Northern Ireland Equality and Diversity Gala & Awards 2020

Northern Ireland Equality and Diversity Gala & Awards 2020

 We are delighted to announce we will be hosting the Northern Ireland Equality & Diversity Gala & Awards 2020 online! Stay tuned to our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) for the winner announcements.

Watch the video below as our host Sarah Travers and Legal Island Chairman, Barry Phillips explain how the event will unfold.

The 4th annual Northern Ireland Equality & Diversity Gala & Awards, sponsored by Jones Cassidy Brett Solicitors and AIB, is a unique event providing the opportunity for employers in Northern Ireland to celebrate equality and diversity in the workplace, and recognise those who advocate and drive diversity within their organisations.

The event will showcase the advantages of equality and diversity to employers and the wider community, celebrating success stories of individuals, groups and employers.

Shortlisted Organisations

Best LGBT Initiative (Sponsored by Legal Island)

• Belfast Security Lab of IBM UK Ltd.
• Choice Housing Ireland Limited
• Danske Bank
• Herbert Smith Freehills
• Heron Bros

Best Race Initiative (Sponsored by Diversity NI)

• Sensata Technologies
• Queen's University Belfast
• Northern Health & Social Care Trust
• Gilbert – Ash

Best Disability Initiative (Sponsored by Cedar Foundation)

• Habinteg
• Danske Bank

Best Employer for Equality & Diversity in NI - SME (<250 employees) (Sponsored by Jones Cassidy Brett)

• Herbert Smith Freehills
• Gilbert-Ash


Best Employer for Equality & Diversity in NI - Large Company (250+ employees (Sponsored by Jones Cassidy Brett

• Bank of Ireland
• Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
• Danske Bank
• Sensata Technologies

Best Gender Initiative (Sponsored by AIB)

• A&L Goodbody
• Gilbert – Ash

NEW CATEGORY! Best First Initiative (Sponsored by Sensata Technologies)

• Fathom
• Hutchinson Care Homes
• Property Link NI
• Vital Nutrition

NEW CATEGORY! Best Age Initiative (Sponsored by DWF (NI) LLP) 

• Mid & East Antrim Agewell Partnership

Individual Diversity Champion (Sponsored by CIPD)
• Adriana Morvaiova (Sensata Technologies)
• Louise McGeady (Opal People Solutions)
• Paul Gillen (Pinsent Masons LLP)
• Donna Feehan (Danske Bank)
• Anna Bradley (Expleo Group)
• Maciek Bator (For Your Freedom & Ours)
• Alison Kerr & the late Louise Beckett (Belfast HSC Trust)

When and where?

This year we will be hosting the awards on Legal Island's social media accounts (follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) beginning on Friday 4th September 2020 culminating on Friday 25th September 2020.

Each award will be announced on a dedicated Monday, Wednesday or Friday. On each day we will be hearing from the award sponsors, nominees and the winner announcement at 10am, 12 and 3pm respectively, plus each Friday expect to hear from our entertainment; Sarah Travers, Lost Voice Guy, Songbirds and Clover Watts-Kerr.

For a report on last year’s winners and shortlisted organisations, along with video highlights from the evening, check out our NI Equality and Diversity Gala & Awards 2019 page

Sponsored by:

Overall Sponsors 


Supported by:

 Diversity NI


Category Sponsors Include:

Category Sponsors



Media Partner

 NI Job Finder



 Watch the video highlights reel from last year:



"I was just writing a wee email of thanks for the invite and congratulations on an excellent event. There was a real buzz around the place and many new and indeed younger faces!" Dr Michael Wardlow, Chief Commissioner, Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

"I had a ball and it was a fantastic event. You’ve got it just right in terms of entertainment, speeches and format for awards - the atmosphere was the highlight for me - you’ve managed to get some of the true Belfast greats involved!" Conor Houston, Director, Houston Solutions

"It was a brilliant evening - we were so well looked after by both L-I and Titanic staff and the atmosphere was lovely - relaxed and fun. You certainly know how to put on an event. We were delighted to win the best small company award - a real tribute to our staff who are so honest and open about who they are on such a range of issues and so genuinely welcoming to new starts. We've been celebrating this today. Wonderful programme, wonderful food and drink and wonderful inspiring content. so thanks again for putting this together and giving us the opportunity to apply." Alison Logan – NIO

