Top Employer Awards 10th anniversary 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

The winners have been announced. Find out why the judges chose our winners. 

View winners press release

2019 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: Vodafone UK

Innovation in Flexible Working Award – sponsored by QA

To be eligible for the Innovation Award, employers should demonstrate policies which are innovative and break new ground. More>>

Winner: Food Standards Agency

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: HP Inc UK

Best for Recruitment & Talent Attraction Award

To be eligible to apply for the Talent Attraction Award, organisations should demonstrate that their recruitment process openly promotes flexible working. More>>

Winner: Arnold Clark

Family Support Award 

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>>

Winners: London Borough of Waltham Forest and Vodafone UK

Best for Returners Award

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: Vodafone UK

Best for Dads Award

To be eligible for The Best for Dads Award, employers should demonstrate specific policies targeting dads, such as inclusive parenting networks, publications and outreach targeted around dad’s rights. More >>

Winner: Aviva

SME Award

To be eligible for the SME award, organisations should be able to demonstrate a real commitment to work life balance practices. More>>

Winners: Carty Services and Independent Living Fund Scotland

The Working Mums Champion Award

This Award is for stand-out men or women whose efforts have made a big difference to working mums in their workplace. More>>

Winner: Carolanne Minashi, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at UBS

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Event Sponsors

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A T Kearney Top Employer




Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a high priority at Roche and is the engine of our innovation. We think beyond physical characteristics to the qualities that make each person unique. And we are interested in the whole person, not just a professional persona. We’ve created an inclusive workplace where each individual is respected and can contribute their skills, experiences and perspectives fully. And we find that there is a beautiful correlation between innovation through inclusion and happy employees and workplaces.

A T Kearney
A.T. Kearney is a leading global management consulting firm with offices in more than 40 countries. Our strength comes from the depth of our expertise, and the diversity of our team. A.T. Kearney is committed to building an inclusive culture, striving to provide the best staff to our clients, and the best support to our staff.

QA helps learners to excel and businesses to grow. We are experts in emerging technologies, leadership and management, business methods and people skills. We do all things learning. Everyone should be able to be themselves at work. We work to promote and ensure equal opportunities for everyone – pushing the boundaries and breaking down the barriers to careers across the modern-day workforce. Learning only happens if you foster a diverse and inclusive approach – allowing people to be the very best at what they do.

The Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion is the UK’s leading employer network covering all aspects of equality and inclusion issues in the workplace. We work with our Members to achieve and promote best practice, focussing on delivering high quality practical advice, products and services. Working with business closely we understand the real issues faced by employers and the barriers you come across when trying to make change happen.

Caroline Waters OBE FRSA CiPD(Hons)

Caroline Waters

Currently Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Vice President of Carers UK and Founder and CEO of CW Consulting Box, Caroline Waters was also Director of People and Policy at BT and has a distinguished record on equality, inclusion, and human resources.

She has been the driving force of many diversity-focused groups where she has routinely set the agenda and demonstrated real thought leadership.

Seen as one of the most influential Senior leaders and practitioners in the original movement to create new ways of working and a leader of the nascent flexible working agenda in the 1990s Caroline works with a wide range of stakeholders and clients to build new ever more inclusive approaches to people, space and productivity.

Caroline routinely works with and advises policy makers and contributed to the Department of Work and Pensions publication of ‘The Disability and Health Employment Strategy: the Discussion so Far’ Chairing the Task and Finish Group on Young Disabled people and Employment. Caroline also Co-Chaired the Department of Health’s Task and Finish Group which launched the ground breaking report ‘Supporting Working Carers: The Benefits to Families, Business and the Economy’ in autumn 2013. As a key opinion former in the business community she also chaired Employers for Carers from 2001 to 2013, was founder and inaugural Chair of the Employers’ Forum on Belief, and Chair of the Lone Parents working group.

Caroline has also acted as the independent panel member on a broad range of senior appointments including chair of the Judicial Pensions Committee and Commissioner of Law.

She was awarded HR Director of the Year in the 2009 HR Excellence Awards and has also judged a number of prestigious diversity awards including the CRE Race in the Media Awards and Help the Aged’s Living Legends.

She was awarded the OBE for services to progressive HR practice, diversity and equal opportunities in the New Year’s list in 2010. Caroline’s work at BT was recognized by several diversity awards including best ethnic minority recruitment programme awarded by Race for Opportunity. BT is the only company ever to top seven

leading diversity benchmarks at the same time. An accomplishment achieved for three consecutive years.

An experienced NED she is a Director of Roffey Park, Project Fortis and Wilson James and a member of the Whole Education Board. Caroline was recently listed in the top 100 Disability Power List 2018 and voted one of the most influential HR practitioners of the last decade by HR Magazine Excellence Awards 2015 and the HR Movers and Shapers of 2018.

As Founder of CW Consulting Box Ltd. Caroline provides high-level support and guidance across the private, public and charitable sector. Recent activity has included Board Effectiveness reviews, board coaching, Business and strategic HR guidance, OD design, flexible working strategy, behavioural action planning, capacity building and strategic communications.

Previous years’ Keynote speakers include:

  • 2018  – Gavin Shuker MP
  • 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, and has worked on dozens of implementations and evaluations across the private and public sectors. He is the author of Smart Flexibility (Routledge) and numerous other publications. Andy has worked with the Cabinet Office in this field and wrote the guidelines for the Civil Service, The Way We Work: A Guide to Smart Working in Government.


