By Andy Hirst

The deadline has just been extended by a week for diversity awards in Huddersfield due to high demand.

The Kirklees Diversity, Equality and Innovation Awards will recognise businesses, organisations and individuals, covering all aspects of diversity including age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, race and religion.

Dozens of nominations have come in and the organisers decided to extend the deadline by a week from July 1 to July 8 to give businesses and organisations who have expressed an interest in the awards time to get the final nominations in.

There is still also time for anyone to make a nomination and details on how to enter are at the end of the story.

The awards will be held on Wednesday, September 21, at Kirklees College and are organised by the Kirklees Diversity = Innovation Network, a diverse group of organisations committed to creating a culture of belonging in their workplaces.

They realise that a diverse and inclusive workforce often leads to enterprise and innovation and members include Cummins Turbo Technologies, Syngenta who are supporting the awards along with Kirklees College, Kirklees Active Leisure, Kirklees Council and Haddletons legal services.

A conference held on the same day as the awards will bring together businesses and organisations to explore how we can create more equal and inclusive opportunities in business and the community in Kirklees.

Topics will include effective leadership, attracting the best talent and how equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging improves productivity. 

The aim of both the conference and awards is to give people fresh inspiration, energy and ideas on how to make an impact on their own workplaces and communities.

Hugh Goulbourne, chair of the Kirklees Diversity = Innovation Network, said: “Numerous studies have shown that the most innovative and successful organisations are those that have a diverse pool of employees.

“Here in Kirklees we have people with a wide variety of views and backgrounds. We just need to find a way to break down barriers so we can bring this rich mix of ideas and talent together more effectively within our organisations. 

“The conference and awards will provide the opportunity for people in local organisations to learn how to create a workplace where everyone feels like they belong. It will also enable us to recognise the efforts of those who are already doing so much to break down racism, misogyny, unequal pay and other barriers for colleagues in their workplaces and in their community.”

The award categories are:

Diverse Business
An organisation that has demonstrated inclusive leadership and management which has attracted people from diverse backgrounds.

Inclusive Community Project
Recognising community groups that operate in an inclusive way by promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in their activities and a sense of belonging for the community they serve.

Public Service
Celebrating the stories of public service employees, teams and employee networks who are leading the way in promoting and delivering equality, diversity and inclusion while tackling discrimination among staff and Kirklees residents.

Best Diversity Innovation
A product, project or new way of working that has proved to be an outstanding innovation to promote, equality, diversity and inclusion – one that makes a positive difference to other people’s lives and wellbeing.

Inclusive Third Sector Organisation of the Year
This award recognises the exceptional work of Third Sector organisations including charities, voluntary and community organisations in the fields of equality, diversity and inclusion across Kirklees.

Diversity Champion of the Year
Recognising someone who has inspired others through their work on equality, diversity and inclusion or has actively tackled discrimination.

Outstanding Contribution to Inclusion and Diversity
This award honours an individual, organisation or enterprise that has made lasting and significant contributions to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion.

To enter, visit the event website and complete an online entry form. The final deadline for entries is now Friday, July 8 at 5pm.  

For further information contact Katie Isaacson

* Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting. Copyright Andy Hirst.