Diversity and Inclusion recognition for our finance team

Diversity and Inclusion recognition for our finance team

The Oxford Health Finance team have been shortlisted for the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Diversity & Inclusion award.

This is a new award for 2021 recognising team and organisations who have introduced changes that have positively contributed to the diversity and inclusion within their finance departments

The HFMA’s National Healthcare Finance Awards programme recognises the work of finance teams and individuals from across the UK.

All shortlisted finalists underwent an interview with the judging panel in early November. The team will attend an award ceremony at the HFMA National Conference later this week to find out who the winner will be.

The results of the awards will be announced on Thursday, November, 9 at London Hilton Metropole. Two staff from the finance team will be attending this event.

Mike McEnaney, Director of Finance, said: “The Finance & Procurement Equality & Diversity Inclusion (EDI) team have done a fantastic job of understanding the underlying issues for our staff, communicating them to the senior management and proposing solutions in the important areas of recruitment, promotion, development and training. We are all very proud for them to be shortlisted for the award.”

At first glance the finance EDI team would appear to be diverse and largely reflective of the local population with a relatively equal gender split. There are around 30% Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff within the team but it was recognised that less BAME and female staff were being employed in more senior roles. The team felt that there was room for improvement to diversify and allow more opportunities for these individuals.

In late 2018 following on from a presentation by Future Focussed Finance, the Finance Director, Mike McEnaney asked for volunteers to form a small and enthusiastic group of staff to look into the diversity issues facing the department and come up with an action plan for improvement.

A survey was carried out to look at the team’s understanding of diversity, feelings of inclusivity and being valued, equal opportunities for training and career development and it also opened an honest and anonymous conversation about what changes staff would like to see in the future.

The results and comments of the survey enabled the Finance Equality and Diversity group to create a meaningful set of recommendations and a measurable action plan which were shared with all members of the finance and procurement teams.

Stacy Hennessy, senior directorate accountant, said: “We are extremely proud of the work we have done and are now starting to see real benefits from the plan such as an uptake of training opportunities by lower banded staff, more robust performance and development review (PDR) processes and monitoring at 1:1’s and an increase in diversity in higher banded roles. We ensure diversity on all interview panels to try and combat unconscious bias and that all finance staff are trained in conscious inclusion as well.

“The survey helped staff feel included and belong to a team. We noticed considerably lower sickness days, improved morale in individuals and when working within a team, more people felt inclined to put their suggestions and opinions forward, it felt like a real community spirit.”

Everyone in Oxford Health wishes our finance team the best of luck for the award ceremony.

Published: 8 December 2021