Top Employer Award Categories

For more than a decade, our Top Employer Awards have celebrated and shared best practice in flexible working, gender diversity, returners, family support and progressing women at work. Please view categories below. >>Return to main page  

Award Categories 2022

Best for Mental Health Award

To be eligible for the Best for Mental Health Award employers should demonstrate initiatives aimed at protecting their employees’ mental health.

This may include:

  • Initiatives that supported the transition from homeworking back to the office
  • Addressing workload, eg, through job redesign or review
  • Ensuring that people are not burning out through constant connection
  • Signposting to mental health resources
  • Line manager training
  • Communication with staff, such as regular check-ins with homeworkers
  • Initiatives that ensure homeworking staff do not feel disconnected
  • Initiatives to address financial well being

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices will be considered. 

Please provide quantitative evidence where applicable.

Case studies

For those areas where it is hard to quantify, please use case studies of employees who are benefiting from your practices. This is a great way to show how your way of working is having a positive impact. View example case study.

You could also consider testimonials from staff, but they should contain enough information to show impact on the employee’s ability to work or to progress, on their well being or some other important personal fact.

Please ensure case studies and evidence are relevant to your application.

Please submit your entry below.

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Best for Diversity & Inclusion Award

To be eligible for the Best for D&I award employers should demonstrate actions taken to ensure equality of opportunity for all.

This may include:

  • Data collection and mining for up-to-date information on recruitment and progression
  • Action plans based on data gathering
  • Initiatives to promote an inclusive culture, from recruitment onwards
  • Staff networks or other methods for understanding the particular issues faced by underrepresented sections of the workforce
  • Line manager training
  • Use of flexible working to widen the talent pool for carers, those with disabilities, etc
  • Role modelling and leadership from the top on D&I issues
  • Effective initiatives to address bias in the workplace

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices will be considered. 

Please provide quantitative evidence where applicable.

Case studies

For those areas where it is hard to quantify, please use case studies of employees who are benefiting from your practices. This is a great way to show how your way of working is having a positive impact e.g. View example case study.

You could also consider testimonials from staff, but they should contain enough information to show impact on the employee’s ability to work or to progress, on their well being or some other important personal fact.

Please ensure case studies and evidence are relevant to your application.

Please submit your entry below.

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Best for Flexible Working Award

To be eligible for the Best for Flexible Working Award employers should demonstrate how they promote and manage flexible working and encourage a flexible culture in their organisation.

This could include:

  • Evidence of planning for hybrid working
  • Promoting flexible working in job adverts 
  • Ensuring a range of flexible working options are available 
  • Support for remote workers
  • Rewarding managers for effectively managing hybrid or flexible teams
  • Line manager training

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices will be considered. 

Please provide quantitative evidence where applicable.

Case studies

For those areas where it is hard to quantify, please use case studies of employees who are benefiting from your practices. This is a great way to show how your way of working is having a positive impact. View example case study.

You could also consider testimonials from staff, but they should contain enough information to show impact on the employee’s ability to work or to progress, on their well being or some other important personal fact.

Please ensure case studies and evidence are relevant to your application.

Please submit your entry below.

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To be eligible for the Family Support Award employers should demonstrate how their policies and practice support working families and carers.

Your submission could include:

  • Flexible working around childcare commitments
  • Support with finding or paying for childcare
  • Support for employees looking after elderly parents or relatives.
  • Provision of equal parenting and leave that covers particular challenges for parents, such as neonatal leave 
  • Virtual employee support networks
  • Use of social media channels to share challenges

Submissions should be supported by evidence of impact. This could include testimonials, case studies or/and employee surveys.

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices will be considered. 

Please provide quantitative evidence where applicable.

Case studies

For those areas where it is hard to quantify, please use case studies of employees who are benefiting from your practices. This is a great way to show how your way of working is having a positive impact. View example case study.

You could also consider testimonials from staff, but they should contain enough information to show impact on the employee’s ability to work or to progress, on their well being or some other important personal fact.

Please ensure case studies and evidence are relevant to your application.

