Top Employer Awards 9th annual Top Employer Awards celebrate best practice in smart working and advancing women in the workplace.      

The Awards recognise employers both big and small who have embraced the business benefits of flexible working and have been proactive in seeking to recruit and retain talented staff, particularly working parents who want to combine successful careers with being a parent.

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Top Employer Awards, flexible working

Open for entries 8th April 2019


2018 Categories

Overall Top Employer Award
The winners of each category will be put forward for The Overall Top Employer Award, which is for employers who can demonstrate commitment to a range of policies and practices related to family support, women’s career progression and flexible working. More>>

Winner: FDM Group

Innovation in Flexible Working Award – sponsored by McDonald’s
To be eligible for the Innovation Award, employers should demonstrate policies which are innovative and break new ground. More>>

Winner: Civil Service HR

Career Progression Award – sponsored by A.T. Kearney
To be eligible for the career progression award employers should demonstrate initiatives aimed at developing women’s leadership potential, including women’s networks, mentoring initiatives and return to work programmes. More>>

Winner: FDM Group

Best for Recruitment & Talent Attraction Award – Sponsored by CA Technologies
To be eligible to apply for the Talent Attraction Award, organisations should demonstrate that their recruitment process openly promotes flexible working. More>>

Winner: Roche

Family Support Award  – Sponsored by Virgin Atlantic
To be eligible to apply for the Family Support Award, employers should demonstrate policies and practices which aim to make it easier to balance work and family life. More>>

Winner: Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure

Best for Returners Award – sponsored by the Government Equalities Office
To be eligible to apply for the Best for returners Award, organisations will need to demonstrate they have stand-out programmes or initiatives aimed at returners – those who have taken a career break and are looking to get back into the workplace. More>>

Winner: UBS

SME Award  – sponsored by L&Q
To be eligible for the SME award, organisations should be able to demonstrate a real commitment to work life balance practices. More>>

Winner: Radioactive PR

The Working Mums Champion Award – sponsored by M&G
This Award is for stand-out men or women whose efforts have made a big difference to working mums in their workplace. More>>

Winner: Julianne Miles, Women Returners


Top Employer Awards, flexible working

Top Employer Awards, smart working

Top employer awards, smart working

M&G Investments Top Employer

A T Kearney

Government & Equalities Ofdfice


L&Q Top Employer

Virgin Atlantic

Gavin ShukerGavin Shuker is the Labour and Cooperative MP for Luton South.

First elected as MP in May 2010, Gavin is a born-and-bred Lutonian.

After serving as PPS to Sadiq Khan, Shadow Justice Secretary, Gavin was appointed to the shadow DEFRA frontbench team in March 2011, as Shadow Minister for the Natural Environment. In October 2013, Gavin was appointed Shadow International Development Minister in the DFID team with responsibility for policy on Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Gavin served in this position until September 2015.

Gavin chairs the Labour Transport Group, the Labour Southern Group and is Chair of the APPG on Prostitution, and Co-Chair of the APPG on Freedom of Religion and Belief. Gavin also acts as Chair of the Parliamentary Cooperative Party, made up of 38 MPs and 17 peers working to promote the mutual agenda at Westminster. Gavin serves as Vice-Chair of the Polar Regions All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), Vice-Chair of the Christians in Parliament APPG, and Vice-Chair of the Thameslink Route APPG.

Gavin is a member of the Women and Equalities Committee, which published a report on fathers in the workplace earlier this year.

Previous years’ Keynote speakers include:

  • 2017 – Anne Francke – CEO at CMI
  • 2016 – Flick Drummond (MP for Portsmouth South) & Jess Phillips (MP for Birmingham Yardley) co-chairs of the all-party parliamentary group on women and work
  • 2015 – Eva Tutchell & John Redmond, Authors of ‘Man-Made: why so few women are in positions of power’
  • 2014 – Wendy Hallett, MBE, founder and managing director of Hallett Retail and a member of the Women’s Business Council
  • 2013 – Jo Swinson, former Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs and former Minister for Women and Equalities.

