Oliver Murtagh, Vice President, the Irish Guild of Sommeliers is a member of the Diversity Awards committee.

Winners in six categories of the Hospitality Diversity Awards were named at a ceremony in the Herbert Park Hotel on Thursday the 16th December,2010.

1. Dublin Institute of Technology, School of Hospitality Management &
Tourism which  won the inaugural college category
2. Crowne Plaza Dublin, Blanchardstown won the Hotel (Individual) category
3. Sodexo Ireland won the Catering Operations category
4. Guinness Storehouse Dublin won Other Tourism&Hospitality Business category
5. Three Q Recruitment won the Recruitment / Contract category
6. Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Dublin won the Hotel (Groups) category

This year each was recognised for nurturing a wide diversity of employee and customer backgrounds through structured and meaningful integration strategies and resources within their organisations.

The Hospitality Diversity Awards have been funded by the Office of State for the Minister for Equality,Integration and Human Rights and were developed to recognise and celebrate the initiatives, policies and practices taken by both companies and individuals who have embraced diversity & equality within the Irish Hospitality and Tourism industry.

Speaking at the awards Mary White T.D. Minister of State for Equality,
Integration & Human Rights said: ‘The tourism and hospitality sector is embedded in the economic, social and cultural life of every county in Ireland and is an important contributor to our economy in terms of the employment it creates and business it generates.
It has helped to establish Ireland’s international reputation as a welcoming and congenial place to visit and do business. In the Irish hospitality industry,  workers are often on the frontline of a service which very much depends on creating positive business images. We must ensure that all staff are valued and can work in a fair, equal and inclusive work environment.
Ireland has always been known as a country providing service with a smile. It’s not only Irish eyes that are smiling, but the smiles of our new Irish  working in this key frontline area, who are shaping the industry, ensuring quality of service.”

Also speaking at the awards ceremony was Chief Executive of the Irish Hospitality Institute, Natasha Kinsella who  said: ‘As an industry that faces economic challenges and business pressures its even more important to emphasise that investment into  Equality&Diversity strategies is a key to survival. Due to the developments of the awards and the integration of the 10 Steps guideline which provided a framework for action, evidence within Recruitment & Selection, Induction & Orientation and Training & Development was sought by each panel not alone for employees but also consideration towards the integration of the customer service provisions. Also examined is the wider element of Diversity & Equality of an inclusion programme not just in relation to International workers but evidence of integration of those from minority groups, people with disabilities and local community groups. I am delighted to say that it is both the short listed candidates and overall categories winners who demonstrate this and will be recognized here tonight.

She added: “Diversity awards focus on awareness but as     afundamental goal of the overall initiative is to learn from each other’s experiences as well as demonstrating the huge benefits, it is the winners of tonight through their involvement will help us to continue the success of such programmes to encourage others both within & outside the Hospitality sector, emulate this approach.”
The Diversity Awards aim to reward cultural integration in recognizing the work done to integrate workers from all varied backgrounds and in doing so, showcase the benefits from such initiatives and the examples of best practice for other Irish businesses to follow.

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