The European Diversity Awards recognise excellence in the areas of gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, race, culture and religion across Europe.
Philip Bourchier O’Ferrall, Senior Vice President of media giant Viacom, was named Diversity Champion of the Year at the prestigious European Diversity Awards at the Natural History Museum in London last night.
Bourchier O’Ferrall is one of the most senior gay executives in global broadcasting and was named Diversity Champion of the Year for his work in promoting equality and diversity in the mainstream media. He has responsibility for Channel 5, MTV and Nickelodeon at Viacom.
Established in 2010, the European Diversity Awards celebrate people and organisations with a proven track record in promoting equality and diversity. They are judged by an expert panel led by Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Diversity Lead at KPMG Claire Harvey and Regional Chief Audit Executive, Societe Generale, Vincent Francois.
Over 500 guests attended the ceremony which was hosted by actress Sophie Ward.
Accenture was named Company of the Year with the judging panel praising Accenture’s ‘outstanding commitment’ to actively employing a diverse workforce and for ‘infusing diversity throughout every strand of the business’.
Technology giant Intel won the Diversity and Inclusion Project of the Year award and Deloitte’s ‘Multi-Cultural Network’ was recognised with the most Outstanding Employee Network Group accolade.
Special recognition was also given to the Royal Air Force who secured the Diversity Team of the Year honour.
Pamela Hutchinson, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Bloomberg, was credited with the Head of Diversity of Year award. Hutchinson has implemented the firm’s diversity agenda throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
New Watchdog presenter, Nikki Fox, saw off stiff competition from individuals like Saba Salman from the Guardian, the BBC’ s Jane Hill and filmmaker Rokhaya Diallo to win Journalist of the Year.
Fox was born with muscular dystrophy and has used her profile to raise awareness of disability issues. Last year she presented a major documentary and won critical acclaim for her documentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, ‘Beyond Disability: The Adventures of a Blue Badger’.
The Campaigner of the Year award, which recognises an individual’s commitment to a particular cause, was awarded to Jonathan Andrews. The disability campaigner has been a leading advocate for people with autism.
Prominent broadcaster and BBC Songs of Praise presenter, Vicky Beeching, won the Inspirational Role Model of the Year award sponsored by OutNews Global. Beeching, who describes herself as a ‘gay Christian’, is one of the UK’s leading campaigners on lesbian issues and has actively promoted the acceptance of LGBT people in the Church.
Diversity expert Linda Riley, who founded the European Diversity Awards, paid tribute to the winners saying: “All of the European Diversity Award winners should rightly feel proud because in their own way they have contributed to making Europe a more tolerant, diverse and just society.
“And in the year of Brexit, with all the uncertainty about the future that brings, these awards are more important than ever.”