The search for European employers who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and equality in the workplace is underway.
The 2014 European Diversity Awards was launched at Google’s HQ in Madrid this week and saw business leaders and  European HR managers gather together to mark the start of the nominations process.
Now in their fourth year, the European Diversity Awards recognise the work of people, organisations and businesses that have made a positive impact on improving the lives of others by promoting equality and diversity across the continent.
Previous winners have included Antonio Simoes, Head of UK Banking at HSBC and Swiss Re’s Jean-Jacques Henchoz. Ernst & Young have also previously been rewarded for supporting staff with disabilities.
The launch saw a number corporate giants in attendance.  Barclays, Santander, Herbert Smith Freehills and Societe Generale were all represented and were praised by awards founder Linda Riley for  their approach to diversity issues from the boardroom down.
Riley said: “It is wonderful that so many people, especially leaders from business and industry from right across Europe joined us at the launch.  Their attendance demonstrates that diversity has moved up the agenda to become a a very important and strategic issue for many companies.”
“These awards are about rewarding those who really stand out. There has already been a huge mouth of interest following last nights launch. I am confident that the awards ceremony later this year will be the biggest yet.”
The 2014 awards ceremony will take place at London’s Natural History Museum in October and will again be hosted by BBC newsreader Jane Hill who is urging public participation.
Hill said: “The European Diversity Awards recognise the efforts of people and organisations who are building a society across Europe which embraces all citizens – irrespective of race, gender, physical or psychological abilities, sexual orientation, age, or religious belief. The awards provide an important opportunity to highlight some of the excellent work that is being done to make a lasting difference.”
Nominations can now be submitted online at www.europeandiversityawards.com. Self nominations are permitted and entries on behalf of other individuals, groups and organisations are positively encouraged by organisers.