2021 Director of the Year Awards "Celebrating the success of equality" (JEP - 30 June 2021)

Equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace are obviously good for the individual. They ensure everyone has an equal opportunity, but it’s not just the ‘right’ thing to do, it also makes good business sense and is ultimately better for our economy. 

The Covid-19 situation has highlighted many things and one of those is just how committed a business and its leaders are to their E, D & I policies. Those who recognise it as an enabler of business performance and productivity, are likely to come out of the crisis in a far better position than those who see it as an unnecessary expense, or an issue that they don’t have time to deal with. There is plenty of evidence and research which shows that organisations which embrace E, D & I, are more innovative, take bolder decisions, are more resilient, and are better able to understand their customers. 

Research by McKinsey has found that over the past five years, the likelihood that diverse companies will be more profitable than their non-diverse counterparts has grown. There’s the obvious fact that you will have a larger pool of talent to choose from. In the case of gender diversity, McKinsey say women are more likely than men to demonstrate five of the nine types of leadership behaviour that improve organisational performance, and critically, ‘Women more frequently apply three of the four types of behaviour—intellectual stimulation, inspiration and participative decision making—that most effectively address the global challenges of the future.’

E, D & I is far more than just gender, it is age, disability, sexual orientation, and ethnic diversity. Essentially, it is about not labelling any individual, but treating us all the same and working together as a team. 

Inclusion is an area that has particularly come under focus during the pandemic. With many employees either remote working or under intense pressure, ensuring that there is openness and a sense of belonging to an organisation has been accentuated. If staff are disenfranchised and feel leaders aren’t listening to them, it will hit the bottom line and hurt.

Julia-Anne Dix chairs our Diversity Sub-committee, set up in 2019, and has been working to encourage an active culture of diversity and inclusion by informing and sharing knowledge and experiences. One of these measures has been the Diversity & Inclusion Vision statement, which over seventy organisations have signed up to. 

There is still plenty more work to be done to ensure that every business is inclusive, that people feel valued for what they bring to an organisation, and that everyone has the same access to opportunities. At the IoD, we decided it is time to celebrate the progress made in this difficult year, by offering a Director of the Year Award for equality, diversity and inclusion, sponsored by Highvern. It’s the first year this award has been offered in Jersey, and we are looking forward to celebrating those leaders who have been nominated for their work in this area. 

This is just one category in this year’s awards, kindly sponsored overall by gold sponsor Appleby, along with silver sponsors, Quilter Cheviot and Jersey Post, and individual award sponsors: Highvern, Club NED, Butterfield Bank, Jersey Water and Accuro. After such a difficult year, we wish to celebrate leaders in all fields, whether in the public or private sector. The full list of categories is:

Large Business

SME Business

Family Business


Third Sector

Public Sector


Equality, Diversity & Inclusion



Nominations have now closed. We have an excellent panel of judges, some of Jersey’s finest directors and former directors from a range of business sectors and backgrounds, who are now reviewing all the entries. The panel is chaired by Kevin Keen who is joined by John Henwood MBE, Brendan McMahon, Dr Lesley Dickie, Kate Wright, Kristina Le Feuvre and Tom Hacquoil.

We shall celebrate our 2021 Award winners at a black-tie ceremony at the Royal Yacht on Friday September 17th. Tickets for this dinner can be purchased on Eventbrite and are selling fast! I do hope as many people as possible will join us.

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