Judges work through record entry list to choose WEA finalists
FROM a record-breaking entry of more than 150 submissions, judges have come up with their finalists in this year's Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards.
And more than 60 companies - some previous winners, others first-time entrants - are on an impressive short-list, which is published in full on pages 42 & 43 and at www.irishnews.com/wea
Irish News business editor Gary McDonald chaired a marathon judging session, where he was joined by representatives of five of our premium business partners.
The panel included Orlagh O'Neill, partner and head of employment at Carson McDowell; Page McLaughlin, global marketing director at Options Technology; Alistair Stewart, head of public engagement at Queen's University Belfast; Liz Toner, vice-president of global talent at First Derivative; and Paul Mellon, lecturer in business analysis and technology at Ulster University Business School.
A feature of this year's awards - which come after two years of Covid-enforced postponement - is that more than 20 companies/organisations were new to the Irish News initiative, having not been involved in any of our previous awards stretching back to 2007.
The winners will be revealed at a gala black-tie dinner in Titanic Belfast on Thursday June 30, hosted by award-winning comedian Neil Delamere.
The judges commented favourably on the exceptional quality of the award submissions, where applicants remain unerringly determined to stand out and benchmark themselves against their peers.
"We were overwhelmed not just by the sheer numbers, but by the exceptional quality of the entries this year," Gary McDonald said.
"The standard was impeccable, and every single winner will have thoroughly earned the right to step up to the podium at the end of next month," he added.
Irish News group marketing and communications manager Annette Small said: "We're delighted that, even after a two-year break, our Workplace & Employment Awards continue to stand out as one that organisations really want to win.
"It is a really positive reflection on the how important people are in terms of providing a company with the edge in today's highly competitive environment."