By Claire West

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) are proud to partner with Opportunity Now for the Directing Diverse Talent Award, one of eight awards at The Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Awards 2011. The ceremony celebrates outstanding examples of good practice, innovation and individual achievement of women in the workplace.

Entries are now open and any employer with a UK presence is eligible to enter. Experts will view the applications and score against a scale of good practice during January (closing date for entries: 7 January 2011). Organisations achieving the highest scores will be included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women list. Last year’s award was won by Jane James, Employment Regeneration Director, at MITIE for her commitment to inclusive management of talent.

These awards offer organisations an opportunity to shine by highlighting the ways in which they, as employers, support women and promote gender equality, diversity and inclusion. The submissions will include case study examples of specific programmes and achievements of individuals, which demonstrate the work the organisation is engaged in, to the benefit of women.

Dianah Worman, CIPD Diversity Advisor and an expert on the judging panel, says: “The Opportunity Now awards recognise significant achievement by employers in attracting and retaining diverse talent. We are delighted to sponsor the Directing Diverse Talent Award which we launched with Opportunity Now three years ago.

“The award recognises the contributions and achievements made by personnel professionals in helping the organisation they work for to introduce inclusive approaches to attract and develop talent from diverse groups normally disadvantaged in terms of employment and career development opportunities.

“I am looking forward to viewing the entries in 2011 and would encourage organisations that feel they are making good progress to take part in this important competition as a way of gaining recognition for their achievements.”

Award categories include:

•The Advancing Women in the Workplace Award

•The Agile Organisation Award

•The Champion Award

•The Directing Diverse Talent Award (in partnership with CIPD)

•The Diverse Women Award

•The Global Award

•The Inclusive Culture Award

•The Santander Award: Inspiring the Workforce of the Future