2024 Awards Shortlist

Announcing the UnderOne Awards 2024 Shortlist

We are thrilled to announce the shortlist for the UnderOne Diversity & Inclusion Awards 2024! Our heartfelt thanks go out to our judges for their meticulous deliberation, and to all the nominees for their outstanding contributions. The calibre of entries was exceptionally high, reflecting the remarkable efforts and dedication within our community. 

Congratulations to all those shortlisted—your commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion is truly inspiring! 

You can access and share the promotional assets prepared for you to highlight your nomination and achievements. 

Click here to view and download your promotional assets.

See you at the awards ceremony in Northampton!

Global Inclusion Excellence Award

Avanade is dedicated to inclusivity, diversity, and belonging, focusing on attracting girls and young women to STEM through scholarships and programmes. Their Inclusion & Diversity framework ensures all individuals feel respected, with workforce demographics reflecting those of clients and communities. Key achievements include gender-neutral job postings, unconscious bias training, and partnerships with universities to support women in STEM. Avanade’s initiatives have led to a significant increase in female representation, consistently outpacing male representation growth, showcasing their impactful and disciplined approach to fostering an inclusive workplace.

At Citi, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are foundational to their culture and business growth. With a global network reaching over 14,000 women through initiatives like the Citi Career Empowerment Programme and collaborations with organisations such as the Executive Leadership Council, they are committed to career development and fostering an inclusive environment. Citi’s diverse hiring practices, flexible working options, and comprehensive employee networks highlight their dedication to equity and social mobility. Their Employee Network chapters, which increased from 238 in 2022 to 252 in 2023 and grew in membership from 21,000 to over 37,000 globally, serve as local representatives of their Inclusion Networks. For more than two decades, these Networks have played a critical role in fostering a culture of inclusion for all.

HSBC Innovation Banking UK exemplifies leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the innovation ecosystem. They focus on attracting and developing historically underrepresented talent, fostering an inclusive culture, and ensuring equal outcomes for clients, suppliers, partners, and communities. Key initiatives include partnerships for developing diverse talent, mandatory inclusive recruitment training, and targeted development programmes like the Unlocking Your Potential programme, which benefited 726 colleagues. Their comprehensive DEI efforts highlight a deep commitment to fostering an environment where everyone can thrive. 

Petrofac is dedicated to fostering diversity and inclusion within its traditionally male-dominated energy sector operations across the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. With nearly 80% of its workforce in engineering—a field historically attracting men—the company faces challenges in achieving gender equality. Petrofac has taken significant strides, including establishing the Women’s ENG – SHINE (Supportive, Harmonious, and Inspirational Network for Excellence) in 2021, which has grown by 68% since inception and spans members across the UK, India, Malaysia, UAE, and Oman. SHINE empowers members with mentoring, confidence-building sessions, and networking opportunities at a local context, fostering a supportive community within the organisation. Other initiatives include Menopause Sub-group and cultural showcases, underscoring their commitment to advancing gender balance and inclusive practices globally.

Centrica is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, reflecting its core values and ambitious 2030 diversity goals: 14% ethnic minorities, 15% people with disabilities, 3% from the LGBTQ+ community, and 47% women. Key initiatives include expanding a reverse mentoring scheme, revising recruitment processes, and mandatory unconscious bias training. Centrica has received accolades such as being in “The Times Top 50 Employers for Gender Equality” and a top workplace for women in Denmark. With employees from over 40 nationalities, Centrica ensures equity of opportunity and values the unique perspectives each individual brings, underscoring their commitment to global inclusion excellence.

Trailblazer Employee Resource Group Award

Sameera Kamran has been instrumental in driving impactful initiatives within Visa’s Race Ethnicity & Cultural Heritage (REACH) ERG. Over the past two years, she has progressed from Membership Lead to leading the Educate & Celebrate pillar. Under her guidance, REACH has organised a wide array of events and activities including Insight Days, ERG Fairs, cultural workshops, and celebrations for various cultural observances such as Ramadan Open Iftar and Diwali. Notably, Sameera orchestrated Visa’s inaugural World Culture Day, featuring senior leadership panels, global food tastings, a cultural marketplace, and a Bollywood dance performance. Her leadership also extended to community engagement through initiatives like mentoring local school pupils and delivering financial education sessions. Currently, Sameera continues to champion diversity and inclusion efforts within Visa, focusing on talent attraction and DEI strategies. 