Best for Career Progression for Women Award

To be eligible employers should demonstrate initiatives aimed at developing women’s leadership potential, including women’s networks, mentoring initiatives, outreach, training and return to work programmes.

Employers should demonstrate a commitment to and strategy for enabling women at all levels and with all patterns of working to progress in their careers and awareness of the impact of intersectional inequalities on women’s career progression.

This may include:

– Analysing data on progression and pay gaps, particularly in light of the impact of Covid, and producing effective action plans

– Working with employee network groups to get feedback on what they feel would be effective

– Ensuring that all jobs offer a career pathway

– Offering training and development opportunities to all and looking at innovative ways to upskill employees, particularly when it comes to STEM skills

– Ensuring there are part-time and flexible roles at all levels of the organisation

– Offering mentoring and sponsorship opportunities to women to help them get ahead

You can also add in this submission policies that support older women at work e.g. menopause policy.

Case studies

For those areas where it is hard to quantify, please use case studies of employees who are benefiting from your practices. This is a great way to show how your way of working is having a positive impact. View example case study.

You could also consider testimonials from staff, but they should contain enough information to show impact on the employee’s ability to work or to progress, on their well being or some other important personal fact.

Please ensure case studies and evidence is relevant to your application.

Please submit your entry below.

Back to Top Employer Awards Homepage

SME Top Employer Award

To be eligible for the SME award, organisations should be able to demonstrate a real commitment to work life balance practices. This award is split into two by company size.

This will be split from 1 – 25 employees, 26 – 250 employees  

Does your business qualify?

If you answer yes to one or more of these questions, then you should enter the SME Top Employer Award:

  1. Is flexible working an important part of the way our business works?
  2. Do we have examples of how our flexible culture has had a positive impact on the workforce?
  3. Does my business encourage women to progress in their career?
  4. Do I ensure training opportunities are open to all members of staff?

Guidance for your award entry

Entrants should demonstrate a real commitment to work life balance practices which specifically help working parents. Possible areas, if relevant, you MAY include in your submission are:

  • Information on how flexible working works in your organisation and why what you offer is outside of standard practice. 
  • How you have supported employees during lockdown around childcare or caring for elderly relatives 
  • The range of working patterns available; including term-time working, annualised hours, part time vacancies and take-up
  • How you support women’s return to work after maternity leave 
  • How you support those returning from career breaks Outline of any career development programmes for women
  • Do you use flexible working as a talent attraction tool, i.e. do you use it on recruitment adverts?
  • Initiatives to encourage the wellbeing of your staff during and post lockdown 
  • Good practice around family support – such as caring for sick children or elderly relatives
  • How you support older workers, i.e. countering ageism in the recruitment process, making available senior management positions, health related policies, etc.
  • Initiatives that help dads at work 

NB These are just suggestions and there may be other aspects relating to gender equality at work and family friendly working that you might like to highlight.

You should back your application up with case studies/testimonials from staff and data showing how these practices are being monitored and developed.

Providing Evidence

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices will be considered. 

Statistics you may include are:

  • % of women recruited in the last year and any data on recruitment to non-traditional roles for females
  • % of employees who work flexibly, whether formally or informally, including a male/female breakdown where possible
  • % of women in senior and middle management positions
  • % of women at board level
  • Retention rates after maternity/paternity leave

Case studies 

For those areas where it is hard to quantify, please use case studies of employees who are benefiting from your practices. This is a great way to show how your way of working is having a positive impact. View example case study. 

You could also consider testimonials from staff, but they should contain enough information to show impact on the employee’s ability to work or to progress, on their well being or some other important personal fact.

Please ensure case studies and evidence are relevant to your entry.

Please submit your entry below.

Back to Top Employer Awards Homepage

Best for Returners Award

To be eligible to apply for the Best for returners Award, organisations will need to demonstrate they have stand-out programmes or initiatives aimed at returners – those who have taken a career break and are looking to get back into the workplace.

Entrants should demonstrate:

  • The thinking process behind their returner initiative
  • Challenges they have overcome or restructuring of initiatives in response to feedback
  • How they monitor impact [for instance, through tracking returners]
  • Evidence of impact
  • Any additional support they offer after the initiative has taken place
  • How they are looking to change ideas about returners in their organisation or more broadly in their sector.

