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The search for Europe’s most deserving diversity champions is underway after the Google and Barclays sponsored European Diversity Awards were launched in Madrid this week.
The glitzy gathering at Google’s Spanish HQ saw business leaders, media professionals and figures from cultural and charitable organisations come 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 award winners have included Baroness Doreen Lawrence, the mother of Stephen Lawrence, who campaigns against race hate crimes, and ex-Rugby international Ben Cohen who set up the Standup Foundation to combat homophobic bullying. Last year, the Amy Winehouse Foundation secured the Charity of the Year accolade and French politician Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin won the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award for a long career championing equality issues in France.
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.
“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.
“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.
Image: Left to right: Sarah Garrett, MD Square Peg Media, Curt Hess CEO Barclays, Linda Riley Founder, European Diversity Awards, Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe and Nathalie-Sophie Picquot from Google.