An innovative North East college has been recognised for its outstanding work in encouraging diversity and equality in its organisation and the local community.
Gateshead College has been shortlisted for the Diverse Company Award in this year’s National Diversity Awards, which take place on September 8 at the stunning Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool.
Charities and role models from across the UK will gather at the event – dubbed the UK’s largest celebration of diversity – to showcase and celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have demonstrated their devotion to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in society.
More than 22,000 nominations and votes were received this year, and Gateshead College will now compete against other organisations from around the country for a coveted award.
The college was commended for setting out strong equality and diversity policies that are communicated clearly to staff, students and other key partners in the community. Well-defined recruitment procedures are in place to encourage a diverse pool of talent at the organisation, while the principles of equality and diversity are also woven into its learning programmes.
The college has also been commended by Ofsted for its “highly inclusive ethos” and has signed up to several initiatives – including Equality Standard Gold and Disability Confident Employer – that embed diversity into college practices and in the wider community.
Judith Doyle, principal and CEO of Gateshead College, said: “We’re delighted to be shortlisted for this prestigious award, which reflects our ongoing commitment to equality and diversity. We provide staff with appropriate training to develop their skills and knowledge so that they can help students engage, promote and embed these important principles in everything we do.
“It is critical that we provide a safe place for dialogue and positive collaboration to equip young people with essential skills, knowledge, understanding and awareness of equality and diversity. This will enable them to explore, understand and celebrate difference and develop critical thinking skills that will help them, not just in their careers, but also through life.”
The National Diversity Awards provides recognition for excellence regardless of race, faith, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability and culture. Designed to highlight the country's most inspirational and selfless people, the awards are supported by many high-profile stars including Stephen Fry, Adam Hills, Sir Lenny Henry and television presenter Graham Norton.
Graham Norton said: “Promoting and celebrating diversity is close to my heart which is why I am thrilled to support The National Diversity Awards! I want to wish all of this year’s shortlisted nominees the best of luck for the ceremony; you all deserve to win!”
Paul Sesay, founder and CEO of The National Diversity Awards, said: “I am so proud to be able to witness the journeys of some of the most inspiring role models this country has to offer. Each year I am overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of nominations, and those shortlisted should know how privileged I am to share your stories with the nation. You are all winners and I can’t wait to meet you at the ceremony.”