Philip Bourchier O’Ferrall, Senior Vice President of media giant Viacom, scooped a top award at the prestigious Heathrow-sponsored European Diversity Awards in London tonight (29 November 2016).

Bourchier O’Ferrall is one of the most senior gay executives in global broadcasting and was named Diversity Champion of the Year for his work in promoting equality and diversity in the mainstream media. He has responsibility for Channel 5, MTV and Nickelodeon at Viacom.

Established in 2010, the European Diversity Awards celebrate people and organisations with a track record in promoting equality and diversity and are judged by an expert panel led by Baroness Doreen Lawrence, equalities campaigner Linda Riley and former Member of the European Parliament, Lord Michael Cashman.

The awards also saw recognition for a number corporate giants and business leaders.

Accenture was named Company of the Year with the judging panel praising Accenture’s ‘outstanding commitment’ to actively employing a diverse workforce and for ‘infusing diversity throughout every strand of the business’.

Technology giant Intel won the Diversity and Inclusion Project of the Year award and Deloitte’s ‘Multi-Cultural Network’ was recognised with the most Outstanding Employee Network Group accolade.

Special recognition was also given to the Royal Air Force who secured the Diversity Team of the Year honour.

Pamela Hutchinson, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Bloomberg, was credited with the Head of Diversity of Year award. Hutchinson has implemented the firm’s diversity agenda throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Prominent broadcaster and BBC Songs of Praise presenter, Vicky Beeching, won the Inspirational Role Model of the Year award. Beeching, who describes herself as a ‘gay Christian’, is one of the UK’s leading campaigners on LGBT issues.

New Watchdog presenter, Nikki Fox, won the Journalist of the Year award. Fox was born with muscular dystrophy and has used her profile to raise awareness of disability issues. Last year she presented a major documentary and won critical acclaim for her documentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, ‘Beyond Disability: The Adventures of a Blue Badger’.

There was special recognition for disability campaigner Jonathan Andrews who has been a leading advocate for people with autism.  He won the Campaigner of the Year Award which recognises an individual’s commitment to a particular cause.

Charities and community organisations were also presented with awards.

Linda Riley, who founded the European Diversity Awards, paid tribute to the winners:

“All of the European Diversity Award winners should rightly feel proud because in their own way they have contributed to making Europe a more tolerant, diverse and just society. And in the year of Brexit, with all the uncertainty about the future that brings, these awards are more important than ever.”

Awards host Sophie Ward said:

“It was a privilege to present the awards to so many deserving individuals.

The European Diversity Awards recognise excellence in the areas of gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, race, culture and religion across Europe.

They are unique in recognising all aspects of diversity across the whole of Europe and celebrate the best across both the corporate and campaigning aspects of diversity.”

Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.