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices will be considered. 

Please provide quantitative evidence where applicable.

Case studies

For those areas where it is hard to quantify, please use case studies of employees who are benefiting from your practices. This is a great way to show how your way of working is having a positive impact. View example case study. 

You could also consider testimonials from staff, but they should contain enough information to show impact on the employee’s ability to work or to progress, on their well being or some other important personal fact.

Please ensure case studies and evidence are relevant to your application.

Please submit your entry below.

Back to Top Employer Awards Homepage

Best for Older Workers Award

To be eligible for The Best for Older Workers Award, employers should provide details of what they do and how it helps older workers, including through metrics, how they are monitoring success and individual case studies which show impact.

Entrants should demonstrate:

  • How they counter ageism in the recruitment process
  • Flexible working options for older workers 
  • Mid-career reviews
  • Training for older workers 
  • Policies for women who are going through the menopause 
  • Senior management part-time options
  • Carer support 

Only those entries that provide evidence of the impact of their practices will be considered. 

Please provide quantitative evidence where applicable.

Case studies

For those areas where it is hard to quantify, please use case studies of employees who are benefiting from your practices. This is a great way to show how your way of working is having a positive impact. View example case study.

You could also consider testimonials from staff, but they should contain enough information to show impact on the employee’s ability to work or to progress, on their well being or some other important personal fact.

Please ensure case studies and evidence is relevant to your application.

Please submit your entry below.

Back to Top Employer Awards Homepage

Submit your Entry

In order to be considered, all interested employers are required to complete an application covering key areas as outlined in the guidance. It is vital that employers include data that is specific and relevant to the category they choose to enter so that the judges can see why they should be considered for a specific Award. Employers may choose to enter more than one category. Please submit a new form per award category.

Strengthening Your Application

Employers will need to strengthen their application by including case studies and testimonials which are relevant to the category applied for as well as evidence that policies are being monitored and developed.

If you believe your policies or practices to be innovative, either generally or within your own sector, please provide as much information as you can (why you implemented the initiative/policy, how it is managed, results or predicted result, for example) to ensure your applications stands out from your peers.

The Process

There will be an initial screening by WM People and a shortlist compiled. Shortlisted entrants will then be judged by a panel of judges that will include experts on the issues concerned. The application will be judged purely on the application form and evidence supplied – hence the need for a strong, relevant application.

Please complete the online application form. This includes, 1,000 word maximum citation on why your organisation should be considered for the award, and supporting evidence (unlimited words). If you have documents you would like to include in your supporting evidence, please email awards@workingmums.co.uk. One form should be completed per award entry.

The deadline for entries 22nd October 2021.

Please note that all submissions are confidential and will only be reviewed within WM People and with our judges.

  • Please select which award category you wish to enter. Please ensure you complete additional forms if you are entering more than one category.
  • Contact Details

  • Company Information

  • It is here that you must provide information on the initiative/s and or policy/s including how long they have been running and how many employees it affects. It is essential that you provide here evidence of the impact of your initiatives/policies. For example, take-up, retention rates, employee satisfaction data, etc. You can also add testimonials from employees relating to your initiative. If you have exceeded the 1,000 yet have further information on the impact, please add to the Further Impact section.
  • Please provide case studies from employees who have benefited from your initiatives/policies. Information we would require here is how the initiative/policy has helped that employee and made a difference to them and how do they feel about you as an employer as a result, e.g., has it made them feel more committed, loyal, etc. Suggested number of case studies is 2+.
  • If you have exceeded the 1,000 word limit above but have further evidence of impact, please add it here. All information in this area must directly relate to the initiative/policy highlighted in your citation. There is no word limit for impact evidence.
  • Want to become the Overall Top Employer in 2022? The winners of each category will be put forward for The Overall Top Employer Award, which is for employers who can demonstrate commitment to a range of policies and practices related to family support, women’s career progression and flexible working. Entrants for each category who wish to be considered for The Overall Top Employer Award are therefore advised to include an executive summary of their work in these areas if they have not already covered them in their submission.

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