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The Metropolitan Police received high praise for transforming workforce diversity from Trevor Phillips as he presented the employer with the overall award (public sector) at the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) awards last night.Phillips, the outgoing chair of the Equality & Human Rights Commission, said that the London police service had been in a very different place 20 years ago.“That the overall winner of the 2012 public sector ENEI award has gone from being in the worst place possible to transforming the organisation is inspiring,” he said. The Met scooped the prize for its “significant range of initiatives and activities in place to address diversity and equality challenges,” the judges said. It covered eight different programmes from across the service, including the Equip to Achieve programme, which has increased the level of black and minority ethnic staff in the ‘high potential pool’ from 7 per cent to 31 per cent.Commenting on the wide range of initiatives, the judges said: “It is clear that diversity is embedded into all their activities with very impressive results.”The Met also picked up the Representative Workforce Award for its “innovative schemes” to increase the number of women and BME staff.The overall award for the private sector went to Mitie for its Real Apprentice recruitment programme aimed at giving unemployed people from inner London an opportunity to train and pick up skills with the potential to get a job with the firm. The organisation also took home the Tapping into Talent award for this initiative.Cambridge University collected the Employee Engagement Award for its “robust” diversity networks, appointment of diversity champions and the inclusion of network representatives on governance and policy development bodies. Meanwhile, Santander picked up the Excellence in Training trophy.The Team of the Year prize went to NHS Employers for their Personal, Fair and Diverse Champions Campaign using social media to connect with a wide range of people and groups. Large employer of the year award went to the Land Registry, while art institution Tate was awarded small employer of the year, and the Environment Agency received the Employee Network Group of the Year prize.Individuals Maria Tonks, corporate diversity manager at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Natalie Bickford, HR director at Sodexo, were joint winners of the Equality and Inclusion Champion of the Year.
Denise Keating, ENEI chief executive, said: “These awards recognise the commitment of organisations to achieving diverse and inclusive workplaces and celebrates the teams and individuals who really are making a difference. We have been encouraged and moved by the steps these organisations have taken to promote equality and diversity and hope this will encourage other companies to follow their lead.”For the full list of award winners, highly commended entries and shortlisted employers visit the ENEI website: http://www.enei.org.uk/