Wilson James, the provider of security, logistics and aviation services, won the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative of the Year Award at the 2019 IFSEC Security and Fire Excellence Awards. The win recognised a pioneering partnership between the business, The Shaw Trust and Google to provide work experience and career opportunities in the security industry to individuals with visible and hidden disabilities.
Gemma Quirke, managing director for security and aviation at Wilson James, stated: “Our goal in developing this programme with our partners was to literally change the face of the security industry, which often suffers from stereotyped perceptions. In the 21st Century, security risks are more complex than they’ve ever been and require a wider set of skills and expertise to understand and manage. Diversity efforts are therefore not a PR exercise, but a necessity in our field. We need new and more diverse talent and ambition more than ever, and we need to be proactive about seeking and developing that talent. It’s about doing the right thing: for our clients, our industry and for the people who choose to build their careers within it.”
Richard Steel from Google’s global security and resilience services team, commented: “We’re proud to partner in this initiative and demonstrate our commitment to bringing down barriers that exist due to physical or hidden disability. Our mantra remains clear: we should consider what an individual can do, not focus on what they cannot.”
Jon Smith, head of the work and health programme at The Shaw Trust, concluded: “The Shaw Trust is pleased to have been involved in this partnership. As one of the Top 25 largest charities in the UK, we recognise the importance of working with a diverse set of stakeholders and champion the value of collaboration with forward thinking employers in order to provide increased opportunities for the participants on our programmes. I would like to congratulate Wilson James on winning this award. I look forward to working with them, and other like-minded employers, to help in closing the disability employment gap.”