New business award to unlock power of diversity

(l to r) Mayrah Sonter, Lord Mayor Clover Moore and Jane Nicholls at the launch of the 2018 Sydney City Region Business Awards. Image courtesy of City of Sydney

Sydney businesses that promote an inclusive workplace will now be recognised and rewarded in a new category in the prestigious Sydney City Region Business Awards.

The addition of the ‘excellence in workplace inclusion’ award follows campaigning by the City of Sydney. Unveiled by Lord Mayor Clover Moore, the award joins the list of 13 categories open to local Sydney businesses under the free awards program.

The City of Sydney is the principal partner of the NSW Business Chamber Business Awards 2018, committing $80,000 a year for three years to support the awards program.

The new workplace inclusion award recognises businesses that address the needs of a diverse community, including seniors, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with a disability.

Speaking at the official program launch, the Lord Mayor said the new award will support and promote diversity and inclusion across the community and encourage other businesses to follow suit.

“Research shows that businesses that appreciate, respect and promote diversity are more able to respond effectively to customers, attract and retain high performing employees, and achieve sustainable growth,” the Lord Mayor said.

“More and more, businesses are embracing diversity to unlock the power that inclusion brings. We have pushed for this new award because we know that workplace inclusion fosters innovation, increases creativity and leads to a better customer experience for us all.

“Small to medium businesses are the powerhouse of our local economy, representing 85 per cent of all businesses in our area and contributing nearly $20 billion to the economy.

“The City has supported business awards programs since 2004 and sponsors the Excellence in Small Business award across NSW. This new category is another great opportunity to further promote Sydney’s innovative local businesses and see them receive recognition they richly deserve.”

Event host Mayrah Sonter, co-director of Aboriginal media, communications and events company 33 Creative and founding partner of the national Indigenous Business Month, said the awards’ program was an important boost for businesses keen to make a difference.

“It’s wonderful to see value-driven businesses recognised and rewarded for being inclusive and promoting diversity,” Ms Sonter said.

“As business owners, we have an important role to play in breaking down prejudice and stereotypes to create positive change in the community. Rewarding businesses that are making a difference is a great step forward.”

NSW Business Chamber COO, Jane Nicholls, said the range of awards up for grabs will encourage more Sydney businesses to enter the awards.

“This is a great chance to celebrate the success of our state’s innovators, entrepreneurs and ethic-based businesses,” Ms Nicholls said.

“The awards program offers businesses the chance to build networks and explore new business opportunities across the state and beyond. I urge all businesses to get involved.”

Sydney business aussieBum scooped the pool at the Sydney City Region and NSW Business Chamber state awards in 2017. aussieBum founder and director, Sean Mr Ashby, said winning the awards was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate their success with colleagues and other business owners.

“To be recognised in a forum like this is a real sense of achievement and validation,” Mr Ashby said.

“Coming together with other businesses that we hold in high esteem is an opportunity that has inspired us to continue to grow.”

The 2018 awards will recognise outstanding business people and businesses in the following 13 categories:

  • Outstanding Young Employee
  • Outstanding Young Entrepreneur
  • Outstanding Business Leader
  • Excellence in Small Business
  • Excellence in Business
  • Excellence in Social Enterprise
  • StartUp Superstar
  • Excellence in Innovation
  • Excellence in Sustainability
  • Excellence in Export
  • Excellence in Workplace Inclusion
  • Outstanding Employer of Choice
  • Local Chamber of Commerce.

The Sydney City Business Awards are held annually, with applications for the 2018 awards open from 23 April to 4 June 2018. The finalists will be announced in early July 2018 and the Sydney City Business Awards event will be held on 25 July 2018 at Sydney Town Hall.

Winners who are chamber members progress to the NSW Business Chamber state awards, which will be held in November 2018.

Source: City of Sydney

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