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Avanade, Kingfisher plc and EY crowned winners in big night for banks at the European Diversity Awards 2023 headline sponsored by Optum
Parliamentarian and broadcaster Baroness Floella Benjamin also honoured for her outstanding contribution to diversity and inclusion at star-studded ceremony.
Global organisations, corporate leaders, financial institutions and a European charity have all been named winners at the 2023 European Diversity Awards. The event, sponsored by Optum, was hosted by the Sky News presenter Kamali Melbourne and took place at the five-star InterContinental London Park Lane.
Sanofi were crowned Syngenta Group Diversity Team of the Year while elsewhere it was a big night for tech companies at the star-studded ceremony which saw the likes of celebrated soul singer Mica Paris and Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes attending.
It was a big night for Global IT innovation specialist Avanade, with Sarah Rench taking home the Allianz Commercial sponsored Inspirational Role Model of the Year award and the organisation seeing of stiff competition from the likes of Playtech and ISS UK & Ireland to take home the coveted DHL Group Company of the Year crown.
Meanwhile Wavemaker’s Enable network was awarded the Financial Times partnered Outstanding Disability Network of the Year and Michelle Elliott from Virgin Atlantic won the Haleon backed Head of Diversity of the Year accolade.
Financial consultant giant EY took home the IHG Hotels and Resorts Marketing Campaign of the Year for their This is my EY campaign, which saw the company depict a LGBTQIA employee’s first day at a new organisation and is aimed at promoting a company where everyone can bring their authentic selves to work and have a true sense of belonging.
The awards celebrate leading diversity and inclusion champions while recognising achievements across all strands of Diversity: age, disability, gender, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, social mobility and sexual orientation. Charlene White, meanwhile, won the coveted Paramount Media Diversity Champion of the Year for her advocacy of social mobility and better representation of women and minorities in the media.
Elsewhere at the EDAs it was a big night for community projects and charities. The Windrush 75 Network won lululemon sponsored Community Project of the Year whilst European charity SOS MEDITERRANEE were awarded the prestigious Optum Charity of the Year prize for their work rescuing people in distress at sea. As the winning charity they also took home a generous £5000 donation from Optum.
The most eagerly anticipated award of the night, the Collins Aerospace Lifetime Achievement Award went to national treasure Dame Floella Benjamin in recognition of her unstinting life-long work for diversity, especially her passionate advocacy for children’s rights and education. Her impassioned acceptance speech received a standing ovation.
Linda Riley, European Diversity Awards founder, said: “These awards are about celebrating those who have worked tirelessly to champion diversity and inclusion, encouraging others to take up the challenge, and I hope that this was reflected tonight. The corporations and business leaders who picked up awards represent the huge efforts corporate organisations are now making to improve diversity and inclusion, truly living the values they advocate. Together we are making a difference.”
Joy Fitzgerald, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, UnitedHealth Group, parent company of Optum said: "We are honoured to be a part of the European Diversity Awards. DEI is critical to our company's mission of making the health system work better for everyone. Congratulations, on behalf of UnitedHealth Group, to all our winners."
FULL LIST OF WINNERS:
lululemon Community Project of the Year
Winner: Windrush 75 Network, British Future
Highly Commended: Big Build, Santander Consumer Finance UK
IHG Hotels & Resorts Marketing Campaign of the Year
Winner: This is my EY, EY
Highly Commended: Construimos Mejor, Brico Depôt Iberia
Sanofi HR Champion of the Year
Winner: Nadia Nagamootoo, Avenir Consulting
Highly Commended: Karol Splawa-Neyman, Jacobs
Gilead Social Mobility Initiative of the Year
Winner: FAIRE, Browne Jacobson
Highly Commended: Ireland Health Care Scholarship Program (funded by the United Health Foundation and supported by Optum Ireland), Optum
Optum Charity of the Year
Winner: SOS MEDITERRANEE
Syngenta Group Diversity Team of the Year
Winner: Global Diversity, Culture and Experience Team, Sanofi
Highly Commended: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Working Group, HSBC Innovation Banking
EmployAbility Outstanding Employee Network of the Year
Winner: Diversity in Tech Network, Kingfisher plc
Highly Commended: Lean In UK & Europe, IHG Hotels & Resorts
DeNovo Legal Services Outstanding LGBTQIA Network of the Year
Winner: ACOR (All colours of the rainbow), Toyota Motor Europe
Highly Commended: Deloveroo, Deliveroo
Financial Times Outstanding Disability Network of the Year
Winner: Wavemaker Enable, Wavemaker
Highly Commended: Ability UK, HSBC UK plc
Ruebik Outstanding Ethnicity Network of the Year
Winner: LSEG LEAD Network (Latin@s for Empowerment, Advancement and Development), LSEG
Highly Commended: Culture Club, Legal & General Investment Management
TP ICAP Hero of the Year
Winner: Kabir Alam, HSBC UK plc
Highly Commended: Jude Guaitamacchi, @becomingjude
Allianz Commercial Inspirational Role Model of the Year
Winner: Sarah Rench, Avanade
Highly Commended: Fraser Longden, Wickes
HSBC Innovation Banking Women in Tech
Winner: Rav Bumbra, Cajigo
Highly Commended: Gülay Stelzmüllner, Allianz Technology SE
Haleon Head of Diversity of the Year
Winner: Michelle Elliott, Virgin Atlantic
Highly Commended: Rubén Alejandro Ramírez, Syngenta Group
BP Diversity In Technology Initiative of the Year
Winner: auticon UK
Highly Commended: TSERAS (Disability Subsystem), DOST Digital Innovations Center
Abercrombie & Fitch Diversity Champion of the Year
Winner: Rick Jackson, DHL Group
Highly Commended: Deon Pillay, Legal & General Investment Management
Paramount Media Diversity Champion of the Year
Winner: Charlene White
Highly Commended: Alex Scott MBE
DHL Group Company of the Year
Highly Commended: ISS UK & Ireland
Collins Aerospace Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Baroness Floella Benjamin, DBE
CHECK OUR GALLERY PAGES FOR IMAGES OF THE NIGHT