The Royal Air Force has been recognised as leading the way on the inclusion and progress of women in the workplace by winning the Nationwide Inspiring the Workforce of the Future Award at the Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Awards 2014, sponsored by Nationwide Building Society. Opportunity Now is the workplace gender campaign from Business in the Community.
The Awards, which take place during Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Week, recognise public and private sector organisations that have put gender at the heart of their business and are committed to creating inclusive workplaces for women at all levels. An audience of over 500 senior business leaders gathered last night at The Brewery in the City of London to celebrate and recognise best practice in gender equality and diversity in the workplace.
Alongside their win, the Royal Air Force has received a Business in the Community Big Tick. The Big Tick is awarded to organisations who demonstrate significant achievements in their responsible business programme to celebrate and profile their responsible business success. It is recognised as a leading endorsement of responsible business and organisations can use it to showcase their achievements and raise their profile with customers, suppliers, employers, investors and the media.
The Royal Air Force has also been named today as one of The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2014, which lists the organisations that are leading on workplace gender equality. All organisations within the Top 50 have demonstrated that gender equality is a key part of their business strategy, with consistent commitment to progressing women in the workplace that covers their entire organisation, not just isolated areas.
Air Marshal Baz North, Air Member for Personnel & Capability, said:
“What a pleasure to see the exceptional effort of our dedicated and outstandingly professional team from across the Royal Air Force recognised by this award. To see the product of our collective investment rewarded in this fashion is a credit to those who have championed gender and equality over the last two decades. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are at the heart of our art; equality and diversity are the watchwords of our culture”
Kathryn Nawrockyi, Director of Opportunity Now, said:
“Congratulations to the Royal Air Force on winning the Nationwide Inspiring the Workforce of the Future Award at the Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Awards 2014, and on being included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2014. The standard of entries was incredibly high once again, and they should be hugely proud of their success. They are a great example of strong leadership; of how putting gender equality at the core of a business can create real, sustainable change for women, organisations and society as a whole. I hope other employers will be inspired by their work and use it to accelerate progress for women in their workforce.”
Tony Prestedge, Chief Operating Officer at Nationwide Building Society and Opportunity Now Board member, said:
“Nationwide would like to congratulate the Royal Air Force. These awards were hotly contested as gender diversity is increasingly put at the forefront of business agendas. To shine through such strong competition is a testament to the work they are doing. While there is still a long way to go until true equality is a reality, their achievement will act as a siren for others to follow.”
The evening was presented by journalist and broadcaster Alice Arnold, and featured a panel discussion of Opportunity Now’s ground-breaking Project 28-40 report with Helena Morrissey CBE, CEO of Newton Investment Management and Chair of Opportunity Now, Kevin Ellis, Managing Partner, PwC and Lynne Peacock, Non Executive Director, Nationwide. Guests also heard from Mary Macleod MP, who presented the Transparency Award, and were welcomed by Kathryn Nawrockyi, Director of Opportunity Now, with closing remarks from Stephen Howard, Chief Executive of Business in the Community.
A full list of the winners and shortlisted organisations is available via the Opportunity Now website.
The Royal Aeronautical Society’s Women in Aviation & Aerospace Committee (WAAC) was established in 2009 to encourage more youngwomen to consider aviation and aerospace as a worthwhile and exciting career. It also exists to provide support for women already working in all sectors of aviation and aerospace.
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