Jennifer Liston-Smith

Head of Coaching, Consultancy & Thought Leadership at Bright Horizons Work+Family Solutions 

Jennifer is a sought-after consultant on employer family-friendly strategies, speaker, writer, leadership coach and coaching supervisor.

As an established pioneer and innovator in the field of coaching for both leadership and parents at work, and with many years’ experience working with large employers, Jennifer joined My Family Care in 2010 to build and lead the Coaching and Consultancy side of the business.

Jennifer’s team has coached thousands of working parents, carers and their line managers at many of the world’s leading employer organisations, and advised on best practice from family-friendly to flexible working, gender pay gap to shared parental leave. In February 2019, My Family Care was acquired by Bright Horizons, forming Bright Horizons Work+Family Solutions. The company provides a wide range of services to employers from consultancy and coaching, online portals and toolkits through to Backup Care and Workplace Nurseries.

Jennifer has several qualifications in coaching psychology including a Post-Graduate Certificate in Coaching Supervision, Principal Practitioner status with the Association for Business Psychology and a Masters in Experimental Psychology, as well as an Oxford University law degree. Jennifer is a mother of two teenage boys and understands the challenges of combining a demanding senior role with family life.


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

2018 Top Employer Awards

The Overall Top Employer Award: FDM Group

The Working Mums Champion Award: Julianne Miles from Women Returners

The Best For Returners Award: UBS

The SME Award: Radioactive PR 

The Talent Attraction Award: Roche

The Innovation In Flexible Working Award: Civil Service Human Resources

The Career Progression Award: FDM Group

The Family Support Award: Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure

Top Employer Awards

Top Employer Awards

2017 Top Employer Awards

The Overall Top Employer Award: Lloyds Banking Group

The Working Mums Champion Award: Dawn Moore, Director of Human Resources at Morgan Sindall

The SME Award (1-25 employees): Cuttsy & Cuttsy Limited

The SME Award (26-250 employees): Genie Ventures

The Talent Attraction Award: Lloyds Banking Group

The Innovation In Flexible Working Award: McDonald’s

The Career Progression Award: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The Best for Dads Award:  Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

The Family Support Award: M&G Investments

2016 Top Employer Awards

The Overall Top Employer Award: Sky

The Working Mums Champion Award: Jane Magill, Macquarie Group

The SME Award (1-25 employees): Cuttsy & Cuttsy

The SME Award (26-250 employees): Madgex

The Talent Attraction Award: Berwin Leighton Paisner

The Innovation In Flexible Working Award: Vodafone

The Career Progression Award: Sky

The Best for Dads Award:  Lloyds Banking Group

The Family Support Award: Carillion Plc

2015 Top Employer Awards

The Overall Top Employer Award: Cafcass

The Working Mums Champion Award: Natasha Clarke, SThree PLC

The SME Award (1-25 employees): Cariad Marketing

The SME Award (26-250 employees): iCrossing

The Talent Attraction Award: Barclays

The Innovation In Flexible Working Award: Cafcass

The Career Progression Award: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The Best for Dads Award: The London School of Economics and Political Science

The Family Support Award: Centrica plc

2014 Award Winners

Overall Top Employer Award: McMillan Williams Solicitors

Innovation in Flexible Working Award: BAE Systems Maritime Naval Ships

Career Progression Award: A.T. Kearney Ltd

Best for Dads Award: London School Of Economics

Talent Attraction Award: Reality HR Ltd

SME Award (26-250 employees): McMillan Williams Solicitors

SME Award (1-25 employees): Hireserve Ltd

Family Support Award: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

The Working Mums Champion Award: Adeline Ginn of Women in Rail

2013 Top Employer Awards

The Overall Top Employer Award: Atkins

The Working Mums Champion Award: Clare Bishop of Addison Lee

The SME Award (1-25 employees): Mahon Digital Marketing Ltd

The SME Award (26-250 employees): Brand Learning

The Talent Attraction Award:  Barclays

The Innovation In Flexible Working Award: Atkins

The Best for Dads Award: The London School of Economics & Political Science

The Family Support Award: Danone

Career Progression Award: Royal Mail Group

2012 Top Employer Awards

The Overall Top Employer Award: Unilever

The Working Mums Champion Award: Natalie Bickford, Sodexo

The SME Award (1-25 employees): Martin Carty Gardening

The SME Award (26-250 employees): Cool2Care

The Employee Engagement Award: The Royal Bank of Scotland

The Talent Attraction Award: CA Technologies

The Innovation In Flexible Working Award: Unilever

The Best for Dads Award: The London School of Economics & Political Science

The Family Support Award: Barclays

2011 Top Employer Awards

The Overall Top Employer Award: John Lewis Partnership

The Working Mums Champion Award: Mia Drennan, Square Mile Connections

The SME Award (1-25 employees): Hireserve

The SME Award (26-250 employees): Duo

The Employee Engagement Award: Prudential

The Talent Attraction Award: Virtual Sales Team

The Innovation In Flexible Working Award: Accenture

The Childcare Award: John Lewis Partnership

2010 Top Employer Awards

The Overall Top Employer Award: Accenture

The SME Award: hr180

The Employee Engagement Award: John Lewis Partnership

The Innovation In Flexible Working Award: KPMG

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