DisAbility Colleague Community has driven substantial workplace culture improvements by achieving level 1 accreditation under the Disability Confident scheme and working towards level 2. They’ve streamlined accessibility software requests and collaborated with IT to ensure prompt service. Introducing Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyards has seen over 200 requests, and they’ve influenced inclusive office signage design and developed Health Passports in their HR system. Their engagement initiatives like ‘What’s your Superpower?’ and Neurodiversity Celebration Week have raised awareness and fostered a supportive community, significantly enhancing inclusivity within their organisation. 

The Kladies of Klaviyo, is dedicated to female and non-binary empowerment through inclusive networking, career growth, friendships, and personal development. Notable achievements include raising £1900 through innovative fundraising activities like feminist bingo and hiking for UNHCR, featured in their annual report. Events such as Intersectionality Day and International Women’s Day with prominent speakers like Jen Mbunga from TikTok highlight thier commitment to inspiring inclusion and leadership diversity. Thier focus on networking and personal development is evident in workshops like whisky tasting with Becky Paskin and self-defense classes by Mythology Combat Fitness, aimed at fostering a supportive and dynamic working culture.

Rail Unites for Inclusion (RUI), established in 2021 during the Covid pandemic, began as a resource group for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Leads in the rail sector. Co-founded by Apeksha Naik and Odis Palmer, now Co-Chairs, RUI has grown to include approximately 300 members from 90 organisations. They lead initiatives like a recent gender equity conference and manage a LinkedIn page with 1,944 followers, fostering industry-wide engagement and promoting role models. Apeksha and Odis also enhance employee engagement within the Great British Railways Transition Team, achieving a 70% positive engagement score and elevating DEI to a top category with an 83% rating in recent surveys. They contribute actively to the Youth Futures Foundation’s Employer Advisory Board, advocating for youth employment equity nationwide. 

Established in 2020, the Ethnicity & Multiculturalism (E&M) ERG at L’Oreal has rapidly evolved into a vibrant community, driving inclusivity and allyship initiatives. E&M has formed pivotal groups such as Black@L’Oreal, OneAsia, and LatinX, totaling 143 which fosters networking and support among diverse employees. Committed to attraction, retention, recognition, education, and allyship, E&M launches targeted programmes to nurture diverse talent, educate on inclusion issues, and promote solidarity across the organisation. Notable efforts include fundraising for the Stephen Lawrence Charity and supporting Ramadan observers with iftar boxes. Through collaboration with other ERGs, E&M ensures comprehensive inclusivity, striving to create an environment where all employees feel valued and empowered. 

Petrofac, committed to fostering diversity in the traditionally male-dominated energy sector, champions initiatives like SHINE (Supportive, Harmonious, and Inspirational Network for Excellence). With over 600 members globally, including a significant increase since its inception, SHINE promotes gender equality through mentoring, confidence-building sessions, and cultural showcases across regions like the UK, India, UAE, and Oman. Recognised for its impact, including an award from ECITB, SHINE continues to empower women by facilitating networking opportunities and supporting initiatives like the Menopause Sub-group, reflecting Petrofac’s dedication to creating an inclusive workplace. 

DEI Innovation Award

At ServiceNow, they’ve collaborated with customers and partners to tackle the talent challenge through their DEI Innovation initiative. The ServiceNow Next Gen Programme aims to make technology careers accessible to diverse groups, helping participants gain employment and thrive in the digital economy. By partnering with a range of tech employers, they tailor programmes to meet participants’ needs, improving their career opportunities. Their initiatives include academic programmes with universities, youth development and digital literacy programmes, and re-skilling initiatives for diverse groups such as veterans, mothers returning to work, and persons with disabilities. 