"Thanks for a truly special evening.  It was an excellent event and all credit to you and the team for organising.  Each element was fantastic.  We were absolutely thrilled to have been so successful in our categories and it goes to prove that the hard work pays off." Paul Gillen, Partner, Pinsent Masons LLP

“Great ambience in the room, people were buzzing all night! Another milestone achieved in promoting equality and diversity in Northern Ireland. Thank you for the opportunity to become part of it.” Maciek Bator, Project Manager,  For Your Freedom & Ours CIC


  • David Johnston
    David Johnston Passionate about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

    A Human Resources professional for over 24 years, and interested in equality and diversity matters, most of his career has seen him working in complex and high profile public service organisations, including: Inland Revenue, Police Ombudsman’s office, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. 

  • Ciara Fulton
    Ciara Fulton Partner, Head of Office
    Lewis Silkin LLP

    Ciara Fulton is partner and Head of Lewis Silkin (NI) LLP.

    Ciara is dual qualified and advises on all aspects of employment law in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. She has significant experience of advising clients on the full range of employment issues including complex discrimination issues, bullying and harassment claims, disciplinary and grievance matters, business reorganisations, senior executive severances, restrictive covenants, employment related litigation and TUPE.

    Ciara’s approach is to partner with clients providing practical, commercial advice to resolve HR issues whether contentious or non-contentious. Ciara works with a variety of sectors with particular experience in the construction and infrastructure sector.

    Ciara regularly speaks on a range of employment issues at internal and external events and delivers bespoke training to clients on the differences between NI and ROI employment law. Ciara is a member of the Employment Lawyers Group and the NI Representative for the Employment Lawyers Association. Ciara is also a legally qualified member of the Appeals Tribunals NI.

  • Fergal McFerran
    Fergal McFerran Client Account Manager – Northern Ireland
    Stonewall UK

    Fergal McFerran works for Stonewall UK, Europe’s largest LGBT rights organisation. He is responsible for delivering the Diversity Champions programme in Northern Ireland, in partnership with The Rainbow Project. Through this work, Fergal provides tailored advice, guidance and strategic support to employers which allows them to shape truly inclusive workplace environments allowing lesbian, gay, bi and trans employees to experience acceptance without exception.

  • Heather Stewart
    Heather Stewart Head of Sales & Service Enablement
    AIB (NI)

    Heather is the Senior Sponsor for Diversity & Inclusion in AIB (NI) and is, in particular, involved in supporting their Pride & Women Matters networks.

    AIB are committed to embedding diversity across their organisation to help be the best that they can be in their thinking, their decisions and their outcomes. AIB’s commitment to diversity and inclusion extends to colleagues, customers and the communities they serve.

    Heather has over 15 years’ banking experience working across products, channels, IT and project management related roles. Most recently, Heather has been working as Head of UK Digital Channels where she has led the development of our digital offering for our personal & business customers. She holds a degree in Business Studies from the University of Ulster.

  • Deepa Mann-Kler
    Deepa Mann-Kler Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Specialist and CEO of Neon
    Commissioner at the Equality Commission for NI

    Deepa brings 23 years Executive leadership experience of delivering high-level diversity and inclusion strategies, implementing anti-discrimination policy and improving socio-economic disadvantage in society. She has 13 years of Non-Executive leadership experience with a cross-sector exposure and has been appointed as Commissioner to the Equality Commission for NI. Deepa is CEO of Neon, an immersive healthcare technology company. As a thought leader Deepa regularly keynotes on the intersection of diversity, inclusion, creativity, technology, innovation, health and wellbeing and was delighted to speak at TEDx on “Being Human”. She is Visiting Professor In Immersive Futures with Ulster University. As an artist, she has a focus on public art neon installations, notably Lumiere Durham 2019, London 2016 and 2013 in Derry/Londonderry UK City of Culture. Deepa authored the first report on racism in Northern Ireland in 1998 "Out Of The Shadows." 

Event details


4 - 25 September


25 September 2020


Social Media