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2023 Shortlist: Best SME D&I Innovation Award & Positive Social & Sustainable Impact Award

news published date 6 October 2023

Following our announcement on 14 September, we are delighted to share more details of each of the shortlisted nominees – this time for the Best SME D&I Innovation Award and (because there was only one entry) for the Positive Social & Sustainable Impact Award – but before we do here’s a reminder of the two categories:

1. Best SME D&I Innovation Award

Good ideas can change the world. The challenge of delivering gender equity requires organisations to think differently about their work with colleagues, communities and wider society. This award recognises an organisation with an annual turnover lower than £250m that is leading the way in supporting D&I in new and innovative ways. Whether celebrating a project or team that has delivered a successful innovation project driving gender diversity and inclusion, the focus of the submission may be on a business division, specialist function, community network, or a time-limited project.

2. Positive Social & Sustainable Impact Award

There is one key area many organisations overlook as they concentrate on ESG: the link between diversity and inclusion (D&I) and sustainability. But this represents a clear opportunity due to the availability of data, e.g. on the gender pay gap. We believe that a focus on D&I, can lead to more sustainable business practices and contribute to a better worldWith a clear and strategic approach – built around an inspiring narrative, leadership engagement and data – companies can accurately reflect their progress, align reporting with investors’ expectations, and more confidently and transparently communicate what the organisations stand for and value.

And below we include a brief summary of each submission so you can see why these different organisations thoroughly deserve to have their initiatives promoted by WIBF. Scroll down to read all the entries across the two categories.

1. Best SME D&I Innovation Award

Building Leaders @ Cynergy BankStarting in 2022, Cynergy Bank has delivered its first “Building Leaders at Cynergy” programme aimed at supporting the development of a diverse group of middle leaders.

A key output of this programme was the development of an inclusion and diversity employee network, focusing on colleagues feeling they can bring their authentic self to work and ensuring that that inclusion was embedded in systems, leadership, talent development and business initiatives.

In just eight months, the network has delivered a range of initiatives from a reverse mentoring programme to the launch the company’s EMPOWER Network (a social and professional network for women) and the sponsorship of the Trailblazer Award at the British LGBT Awards.

Working in Mortgages, The Association of Mortgage IntermediariesThe Association of Mortgage Intermediaries created the Working in Mortgages initiative in response to the challenges laid down in the company’s October 2021 Viewpoint report on “Diversity, Inclusion and Equality in the Mortgage industry” and brought together lenders, intermediaries, trade bodies, consultants and related sectors to work together to provide support to anyone looking to join the sector.

Now the association’s website aims to to further drive inclusivity and equity in the mortgage industry and tap into the talent in younger generations. Recognising the aims will not be achieved quickly, the shared objective is to make a difference and work in partnership celebrating the company’s commonality and respecting differences. Its four workstreams currently cover visibility, outreach. community and impact.

2. Positive Social & Sustainable Impact Award

Citi Global Perspectives and Solutions Citi Global Perspectives and Solutions (GPS) is the bank’s main thought-leadership series and, since 2015, has included a workstream on the economic case for diversity and inclusion. Most recently, the series has published reports on Women Entrepreneurs (2022, led by Ying Qin) and Economic and Social Mobility (2023, led by Amy Thompson). These reports seek to highlight the impact of inclusion, for example, that women-led businesses could boost global GDP by 3% if properly supported and would unlock untapped innovation to combat global challenges from climate change to poverty.

Diversity and inclusion famously call for “deeds not words” and the Citi GPS reports seek to provide more than just thought leadership. The Citi GPS team use their reports and partnerships to engage with clients, colleagues, as well as Citi leaders and, in doing so, they seek to continue to drive positive change at Citi and elsewhere in the world.