Birmingham Open Media (BOM) is a leading creative technology organisation focused on socially impactful immersive experiences. From its origins in children’s summer camps, BOM has grown into a vital community hub offering specialised programmes for neurodivergent individuals. Recognising the challenges neurodivergent people face in navigating crowded spaces, BOM developed the ‘Hidden Kingdom’ travel app. This innovative solution provides customised soundscapes and calming exercises tailored to users’ needs, ensuring a peaceful journey and empowering them to access BOM’s offerings with confidence.

News UK has pioneered innovative initiatives in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Since 2020, they have implemented a robust strategy aiming for a 50/50 gender split and 20% ethnic minority representation across all levels. Starting from 36% female and 9% ethnic minority representation, they have achieved 42% and 11%, respectively. Their efforts include launching 70 two-year apprenticeships, internships for unemployed youth, and collaborations with diversity recruitment specialists. News UK’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace not only strengthens their employer attractiveness but also drives innovation and creates new business opportunities. 

Equal Measures drives DEI innovation in the drinks industry by supporting marginalised and underrepresented individuals. Through educational courses, mentorship opportunities, and partnerships with organisations like The Drinks Trust and Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, they empower Black, Asian, and other minority ethnicities, as well as queer, gender queer, neurodivergent individuals facing systemic barriers. By challenging traditional hiring norms and collaborating with industry leaders, Equal Measures fosters inclusivity and awareness, ensuring all participants have the tools to thrive in their careers.

Media Zoo created a new initiative in Unconscious Bias training through combining a cinematic adventure player with a compelling film series. Based on a ‘choose your own adventure player’ game, learners were placed in the role of a developer who explores the challenge of bias in AI. The decisions leaners made through the game held a mirror up to their own unconscious biases, which they could unpack through personalised feedback. Using a blend of innovative resources with a focus on Empathy, Humility, and Bravery, Media Zoo designed a distinctive digital learning solution which aimed to set a new standard of innovation in DEI training. 

Inclusion and Diversity in Nuclear (IDN) started in 2019 as a LinkedIn group to promote inclusion in the UK nuclear industry. Recognising the need for a more diverse workforce, IDN expanded to organise events, share resources, and foster connections. Their first conference in 2019 was a success, becoming an annual event even during the pandemic. The upcoming 2024 conference, “Retain, Sustain, and Thrive: Harnessing Inclusion to Power Growth in the UK Nuclear Sector,” underscores their ongoing commitment to driving DEI innovation in the industry. 

The Third Culture, a leading organisation in fostering fearless and inclusive dialogues, is transforming the landscape of diversity and inclusion. Specialising in auditing and cultivating intentional spaces for DEI leaders, they provide invaluable insights and solutions across the media, sports, retail, and hospitality sectors. Their innovative approach goes beyond conventional practices, driving profound and sustainable transformations in workplaces.

DEI Rising Star

With nearly two decades at IKEA, including two years as ED&I Manager for IKEA UK&IE, Tanya has focused on driving organisational development through a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Her leadership emphasises purposeful communication, authenticity, and inclusive change management, spearheading initiatives like the “Equal Everyday” Strategy and diverse succession planning. Notable programmes include “Win-Win Mentorship” and “Rise Up,” which have significantly boosted career development and inclusivity at IKEA. Collaborating closely with internal and external partners, such as in IKEA’s refugee work placement programme, reflects Tanya’s dedication to driving sustainable societal change.

Eve is a dedicated DEI professional committed to driving positive change. As a manager in PwC’s DEI consulting practice, Eve specialises in developing and implementing impactful DEI strategies for clients across various sectors. Leading PwC UK’s Gender Balance Network, Eve has orchestrated significant advancements in gender equality initiatives, fostering collaboration and advocating for inclusive practices. Their contributions include pioneering the PwC DEI Maturity Model and developing the Inclusive Leadership Questionnaire, tools that have been pivotal in assessing and enhancing DEI practices globally. Through innovative programmes like the GenAI initiative, Eve strives to integrate cutting-edge technology into PwC’s DEI solutions. Their goal is to continue leading transformative initiatives that create inclusive workplaces and drive meaningful organisational change. 

