The UK’s 50 most inclusive employers have been revealed. Announced at the prestigious 2023 Inclusive Awards on Tuesday December 5 the 2023 Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers Index (IT50 List) ranks businesses which have shown consistency in encompassing all types of diversity throughout their whole organisation. Compiled by Inclusive Companies and now in its eighth year, the IT50 List is the definitive cross-industry index harnessing both innovation and best practice in a bid to achieve inclusion for all.
Judging is undertaken by an independent advisory panel of D&I experts who review and analyse every single submission.
“The organisations which have chosen to participate submit a huge amount of evidence in respect of their inclusive practices, covering a wide range of areas and topics,” says Paul Sesay (pictured above) Founder and CEO of Inclusive Companies. “The panel has the task of looking at all areas of diversity, including age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ+ and religion before determining which organisations make the Top 50 and where they rank on the list.”
Notably this year, West Midlands Fire Service has placed at number one for the second year running. This is no mean feat as Paul explains. “It’s very difficult to keep the top spot because to maintain that position employers must keep on innovating, progressing their inclusion agenda and showing evidence of this. West Midlands Fire Service has done exceptionally well to stay at Number 1 and this shows that D&I is part of their day-to-day commitment to their organisation.”
Each year, the entries to the IT50 start from a level playing field with respect to what they have achieved in the set year – there is no ‘carry over’ from previous years. Those who have done well in previous years must show their progress and evidence of improvements year-on-year. This is why West Midlands Fire Service is so impressive in retaining its number one position.
- This year’s second placed employer, UK Power Networks, has made significant progress from its sixth position last year.
- Meanwhile, Touchstone, last year’s third ranked employer, has done well to retain its position this year.
The IT50 List exists with a very firm aim of encouraging employers to return each year to gain a higher ranking. Detailed feedback is given to all entrants and by taking this on board their aim is to improve further and rise through the ranking year-on-year.
This approach is clearly working as 40 of the organisations which made the Top 50 in 2020 also appear in 2023. Furthermore, five of the top seven this year were in the Top 10 in 2022 showing they are continuing their progression and achievements.
Among those improving their positions by acting upon the advice they have received are:
- Money Supermarket moving from 33 on the list in 2022 to number five this year
- Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust going from 32 to 10
- Talk Talk making a similar jump from 27 to nine this year
Of the 10 new entrants to the Top 50, Mott MacDonald posted an impressive first time ranking of 6th. “It is fantastic to see Mott MacDonald rank so highly on their first attempt,” says Paul. “We do see this when organisations have been doing great work but, for whatever reason, haven’t put themselves forward for the IT50.
The other nine new entrants are: Kellanova (13); Which? (16); Kent Police (28); Emcor (37); NATS (44); Sytner Group (45); Jardine Motors (47); Cumbria Police (48) and Principality Building Society (49).
“I would urge organisations who are proud of their EDI programmes to enter the IT50 so they can benchmark how well they’re doing against others, receive expert feedback on the impact of their work and see what they could do next,” explains Paul. “All entrants receive an invaluable, independent view on the effectiveness of their programmes and practices and this is as important, if not more so, than where they rank.”
Private vs Public Sector & the rise of FTSE100 organisations
Last year, Paul called for more private organisations to put themselves forward, speculating that the larger amount of public sector organisations submitting their information was due to their workforce demographics, the likely wider and more diverse audiences they serve and their level of public accountability. This year, the balance has tipped in favour of the private sector which accounted for 59.6% of all submissions. Paul also wanted 2023 to see more from FTSE100 organisations and this year’s IT50 shows them account for 8% of the Top 50 compared to 5% last year.
The depth and manner of assessment which results in the IT50 List requires organisations to show consistent and sustainable activity. “Our judging panel is looking for cultural change rather than the ‘peaks and troughs’ often seen by well-meaning organisations whose EDI activities are actions are in response to national or world events making the news,” says Paul. “Inclusive Companies works to help organisations create cultural transformation to ensure diversity and inclusion are embedded into everything they practice and the IT50 recognises those employers who are getting this right.”
The Top 10 inclusive employers in 2023 are as follows: you can see the full IT50 list here www.inclusivecompanies.co.uk/inclusivetop50/2023rankings
- West Midlands Fire Service
- UK Power Networks
- Touchstone Support
- Hastings Direct
- Money Supermarket Group
- Mott MacDonald
- Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
To speak to Paul Sesay and/or any of the businesses included in this list, contact: email@example.com / 07787 533143