On 19th November it was the inaugural Inclusive Networks Awards at Band on the Wall, Manchester. With well over 400 nominations and 16 awards up for grabs, the event was set to be a success from the beginning.
The awards celebrated those who work tirelessly (and often voluntarily) to create and develop networks. My favourite thing about the event was that every single attendee was doing their bit to contribute towards equality and a more inclusive society.
Even the venue was socially driven:
“Band on the Wall is a not-for-profit venue run by registered charity Inner City Music. We exist to present the best music from around the world and support our main stage events with a dynamic education programme which operates throughout the year – both in the venue and in the community and at local schools.” (Band on the Wall, 2015)
The awards ranged from “Employee Gender Network of the Year” to “Inter-Sector Network of the Year” and “Collaboration of the Year”.
It was great to see so many corporate companies supporting networks. It is encouraging that organisations from the Third Sector to the Armed Forces are recognising and actually investing in being more inclusive. Sponsors for the Inclusive Networks Awards included PayPal, Fujitsu, Ernst & Young, Barefoot Wine, Tuk In, We are the City, Contracts, Girls Out Loud, Diversity Jobs, Action for Children, Inclusive Employers, Manchester Pride and Canal St.
The awards brought passionate individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and industries together. Inclusive Networks achieved an audience that was a true reflection of society, almost every group was represented. Which unfortunately is a rarity- for now. It was inspiring to see so many people who are working incredibly hard to improve the world we live in.
I have been writing blogs for IN for just over a year now and I am thrilled to see how many people have got involved. Inclusive Networks have more events and projects in the pipeline, so get involved and support them in making workplaces, communities and society more inclusive.