Charlotte has been instrumental in advancing disability inclusion within Higher Education at Buckinghamshire New University (BNU). Their pioneering work includes developing BNU’s working diagnosis model, which shifts away from a medical to a needs-based approach, ensuring equitable access for disabled learners. Charlotte’s expertise extends to presenting at prestigious conferences like the AMOSSHE Leadership and Influence in Student Services, where they share insights on fostering cultural change and integrating student voices in disability inclusion initiatives. Their efforts have led to a notable increase in disability declarations at BNU, alongside sector-wide influence through initiatives like the Being You Network and international leadership sessions. 

Oluwatomi (Tomí) Lagùdà is a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the built environment. Throughout her career, she has developed pioneering programmes to empower marginalised youth in the construction sector through education and training initiatives, forging impactful partnerships along the way. Her contributions extend globally, collaborating on research projects supporting WHO initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa, addressing critical health and socio-economic challenges. At the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Tomi has swiftly advanced DEI efforts, organising influential events and leading groundbreaking research on demographic diversity within the profession. Her dedication and transformative impact establish her as a rising star in DEI advocacy, embodying the commitment to equity and inclusion in professional environments.

Sharna has made exceptional contributions in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) at Cadent, catalysing transformative impacts. Her willingness to learn and openness to vulnerability have fostered a culture of continuous growth. As a leader, Sharna has driven EDI to strategic priority status, influencing the Executive Team and achieving notable recognitions like Disability Confident Leader and Bronze Race Equality Matters Trailblazer. Her innovative policies and inclusive practices have reshaped Cadent’s culture, while her collaborative spirit has united teams and elevated our external reputation as an EDI leader. Sharna’s dedication and leadership position her as a rising star, driving profound cultural and organisational change at Cadent.

Jon Hering, Scholarships Lead at Blackbullion, spearheads initiatives to enhance access to education for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds through innovative corporate scholarship ecosystems in the UK. In just 18 months, Jon secured over £1.25 million in new funding opportunities from business clients, establishing impactful scholarship programmes like the UK’s inaugural National Scholarships Week. Jon’s efforts garnered industry recognition, including a Gold Award for Best Early Careers Solution at the In-House Recruitment Supplier Awards 2024. His work extends beyond financial aid, integrating mentorship, work experience, and diversity-focused opportunities, significantly impacting over 150 young scholars. Jon’s dedication to fostering diversity in education and business exemplifies his commitment to social mobility and community enrichment.

Inclusion in Sustainability Award Sponsored by Clyde and Co

SSP Group plc is committed to addressing their environmental and social impacts and driving positive change in the food travel sector. They focus on integrating sustainability into their global operations across 36 countries, aiming to unite stakeholders and catalyse action for a sustainable industry. Their strategic priorities include enhancing customer experiences, fostering employee engagement, and ensuring long-term growth, with clear commitments to promoting diversity, safety, and community support. SSP Group plc’s transparency and dedication are evident in their comprehensive Sustainability Summary Report, showcasing tangible progress and accountability towards their sustainability goals.  

Places for People are leaders in creating economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable communities across the UK. With a presence in the UK’s 25 most deprived areas, they are committed to addressing significant social challenges and reinvesting all profits into their mission of making a difference for people, places, and the planet. Their dedication to ESG principles is evident in their comprehensive strategy aimed at achieving a zero-carbon future and advancing social value work aligned with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Too Good To Go’s innovative app has emerged as the world’s largest marketplace for surplus food, helping to significantly reduce food waste and promote sustainability. In 2023, they saved over 121 million meals, reducing CO2 emissions, land use, and water consumption. Through initiatives like “Look–Smell–Taste,” which encourages people to trust their senses before discarding food, and educational outreach reaching over 7,000 schools, Too Good To Go is driving forward their vision for a more sustainable future. For more details, review their 2023 Impact Report. 

