maternity policy, the number of staff that are on flexible and varied hours to allow them to meet other commitments and working hard to better understand and combat the effects of work related stress.
So rather than tell you too much about us, we would like to recognise all of the nominees in this category and congratulate you for your nominations. We are all part of a vibrant community in Kirklees and we hope you will share your successes so we can all benefit from your experiences and the initiatives that you have put in place.
2020 Award categories
Diversity Champion of the Year
Medequip work with North Kirklees NHS CCG, Greater Huddersfield NHS CCG and Kirklees Council to provide assistive living equipment in your area. Mediequip also provide a retail service for those who wish to purchase or rent equipment themselves.
It's clear that the individuals that have been nominated for this award dedicated their careers to promoting inclusion and diversity, both in the workplace and in the community as a whole. These people have inspired others by promoting the value of inclusion and challenging the status quo". - Steve Smith, General Manager, Medequip Assistive Technology.Medequip
Inclusive Community Project
Graham the Plumbers' Merchant was founded in 1936 in Glasgow as builders merchant Thomas Graham & Son. Today they pride themselves on supplying the trade and public with innovative plumbing, heating, bathroom and smart technology solutions, with their commercial project team being on hand for those larger projects.
Graham is part of the Saint-Gobain Group. Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions, which are key ingredients in the wellbeing of each of us and the future of all. They can be found everywhere in our living places and our daily life: in buildings, transportation, infrastructure and in many industrial applications. They provide comfort, performance and safety while addressing the challenges of sustainable construction, resource efficiency and climate change.
"Thanks to the organisations in this category, Kirklees is home to many cultures that are moving closer together and collaborating to create meaningful change in their communities".
Inclusive Charity of the Year
SKA Developments is a Kirklees based property business with its roots firmly set in the historic textile trade. They combine their heritage and understanding of their history, with an expert understanding of the property industry, to bring exciting and high-quality schemes to market.
A family run unique business with over 40 years' experience, dedicated to creating spaces that stand out, with sustainability at the core of each project. The business has brought a number of high-quality projects to market and has set out ambitious plans to redevelop some of Yorkshire's most historic sites.
"We believe the charities nominated in this category have a life-changing effect on individuals in the community. From offering learning support to gain valuable skills to combating loneliness and isolation, these organisations continue to create pathways to independence and better lives". - Saj Pervaiz, Financial and Property Director, SKA Developments Ltd.
Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) is the charitable trust which manages 13 leisure facilities and swimming pools on behalf of Kirklees Council. We are managed by a board of trustees who come from a range of backgrounds and bring a mix of skills to the strategic direction of the Trust.
KAL's vision is to help more people become more active, more often. To do this we aim to provide high quality services and facilities to all our customers as outlined in our customer charter. We are dedicated to increasing the number of people taking part in sport, active recreation and wider physical activity through responding to the needs of the local community and providing a dynamic and excellent value for money service.
"This award is a shout-out to our public service employees, our teams and networks, who are reaching out to groups and individuals across Kirklees. Through innovation and collaboration they are creating crucial initiatives for the benefit of all our communities". - Alasdair Brown, Chief Executive, Kirklees Active Leisure
Northern Gas Networks is the British company responsible for distributing gas to homes and businesses across Yorkshire, the North East and Northern Cumbria, England. Northern Gas Networks Limited is one of eight gas distribution networks in the United Kingdom and also offers maintenance, repair, capital and replacement design and delivery, customer service management and gas emergency service.
"We are thrilled to celebrate the two businesses which have been nominated for this category, Both hold inclusion and diversity at the heart of everything that they do. In their own way each company champions diversity and shows us what inclusion in the workplace looks like." - Melanie Taylor, Head of Stakeholder Relations, Northern Gas Networks.
Best Diversity Initiative
Kirklees College is one of the biggest colleges in offering an extensive range of courses and study options.
The college has over 12,000 students across full time study, apprenticeships and part time courses, offering students of any age and background one of the best opportunities to achieve their goals in education.
The college has 7 sites across Kirklees including two main centres based in Dewsbury and Huddersfield. Other specialist sites include Animal care, engineering, construction and the Process Manufacturing Centre.
"We are proud to present the category for innovative projects that have made a difference. All of these organisations demonstrate fantastic inclusive activity and provide proof of the value of diversity in the community." - Polly Harrow, Assistant Principal Safeguarding and Inclusion, Kirklees College.