BWi named Diversity and Inclusion Champions at Business Awards UK

By Ben Carey on 28 January, 2022

A networking company founded in Trowbridge has been named Diversity and Inclusion Champions at the 2021 Business Awards UK.

Business Women in (BWi) is a women’s business networking company, founded by Michelle Eddahar from Trowbridge.

It operates as a UK networking company representing a nationwide community of diverse businesswomen working in a range of sectors. The Diversity and Inclusion Champions award is in recognition of the organisation’s unique approach to the Government’s Kickstart scheme and their commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace and community.

Michelle Eddahar said, “I am so thrilled that BWi has been recognised for this award. This achievement sums up the hard work and dedication of our employees and members over the past few years. Diversity and Inclusion are core values of BWi and have been an important influence in the way we approached the Kickstart scheme.”

BWi’s eclectic workforce has grown exponentially in the pandemic as they participated in the Kickstart scheme. The company has now surpassed an impressive milestone of welcoming 100 Kickstarters since May 2021, with another 50 set to join them in February.

BWi’s mission to bring women together through networking, self-development and collaboration is reflected in its approach to the scheme. The company took a unique approach by not interviewing candidates, but instead hiring them based on a willingness to learn.

BWi recognises the importance of diversity and inclusion within an organisation and workforce, with employees being able to learn from each other’s experience and perspectives, enabling employees and members to feel valued and represented throughout the whole organisation.

Whilst BWi is a community for women, it has established a diverse workforce of young men and women, with one third identifying as members of the LGBTQIA+ community and 30 per cent having some form of disability and/or accessibility needs.

As well as developing the Kickstarters’ skillsets with the aim to enhance their employment prospects, BWi has adopted a flexible and inclusive approach that understands individual needs and career aspirations of each Kickstarter, offering work-from-home, one-to-one meetings and flexible working hours.

Recognising the challenges of the pandemic and remote working, BWi has sought to provide an opportunity to learn for those who were unable to commit to traditional working hours.

Kickstarter Carlos Gutierrez Grigg said, “BWi’s commitment to upskilling and training its Kickstart candidates is exemplary. Since starting the course I’ve gained a number of valuable skills, boosted my CV and gained more confidence in applying for work”.

BWi builds on the strength of women’s knowledge, experience, connection and support. Its ethos is to provide a tolerant, safe, and welcoming networking and learning community that’s inclusive of ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age and anyone who identifies as female.

Since 2014, BWi has grown organically and now has over 10,000 members. The business operates across the UK both online and in-person through the local county Facebook groups, monthly meet ups, workshops, and events.

Pictured: Michelle Eddahar