Verto Homes, a leader in sustainable housebuilding since 2010, prioritises innovation and community engagement. By focusing on creating zero carbon emission homes, integrating cutting-edge design and technology, and promoting resident wellbeing, Verto Homes sets a new standard in sustainable living. Dedicated to making a positive impact, they actively contribute to local communities in Southwest England through partnerships with local tradespeople, infrastructure projects, and sports team sponsorships, embodying their commitment to holistic sustainability and community development.

Triodos Bank leads in sustainable banking, leveraging financial resources for positive societal and environmental impact. They are not just a bank; they are a community committed to creating a better world. Beyond banking, Triodos fosters a community dedicated to enhancing global well-being through sustainable investments in projects and businesses. Join Triodos in promoting sustainability and social responsibility, empowering individuals and organisations to contribute to a sustainable future. 

DEI Thought Leader and Influencer Award

Amanda Whiteside is a distinguished leader and passionate advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Currently serving as the Global Vice President of Revenue Enablement at Freshworks, Amanda has nearly two decades of experience in senior leadership roles at organisations like Amazon Web Services. Her career highlights include founding the Women360 Employee Resource Group at Freshworks to promote gender diversity, and leading initiatives at Amazon to enhance employee experience through comprehensive DEI strategies. Amanda’s impactful leadership extends to her roles as Chairperson of Diversity Role Models and Trustee for Standing Together Against Domestic Abuse, where she continues to drive meaningful change and advocacy. 

Bamidele, serving as a CPD Officer, mentor, BAMU Staff representative, and Freedom to Speakup ambassador, embodies integrity, consistency, respect, and accountability. Her proactive leadership in promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives within her organisation and broader community distinguishes her as a thought leader and influencer in the DEI realm. By fostering collaborative efforts and championing underrepresented groups, Bamidele inspires collective action and drives meaningful dialogue and action on DEI issues. Her dedication to creating inclusive environments through innovative approaches positions her as a key advocate for equity and positive change. 

Martin, a thought leader and influencer in inclusive technology, founded Texthelp in 1996. They pioneered intelligent software to aid individuals with communication difficulties, expanding to enhance literacy for a billion people by 2030. Martin’s career has been dedicated to developing technology for disabilities and neurodiversity, recognised with awards like the Presidential Award from the International Dyslexia Association in 2017. They continue to advise on the Universal Design for Learning council, shaping accessibility standards globally. 

Flavilla Fongang is a leading figure in tech and marketing, renowned for her transformative impact. Through 3 Colours Rule, she has empowered over 5,600 businesses with innovative branding. As the founder of GTA Black Women in Tech, she supports over 22,000 women globally. Her initiatives, including “The Voices In The Shadow” book project and collaborations with UN Women, have reached 1 million viewers online, celebrating Black heritage and promoting inclusivity. With mentorship, Flavilla has influenced 153,000 professionals, enhancing tech employment rates globally. Her global influence as an economic leader underscores her commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in business. 

Lee, a thought leader and influencer, is a pioneering figure in the UK’s gender equity landscape. They are dedicated to empowering young boys in schools with positive masculinity while also leading campaigns for women’s rights, menopause advancement, and reducing violence against women and girls. Lee fearlessly engages in challenging conversations, advocating for inclusivity and allyship in workplaces and beyond. Their holistic approach and impactful initiatives exemplify their commitment to creating a more equitable society. 

Siobhan is a thought leader and influencer in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), known for her strategic impact at Element Materials Technology. With a foundation in organisational behaviour and psychology, complemented by specialised training from INSEAD and the Institute of Diversity Certification, they have designed and implemented comprehensive DEI strategies. Siobhan’s initiatives include global training programmes for 9,000 colleagues and fostering diverse representation in leadership, demonstrating a commitment to creating inclusive workplaces that drive innovation and performance. Their efforts not only enhance employer branding but also promote social equity and economic inclusion. 

Diverse & Inclusive Company Culture Award

They have actively fostered a diverse and inclusive company culture though initiatives focused on anti-racism, gender equality, and enhanced internal communications. Their efforts from September 2023 to February 2024 included launching internships with under-represented groups in collaboration with local charities, hosting workshops for autistic adults, and increasing diversity among writers. They also addressed gender equality through targeted workshops and analysed their gender pay gap. Additionally, they engaged in extensive outreach activities with schools and community organisations, while enhancing internal communication through new platforms and regular updates on equality, diversity, and inclusion progress.

