announces shortlist for Top Employer Awards is delighted to announce the organisations which have been shortlisted for this year’s  Workingmums Top Employer Awards.

The Awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Soho Hotel in London on 5th October at which best-selling business author Alison Maitland* will give the keynote speech.

Maitland, a former Financial Times journalist, specialises in leadership, gender, and the changing world of work. Her book Future Work: How Businesses Can Adapt and Thrive in the New World of Work, co-authored with Peter Thomson is published in October. It sets out the compelling business case for a change in organisational cultures and working practices to allow employees more freedom and flexibility.

The organisations shortlisted for this year’s Awards are:

Childcare – John Lewis and Workplace Options. This Award covers childcare support, such as emergency childcare provision and childcare vouchers.

Employee Engagement – John Lewis and Prudential. This Award is for companies which can demonstrate a commitment to and strategy for enabling employees at all levels to feed back their views on policies relevant to working parents, such as flexible working, and a willingness to take this feedback on board

Innovation in flexible working – Accenture; Buckles Solicitors; and Workplace Options. This Award is for companies with specific policies and practices related to flexible working which are truly innovative and break new ground, whether that be in a particular industry or in general.

SME 1-25 employees – Clink Ltd; Hireserve; Square Mile Connections; Viva Live Music; and Work Clever Recruitment.

SME 26-250 employees – Buckles Solicitors; DUO; and The Curve Group. These Awards are for SMEs which can demonstrate a real commitment to work life balance practices which specifically help working parents, such as flexible working, support on return to work from maternity leave and career development for women and show how these are of benefit to the organisation.

Talent Attraction – Hireserve; Virtual Sales Ltd; and Linen at Home. This Award reflects growing interest in organisations who promote flexible working at all levels of their recruitment process, including advertising that jobs can be worked flexibly.

Working Mums Champion – Clink Ltd; Hireserve; and Square Mile Connections. This Award is for stand-out individuals whose efforts have made a big difference to working mums in their workplace.

An overall Top Employer Award will be chosen from those shortlisted for the other Awards and will represent the organisation deemed to have outstanding policies on work.

The Award judges are: Gillian Nissim, Founder of; Andy Lake, Editor of; Jennifer Liston-Smith, Head of Coaching Development at My Family Care; David Dunbar, Head of BT Flexible Working Services; and Dr Caroline Gatrell, Lecturer in Management Learning and Leadership in the Management School at Lancaster University.

Gillian Nissim said: “We are very keen to reflect and champion advances in family friendly working so for this year’s awards we have included three new categories covering childcare, Working Mum’s champion and talent attraction. Our aim is to reflect advances in the kind of support organisations are offering, the role of managers in promoting flexible working and how organisations are specifically targeting working mums. This in itself shows that many organisations, both large and small, now understand the huge business advantages to be had in retaining the talent and experience women have built up over the years. Through these Awards we hope to inspire other employers by offering them examples of outstanding practice which clearly demonstrates the benefits of flexible working for both employees and employers.”

Alison Maitland says: “Rapid social and technological change is fuelling a revolution in work practices similar to that brought about by the industrial revolution. The winning employers today and in the future will be those that adapt quickly by empowering and trusting people to manage their own work lives and by measuring and rewarding them on results, not hours. This requires a shift in culture and attitudes, led from the top, but results in major benefits for employers, employees and the environment.”

*Pictured is Minister for Equality Lynne Featherstone giving the Overall Top Employer Award to Accenture’s Fiona O’Hara.

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