Dawn Meats has been announced as a joint winner of the Diversity & Inclusion category at the Bord Bia Food and Drink Awards 2019. This is the first time that this category has featured at the annual Bord Bia awards, and it recognises an organisation that has illustrated its commitment to the implementation and promotion of a robust and engaging diversity & inclusion strategy.
The Waterford-based processor, which employs over 7,300 people in Ireland and around the world operates a diversity and inclusion strategy that reflects its workforce and the diversity of its global presence. The goal of the strategy is to have a workplace of fairness and equality right across the Dawn Meats Group, and the strategy is led from the most senior levels of the organisation, with the Directors and Management team actively engaged through the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
The diversity and inclusion strategy and range of policies cover all areas of the business; recruitment and promotion, training and development, and employee health and wellbeing. In its recruitment and promotion for example, Dawn Meats takes active steps to drive and support female representation across the business. As a significant employer of overseas workers whose first language may not be English, induction and training processes are delivered in employees’ native languages, and policies have been translated to increase accessibility and a sense of belonging.
Dawn Meats is a founding member of Open Doors, an initiative that provides training and employment opportunities to marginalised groups in society; people with disabilities, refugees and asylum seekers and people under 25 experiencing educational barriers. Dawn Meats also engages with external stakeholders including the Government’s CSR Forum, Bord Bia’s D&I Taskforce and Business in the Community’s “Leaders’ Group on Sustainability”.
A key feature of the company’s diversity & inclusion policy is the ongoing monitoring of progress against D&I objectives and KPIs, so that learnings can be widely shared.
Dawn Meats CEO Niall Browne commented
“This award is testament both to our diverse workforce and the diversity of the markets we serve. As a global business, we want to continue to attract the best talent from all areas and backgrounds. Our diversity and inclusion strategy ensures we can do that by maintaining an environment that fosters mutual employee respect and promotes productive relationships. I’d also like to extend my congratulations to Diageo, a worthy winner and partner in the Open Doors initiative and we are pleased to be recognised alongside them in this category.”
The judging panel remarked that
“As an organisation, Dawn Meats has clear D&I aims and objectives. Implementing detailed and comprehensive policies and process, they are proactively responding to the demand of a global customer base, the changing dynamics of the Irish and European employment market and the demand of their own shareholders. Their ongoing commitment to D&I sets clear and commendable precedents for all Irish businesses to follow.”
The award marks a successful 2019 for Dawn Meats on the CSR front, with the recent announcement that they are the first food processor to achieve the Business Working Responsibly (BWR) Mark across all of its plants in Ireland. Earlier in 2019 they were named Sustainability Team of the Year at the Green Awards and Family Business of the Year at Energia’s Family Business of the Year Awards.