MORE than 300 guests gathered to celebrate the companies, organisations and individuals who put equality and diversity at the heart of their actions.

The Diversity Awards was organised by The Herald and GenAnalytics at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow to credit those who work to make a real difference to their communities and businesses.

Now in their second year, the awards were supported by City of Glasgow College, Diageo, Taylor Wimpey, MacRoberts LLP, Glasgow Life, Solutions Driven, Skills Development Scotland, Royal Mail, ScottishPower, Standard Life Aberdeen, Wheatley Group, YSC, BAE Systems and SQA.

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With over 80 entries received in total, the judges had a difficult task on their hands to pick the winners and finalists, and as a result one category had not one, but two winners on the night.

Both Celtic FC Foundation and I Am Me Scotland won the Best Community Project, sponsored by YSC. Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive officer of Virgin Money, picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by MacRoberts LLP.

Katy Wedderburn, partner from MacRoberts, said: “The awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the outstanding achievements of companies and individuals working to promote and achieve a more diverse society and workplace.”

Ed Cochrane, director of YSC Scotland, said: “We’d like to once again like to extend our congratulations to our category award winner and finalists.

“This year’s Diversity Awards have been an outstanding success and we are proud to have sponsored the event.”

Catriona Mackie, HR director at Diageo, Global Supply, said: “Diversity is an important area of focus for us as a business and we know that greater diversity drives better performance and decision making.” Kerry Christie, chief people officer at Standard Life Aberdeen PLC, said: “Congratulations to all the winners and finalists at this year’s Diversity awards – it was a real showcase of good practice and commitment from across all sectors.”

Audrey Ross, sales and marketing director for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, said: “This year’s winners have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to delivering diversity and inclusion within their business, and the awards have provided us all with a valuable insight into the opportunities that exist for every business regardless of their size.”

Sarah McNulty, HR operations director at Scottish Power, said: “Inclusion and diversity leads to better decision making and drives innovation.”

Lorraine McLaren, director at Wheatley Foundation, said: “We are proud to have played a part in this and our warmest congratulations go to the winners.”

Gemma Webb, head of culture, change and values at Royal Mail, said: “Royal Mail congratulate all the finalists and winners this evening. We enjoyed celebrating with you all.”

Douglas Morrison, head of STEM and innovation at City of Glasgow College, said: “The hard work, creativity and determination of individuals engaged in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is testament to the work that is happening across Scotland.”

Steve Borley, head of strategic planning and governance at SQA, said: “I’d like to congratulate all the finalists and in particular the category winner, Clydesdale Community Initiatives on their success.”

Jill Miller, director of cultural services at Glasgow Life, said: “I would like to congratulate all of last night’s thoroughly deserving finalists and winners – particularly Women 50:50 – whose energy and dedication is what continues to fuel Scotland’s success.”

For more information, contact Kerry Medford on 0141 302 7407 or Kerry.medford@newsquest.co.uk

Full coverage from the event can be found online HERE