United Colleges Group promotes a diverse and inclusive company culture through initiatives such as supporting LGBTQIA+ students with tailored curriculum materials and policies and implementing a comprehensive mental health and well-being strategy for staff. Their efforts, reflected in significant increases in ethnically diverse management and gender-balanced workforce, demonstrate a commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace environment through proactive EDI forums and continuous improvement in diversity metrics.

Funmi has been instrumental in fostering a diverse and inclusive culture at HSBC UK, leading groundbreaking initiatives that have significantly impacted the company. Their achievements include spearheading impactful events such as International Women’s Day celebrations, engaging ~ 500 colleagues, and organising innovative activities for Pride, Faith, and South Asian Heritage Months, reaching ~ 8,000 colleagues nationwide. Additionally, Funmi co-founded EmpowHER, a programme supporting black women in advancing their careers. They also collaborated on pioneering events during Black History Month, celebrating black women entrepreneurs and generating significant online engagement. Funmi’s leadership continues to inspire positive change and promote inclusivity within HSBC UK and beyond. 

Citi prioritises Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, by integrating global perspectives to advance both employee and community needs. Their initiatives include data-driven accountability among senior executives, ensuring diversity metrics are embedded in leadership evaluations. Additionally, their Global Allyship 365 initiative and unconscious bias training foster inclusive leadership, while flexible working options and inclusive hiring practices support a diverse workforce globally. These efforts are complemented by robust talent development programmes and a growing Inclusion Networks, contributing to a culture where everyone can thrive. 

At Pan Macmillan, they are dedicated to making books and reading accessible for all, focusing on three core initiatives: promoting literacy, fostering diversity and inclusion, and advancing environmental sustainability. Through their “Making a Difference” framework, they integrate these values into every aspect of their business, encouraging engagement through workshops and volunteer opportunities. They champion underrepresented voices in publishing, support employee networks like RISE and Pride, and ensure an inclusive workplace culture. Their commitment extends to mentoring aspiring authors, advocating equitable pay, and hosting events that celebrate diversity and empowerment across the industry. 

University of Law (ULaw) cultivates a diverse and inclusive company culture through various initiatives. They engage in programmes like the University Mental Health Charter and the Disabled Student Commitment, and support The Halo Code, which ensures the right to wear natural and protective hairstyles. ULaw collaborates with Powered by Diversity to offer an extensive EDI and cultural calendar, featuring events on topics such as Black History and Mental Health. Additionally, ULaw values the student voice through advisor schemes and active student representative groups across programme areas. Their partnerships with organisations like Stonewall and the Race Equality Charter further enhance their commitment to fostering a supportive environment for all.

Creative Diversity Campaign Sponsored by Warner Bros. Discovery

Dell Technologies and Intel, in collaboration with partners, have pioneered “I Will Always Be Me,” the world’s first voice banking book for individuals with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). This innovative project captures and preserves voices, transforming a solitary process into a vibrant experience that enhances inclusivity and supports those affected by MND. Through their commitment to technological innovation and social responsibility, Dell Technologies and Intel aim to empower individuals and advocate for disability inclusion. 

Dove celebrates 20 years of challenging beauty norms with its Campaign for Real Beauty, vowing to maintain authenticity by never using AI to depict women in ads. Their new ‘The Code’ campaign addresses AI’s influence on beauty standards, emphasising diversity and transparency. Despite progress, their 2024 global report reveals ongoing pressures and unrealistic ideals. Dove pledges to lead with transparency, introducing Real Beauty Prompt Guidelines for inclusive digital representation. Committed to breaking stereotypes and empowering women, Dove invites collaboration to redefine beauty standards together.

