Awards recognise top employers for equality in the workplace

KPMG has received national recognition for its efforts in progressing women in the workplace.

The global network of professional services firms picked up two accolades at the Opportunity Now Awards, which celebrates organisations working towards inclusive workplaces.

Not only did the company receive the 'agile organisation' award for its commitment to flexible working, it also took home the 'champion award' for its partner and board member Melanie Richards.

PwC, meanwhile, won the 'advancing women in the workplace' award for its female partner sponsorship programme, which provides senior women with personal development plans and support from executive board members.

Sheena Wilson, global head of talent strategy at BNY Mellon, earned the 'directing diverse talent' award work "to ensure no women's ambition to be a leader is impeded in any way by her gender".

A total of eight UK organisations were recognised for championing women in the workplace, including Astra Zenica, BAE Systems, Genesis Housing Association and State Street

"The appetite for accelerating change towards a better gender balance at all levels of a company has never been greater," said Helena Morrissey, chair of Opportunity Now.

"Achieving this is proving much harder, however. Change needs to be driven by business leaders and embedded into everyday practices, rather than being solely the presence of HR teams or viewed as an add-on that aims to 'fix' the women."

Opportunity Now has also teamed up with The Times to publish a 'Top 50 Employers for Women' list, with entries marked against a framework of best practice and assessed anonymously by a team of gender diversity experts.

UK employers from a wide range of sectors, such as Ernst & Young, Google, HM Revenue & Customs, Marks & Spencer and Unilever, feature on the alphabetical list.

Opportunity now said all organisations in the Top 50 "demonstrate that gender equality is an integral part of their business strategy, with consistent commitment to progressing women in the workplace that covers their entire organisation, not just isolated areas".

Copyright Press Association 2013