Gillian Nissim


Gillian NissimA former Senior Communications Executive, Gillian has worked at a number of different organisations with very different cultures and attitudes towards family friendly working policies. After the birth of her second child she decided to set up her own company to cater for the businesses who did appreciate the vast experience and high calibre of professionals who had become mums, and wanted to find challenging and interesting jobs that offered more flexibility than traditional office-based, Monday – Friday, 9:00 – 5:00 jobs.

A graduate of Birmingham University, Gillian launched in 2006, which is now the number one job and community site for professional working mothers.

Andy Lake


Andy Lake is a specialist in Smart and Flexible Working.

He is the author of Smart Flexibility (Gower Publishing) and several other publications.

Andy is currently the advisor to the Cabinet Office in this field and has written the guidelines for the Civil Service – The Way We Work: A Guide to Smart Working in Government.


Jennifer Liston-Smith

Director, Head of Coaching & Consultancy at My Family Care 

Jennifer is a sought-after consultant on employer family-friendly strategies, speaker, writer, leadership coach and coaching supervisor. As an innovator in the field of maternity and paternity coaching, she built and leads Work+Family Coaching, My Family Care’s Coaching and Consultancy business, supporting leading global clients to develop manager capability, coaching and mentoring schemes and family-friendly strategies. MFC provides a wide range of services to employers from consultancy and coaching, online portals and programmes including the Work+Family Space and Parental Leave Toolkit / Parental Leave Toolkit for Managers through to award-winning Backup Dependant Care / Emergency Childcare Service.


David Dunbar

Head of Digital Workspace at the Department of Work and Pensions 

David former roles include heading BT’s Flexible Working Services division, which offered a range of managed services around agile working, as well as owning BT’s own internal flexible working programme across 22 countries. He was also Head of Digital Workplace at Nationwide Building Society,  responsible for introducing innovative environments and culture change, by bringing together HR, Property and IT to drive change across the organisation. In addition he has delivered consultancy around Digital Workplace, Dynamic Working and Workplace Transformation to public and private sector organisations of all shapes and size.
He is currently the Head of Digital Workspace at the Department of Work and Pensions, the UK’s largest public sector department, where he is responsible for the infrastructure to support new ways of working, for modernising the tools, desktop, and mobile solutions used by around 90,000 employees, and for delivering new office and hub space to support collaborative and agile working.


Dr Clare Kelliher

Professor of Work & Organisation, Cranfield University

Clare Kelliher, BSc, MA, PhD is Professor of Work and Organisation at Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University. Clare holds a PhD in Organisational Behaviour from London Business School, an MA in Industrial Relations from the University of Warwick and a first degree in management from the University of Surrey.

Her research interests centre around the organisation of work and the management of the employment relationship. She has a long-standing interest in flexible working and recently directed a major project concerned with examining the impact of flexible working on performance, sponsored by seven companies. She has also recently completed a project looking at employee engagement in multi-national organisations, funded by the US Society for HRM Foundation.

Clare is the author of many published papers and book chapters and regularly speaks at national and international conferences. Her recent book, New Ways of Organising Work: developments, perspectives and experiences, co-edited with Julia Richardson was published by Routledge. In 2012 she also published a text book on Strategic HRM together with Katie Truss and David Mankin. She has considerable experience running management programmes and advising organisations both in the UK and overseas. She frequently acts as an external examiner for doctoral and Masters degrees at universities in the UK and overseas.


Top Employer Awards, flexible working

The Speeches

Top Employer Awards, flexible working

The Ceremony

Top Employer Awards, flexible working

Top Employer Awards, flexible working

Top Employer Awards, flexible working

Q&A Session

Top Employer Awards, flexible working

Networking Post Event

Top Employer Awards, flexible working