The “Me, My Autism and I” campaign by Vanish, created by Havas London, addresses the significant issue of underdiagnosis of autism in girls through a short film about Ash, a 15-year-old autistic girl. The film authentically portrays autistic traits and highlights Ash’s creative talents and warmth, promoting a deeper understanding of autism. Vanish’s commitment extends beyond awareness, emphasising the importance of consistent clothing for sensory regulation.  

Snag is a brand on a mission to create a safe, inclusive space for everybody, making clothes that actually fit instead of conforming to fashion norms. They celebrate individuality with their “Why The Snag Not?” campaign, challenging the fashion patriarchy and promoting authenticity. Snag’s community of over 2 million is passionate about their inclusive approach and sustainable practices, using vegan dyes, recycled materials, and a zero single-use plastic policy. Join them in embracing joyful resistance and wearing what makes you happy. 

Media Zoo’s Neurodiversity training programme offers a unique, immersive learning experience designed to create understanding and support for neurodivergent individuals, as well as support neurotypical individuals to build empathy through digital experience. Through innovative methods like storytelling, interactive modules, and gamification, the programme aims to build inclusive culture where everyone can have the right conversations and employees can thrive. It has significantly increased awareness and confidence among participants, paving the way for continued advancements in neurodiversity inclusion. 

The Absolut Group launched “Mix Your Neighborhood,” a campaign celebrating the uniqueness of Canadian communities through AI-developed cocktails. In collaboration with Ogilvy Canada, they engaged locals and bartenders to identify the essential attributes of each neighborhood. These elements were used as AI prompts to create cocktail artworks, which were then transformed into real recipes. This innovative initiative not only highlights diverse cultures but also fosters community connection. 

Social Impact & Community Engagement Award

Jon Hering, Scholarships Lead at Blackbullion, has been instrumental in revolutionising access to higher education for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in the UK. Over the past 18 months, Jon has facilitated the launch of over £1.25 million in new corporate scholarships, partnering with businesses like Nationwide and STACK Infrastructure to create opportunities that extend beyond financial support. His initiatives, including the inaugural National Scholarships Week and ongoing mentorship programmes, highlight his commitment to promoting diversity and social mobility across communities.

OnHand is a global platform enabling employees to volunteer conveniently and effectively. Partnering with leading UK charities, OnHand offers diverse opportunities including remote assistance and sustainability pledges with COe tracking. Dubbed the “Uber for volunteering,” it ensures accessibility and impact through its app, where users completed 1.2 million actions in 2023 alone, supporting causes from elderly care to environmental sustainability and diversity initiatives. 

Just Like Us, the charity for LGBT+ young people, ensures schools are safe and inclusive. They support pride groups, School Diversity Week, and 18-25 year old role models through resources and training. This Pride Month in June 2024, they’ve launched the 190 Challenge, inspired by research highlighting school challenges for LGBT+ youth. Supporters are invited to fundraise by running, cycling, or hiking 190km to transform school experiences.  

Rebecca Ajulu Bushell’s leadership at the 10,000 Interns Foundation has driven remarkable impact, creating over 7,500 internships and training opportunities for over 25,000 Black and Disabled applicants by 2023. Her entrepreneurial background, including founding Nyar K’Odero Group and academic achievements from the University of Oxford and UW-Madison, underscores her commitment to social change. Rebecca’s visionary leadership has made the foundation a beacon for equity and diversity in the workplace, setting new standards in fostering underrepresented talent and opportunity. 

SocialBox.Biz, a community interest company, refurbishes old corporate tech with open-source software to extend its lifespan and provide computers to disadvantaged individuals. Celebrating a decade of impact in 2024, they encourage businesses to donate old laptops to reduce emissions and support social initiatives, empowering underprivileged communities to access educational and professional opportunities through technology reuse.

Alicia Richardson, Founder and Podcast Host of Black Create Connect, TEDx Speaker, and DEI Consultant, brings over 7 years of experience in diverse hiring and employer branding across Creative, Tech, and Marketing industries. With a community exceeding 10K and features in BBC Radio 1 and The Drum, Alicia champions underrepresented talent and advocates for inclusivity and equity, inspiring others with her fearless career journey and innovative leadership. 

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