Women among those to benefit from £800k pot to create more diverse workplaces

An Edinburgh-led project aiming to improve career progression prospects for women and minority ethnic workers in finance is among more than a dozen initiatives to receive equality funding.

Social enterprise Adopt an Intern (now rebranded as AAI EmployAbility) will lead the Diversity Works programme at Aegon Asset Management based in the Scottish capital, entailing integrated delivery of online training, coaching and support to 30 senior managers within the financial services company.

It is one of 13 projects that successfully applied to the Scottish Government’s Workplace Equality Fund, which is being administered by Advice Direct Scotland, and recipients will now receive grants amounting to £800,000 to address long-standing hurdles in the labour market.

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They also include Cornerstone’s Menopause Awareness Project, Perth Autism Support’s project to help autistic people secure and retain employment, and Path Scotland’s leadership programme for minority ethnic employees of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Also on the list is Age Scotland, for its project around age inclusion for people, managers and key influencers, and the Scottish Refugee Council’s scheme to help refugees develop careers in social care.

Joy Lewis, head of AAI EmployAbility, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Aegon Asset Management on the important issue of removing barriers and implementing changes to support talented minority ethnic workers."

Conor Forbes, director of policy at Advice Direct Scotland, said the fund “acts as a source of financial support for Scottish businesses and organisations that are striving to improve equality-related outcomes for priority groups in the workplace”.

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AAI EmployAbility boss Joy Lewis cheered its tie-up with Aegon Asset Management to support marginalised groups. Picture: Graham Flack.

He added: “The 13 successful applicants include a range of inspiring projects designed to increase diversity and inclusion in a variety of different sectors, all around Scotland.”