announces winners of its 2016 Top Employer Awards

0 has announced the winners of its seventh annual Top Employer Awards, celebrating the leading companies in gender diversity and flexible working.

The Awards, which took place in’s 10th anniversary year, were presented at a ceremony at London’s Soho Hotel on 1st November where the keynote speakers were MPs Jess Phillips and Flick Drummond, joint chairs of the all-party parliamentary group on women and work.

Winner of the Overall Top Employer Award, presented by headline sponsor You At Work, was Sky. It was praised by the judges for the strong evidence of its support for diversity, female career progression across the board and family friendly working which was backed up with strong evidence and case studies. Many women are already working within industries that cross borders, improving their career prospects with the help of new languages, expanding their reach internationally. If you are interested in learning more about language and career progression, you can click here to learn how Spanish can help you with your career.

Awards were presented for eight other categories:

The Top Employer Award for Innovation in Flexible Working, sponsored by M&G Investments, went to Vodafone in recognition of its pioneering global maternity policy which allows women to return from maternity leave on four days a week but get full pay for the first six months, easing them back into the workplace. Flexible working is an absolute necessity for mothers returning to work, and luckily we are seeing more and more recruitment agencies, for example, focusing on finding these kinds of roles for those who need them.

The Top Employer Award for Career Progression, sponsored by A.T. Kearney Ltd, went to Sky for its well thought through policies for identifying and promoting women, its ambitious targets, including 50/50 shortlists, which it was succeeding in working towards, its strong mentoring programmes and good evidence of success for its leadership programmes.

Incorporating strong mentoring programmes into companies can provide support aid for new and current employees, which can help them during their journey within the company. Something similar to these software use cases, ( provide high-potential employees with different mentoring programmes in order for the company to maintain employee retention. Keeping the best of the best onboard can help your company to succeed, and Sky has done just that.

The Top Employer Award for Best for Dads, sponsored by IG Group, went to Lloyds Banking Group for its broad range of policies supporting dads, from their Being a Dad course, their Family Matters Network and training and support for managers in how to support dads to including dads on pre and post maternity leave support calls and their agile working culture.

The Top Employer Award for Talent Attraction, sponsored by CA Technologies, went to Berwin Leighton Paisner for its flexible recruitment policies, which included being upfront about flexible working in job adverts and the firm’s pilot of home-based working in a sector not known for flexible working.

Winner of the Top Employer Award for Family Support, sponsored by Capability Jane, went to Carillion for the range of initiatives it offered to support families, including publications that promoted a changing culture, membership of Employers for Carers, family-related events and its star managers award which were an innovative way of recognising and rewarding good practice.

The Top Employer Award for SMEs with 1-25 employees, sponsored by Johnson Fleming, went to Cuttsy and Cuttsy for a strong, well rounded entry which was genuine and personal. The judges praised the company for its holistic approach to wellbeing at work and for the fact that all training and benefits were provided across the board, creating a culture of give and take.

The Top Employer Award for SMEs with over 26-250 employees, also sponsored by Johnson Fleming, went to Madgex for its work on female career progression, support for dads and a strong emphasis on flexible working and work life balance across the board.

The Working Mums Champion Award, sponsored by Nielsen, went to Jane Magill, Managing Director of Macquarie Group. The judges were impressed by the huge amount of sustained effort made by Jane and the significant impact she had had in promoting female career progression in her company and beyond. The testimonials to support that work were strong and she had touched a lot of people, making the case that gender diversity is for everyone.

The Award judges were: Gillian Nissim, founder of; Andy Lake, editor of; Jennifer Liston-Smith, Director, Head of Coaching & Consultancy at My Family Care; Dave Dunbar, Head of Digital Workplace at Nationwide Building Society; and Clare Kelliher, Professor of Work and Organisation at Cranfield School of Management.

The judges took part in a lively Q & A Panel, which was sponsored by Guidant Group. There was also a networking session, sponsored by Unilever, where winners and shortlisted entrants were able to swap ideas.

Gillian Nissim, Founder of, says: “When I started back in 2006 the aim was to link employers who were able to offer flexible working up with women who were looking for flexibility, whatever form that took. At the time it was quite a challenge to get employers on board, but over the last 10 years there has been more and more research promoting the benefits of flexible working for both employer and employee. The purpose of the Top Employer Awards is to spread best practice in family friendly working, from the recruitment stages to senior management, so that workplaces are more inclusive at every level, reflecting the world they exist in. We have seen a lot of progress over the years, with more and more sectors showing innovative practice. This year’s Awards are testament to how far we have come in the last decade.”

*A copy of the Best Practice Report based on the 2015 Top Employer Awards is available to request for free. The event also saw the launch of Workingmums’ Future of Work report, looking at challenges around flexibility, work life balance and diversity issues for the next 10 years. Look out for this on the’s site in the next few days.

For more information, contact Mandy Garner on 07789 106435 or email

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