Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise, Angela Eagle, pays tribute to winners including Lloyds Banking Group, PwC, HSBC and Barclays.

Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise, Angela Eagle, pays tribute to winners including Lloyds Banking Group, PwC, HSBC and Barclays.

Top awards were also handed to journalist Owen Jones, anti-poverty campaigner Jack Monroe as well as a posthumous honour for Claire Prosser, former director of the BBC’s Journalism Trainee Scheme.

Fiona Cannon OBE, Director of diversity and inclusion at Lloyds Banking Group, was named Diversity Champion of the Year at the prestigious European Diversity Awards in London last night. (Wednesday 30th September).

Cannon, who received an OBE in 2011 for services to equality and diversity, was recognised for her commitment to developing the company’s diversity strategies. She was honoured at the glittering ceremony held at the Natural History Museum.

Established in 2010, the European Diversity Awards celebrate people and organisations with a track record in promoting equality and diversity.

The judging panel, which included Baroness Doreen Lawrence, paid tribute to the work Cannon has done to establish Lloyds Banking Group’s commitment diversity and inclusivity from the boardroom down.

Over 600 guests attended the ceremony which was hosted by TV presenter Nicki Chapman.

Headline Sponsored by Société Générale, the awards also saw recognition for corporate giants including PwC, HSBC and Barclays.

PwC scooped the Most Inclusive Employer accolade while HSBC, which has over 1,000 branches in the UK, picked up the Diversity Team of the Year award.

Telecommunications powerhouse Vodafone were named Company of the Year while Barclays won Marketing Campaign of the Year.

Prominent author Owen Jones, who is also a Guardian columnist, saw off stiff competition from individuals like Emma Barnett from the Telegraph, The Times’ Melanie Reid and the BBC’s Aleem Maqbool to win Journalist of the Year.

The Campaigner of the Year award, which recognises an individual’s commitment to a particular cause, was awarded to Jack Monroe. The writer, best known for her book ‘A Girl Called Jack: 100 Delicious Budget Recipes, has campaigned on poverty issues for a number of years.

And there was special recognition for Claire Prosser. Founder and former director of the BBC’s Journalism Trainee Scheme, who sadly died last year, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award.

A former print journalist, Claire championed the pursuit of fresh, diverse entry-level talent into BBC News, helping to make it a more representative workplace more in touch with its audience.

The Global Diversity Award was given to Tiffany Warren. The Senior Vice-President of US-based advertising agency, Omnicom, was recognised for Championing Diverse Professionals in the Advertising Industry and beyond.

Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Enterprise, Angela Eagle MP, attended the awards ceremony.

The MP said:

“The individuals and organisations winning these awards have made a significant contribution to promoting the flow of equality and opportunity throughout Europe.

“It is particularly pleasing to see businesses and business leaders recognised for their commitment to diversity and inclusion. It is incredibly important for any organisation.”

Diversity expert Linda Riley, who founded the European Diversity Awards, paid tribute to the winners.

She said:

“All those nominated for a European Diversity Award should rightly feel proud because in their own way they have contributed to making Europe a more tolerant, diverse and just society.

“We should never forget how far we’ve come but there is still much more to do which is why these awards are so important.”

TV presenter Nicki Chapman said:

” It was a privilege to present the awards to so many deserving individuals.

“The European Diversity Awards recognise excellence in the areas of gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, race, culture and religion across Europe.

“They are unique in recognising all aspects of diversity across the whole of Europe and celebrate the best across both the corporate and campaigning aspects of diversity.”