Allstate NI is first company in UK & Ireland to earn Gold Diversity Mark

Allstate NI's vice president and managing director Dr Stephen McKeown, senior manager Lesley Miller (second left) and IDE Manager Susan Walker (right) receive the Gold Diversity Mark from Diversity Mark director Nuala Murphy. Picture: Kelvin Boyes/PressEye

TECHNOLOGY giant Allstate NI has created its own piece of history by becoming the first company in the UK or Ireland to be awarded the Gold Diversity Mark in recognition of its inclusive and diverse workplace.

The independent assessment panel of Diversity Mark commended Allstate NI as a “leader and exemplar” as it issued its first Gold accreditation.

In 2020, Allstate NI - which employs more than 2,000 people across the north - became the first local employer to receive the Silver Diversity Mark.

And now a review of its progress against the Gold accreditation criteria found it continues to move towards lasting change on gender diversity, age diversity, LGBTQ+ representation and inclusion, and age and racial equality, representing its commitment to creating an environment where all employees can feel at home.

Allstate NI’s key achievements in these areas include:

• 10 per cent growth in female leadership in the last four years, with initiatives to attract and retain women.

• Equal opportunity for progression and mobility regardless of age, with employees ranging from ages 18 to 70.

• Defined metrics to track LGBTQ+ diversity as measured against the Stonewall 2021 Workplace Equality Index (in February it achieved a Gold Stonewall award for commitment to inclusion of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people).

• On disability inclusion, it implemented physical services like ergonomic assessments for specialist equipment and practices to encourage employees to self-identify as living with a disability. It is establishing a disability employee impact group to complement existing groups, which include mental health first aid and the AuSome group, for company-wide awareness of autism.

• Allstate NI was recognised for supporting racial equality and equality of opportunity, experience and pay, by tracking its ethnicity data, creating an ethnicity support group, and reviewing all policies and processes for equity.

Diversity Mark was established in 2016 and assesses company commitment to diversity and inclusion across Northern Ireland, the Republic and Britain. All registered organisations join at the bronze level and earn higher recognition based on their inclusive diversity achievements.

Allstate NI's recently-appointed vice president and managing director Dr Stephen McKeown said: “This award is a testament to the hard work of our teams. It’s the employee-led initiatives that make Allstate NI an inclusive workplace for all.”

Diversity Mark director Nuala Murphy said: “We're delighted to have awarded the first Gold Diversity Mark to Allstate NI. A huge congratulations to the team for their continued investment in developing a truly diverse and inclusive workforce.

“As one of the largest employers in Northern Ireland, they are without doubt a leader and exemplar and we are continually impressed by their commitment to encouraging high standards right across the wider business community.”