Firms championing diversity in the workplace, providing free legal aid to victims of the 2017 terror attacks, and supporting unpublished writers from underrepresented backgrounds were met with roaring applause at this year’s Dragon Awards.
The Capital’s top responsible business gongs were dished out by Lord Mayor Charles Bowman at a lavish bash at Mansion House on 25 September, celebrating firms of all sizes and sectors that demonstrate a commitment to tearing down social barriers in London and across the UK.
During the annual prizegiving, run by the City of London Corporation, it was revealed that this year’s applicants supported nearly 1.8million people, helped create more than 5,000 jobs, and provided over £15.3m in support for their local communities and enterprises.
“Companies can make a tremendous difference by identifying gaps, pioneering new policies, and working with underrepresented groups – or simply by giving whatever money, time, or skills they can,” said Mr Bowman, who during his year in office has pushed a ‘Business of Trust’ agenda.
“This year’s well deserving Dragon Awards winners have done just this.
“These firms are working hard to make a difference in a huge range of areas, from promoting social mobility in the workplace to supporting and attracting new young talent to industries with skills shortages.
“We need to recognise and celebrate the innovative work that firms are doing within their responsible business initiatives. It’s no longer simply about engaging with local communities. It is about benefiting workforces and creating a better and fairer society.”
Since they were founded in 1987, the awards have attracted high-quality applications from a variety of organisations across London – from SMEs to major City firms. And this year’s crop are no different, with winners crossing all sectors and industries.
Rachel Engel, regional head of the Macquarie Group Foundation, that picked up the Accelerator Award for its partnership with Leadership Through Sport and Business (LTSB), said she was thrilled to see her team receive recognition.
— Beck Greener (@BeckGreener) September 25, 2018
“Our relationship with LTSB is based on a long-term investment which is more than financial; it’s volunteering support, skills and expertise and the shared passion for the cause that really helps both organisations transform the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
Meanwhile, Siena Parker, head of creative responsibility at Penguin Random House UK – winners of this year’s Regional Impact Award – hailed her employer’s campaign to inform, inspire and ultimately publish writers from testing socio-economic backgrounds.
Fab to see the firm wide commitment by @DMA_Architects recognised @Dragon_Awards last night and thanks @TimCampbell_ for being so friendly and posing for photos with them + another of our members @simonedegale #GoodBusiness pic.twitter.com/AnyUkQb2bk
— Heart of the City (@HOTC_UK) September 26, 2018
“We’re so excited for WriteNow to be recognised by the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the impact WriteNow has in supporting talented new writers and giving them a platform to share their stories with the world.”
Sharing the top prize on the night – the Lord Mayor’s Business of Trust Champion accolade – were AESSEAL and Enforcd Ltd, firms that support Women in Engineering programmes and best practice in the financial services industry respectively.
Over the last 31 years, it is estimated that businesses which have applied to the awards have helped over 10m people, mobilised 200,000 volunteers, and given nearly £250m in donations and in-kind support to London’s communities.
Dragon Award winners 2018:
Regional Impact Award: Penguin Random House UK
Accelerator Award: Macquarie
The Inclusive Employment Award: David Miller Architects
The Innovation Award: Hogan Lovells
Community Partners Award: Thames 21
Heart of the City Award: Beck Greener
Sir Martyn Lewis Award: ThinkForward
Lord Mayor’s Business of Trust Champion: AESSEAL and Enforcd Ltd