A North East based charity, Mental Health Concern, has ranked 44th in the 2022 UK’s Best Workplaces For Women list, launched by Great Place To Work UK, recognising the work done to ensure the charity is a great workplace for all, including women.

Mental Health Concern, which provides specialist mental health services across the North East, and talking therapies nationally through its sister organisation Insight IAPT, has recently won the CIPD North East Award for Excellence in Health & Wellness due to its innovative colleague wellbeing programme. The charity employs 874 people – with an 80% female workforce and a majority female leadership team – across the North East and England, and has seen improvements in staff retention, lower sickness absence, and increased colleague happiness in the past 12 months.

Having already been certified as a Great Place To Work in November 2021, this latest accolade confirms the work done over the past year by Mental Health Concern’s People Team – led by Chief People Officer, Sarah Dewar – including the roll out of an organisation wide wellbeing strategy with a focus on colleague inclusion and representation. This led to the introduction of policies that considered the specific needs of women, including a menopause policy which initiated awareness sessions to shine a light on menopause, as well as a pregnancy loss policy, offering enhanced paid leave and support for anyone impacted.

Sarah Dewar, Chief People Officer for Mental Health Concern said: “I am thrilled that we have made the 2022 UK’s Best Workplaces for Women list. Diversity and inclusion are a key part of our organisation’s strategy and our team work incredibly hard to make sure we have an inclusive and welcoming workplace for everyone. As this award is based on the direct feedback of our colleagues, it confirms that our efforts are making an impact.

“Since launching our Wellbeing Strategy last year, we have worked with the women in our organisation to listen and understand their needs, and we will continue to explore different ways to make sure they feel heard, valued, and respected.

“We have also recently commissioned an external diversity diagnostic and will be continuing to listen to what our people tell us and put in place plans to ensure our workplace has a truly inclusive culture for all.”

Benedict Gautrey, Managing Director of Great Place to Work® UK, said:

“Now in its fifth year, our 2022 list showcases the largest collection of Best WorkplacesTM for Women that the UK has ever recognised. These results are based on what women themselves have anonymously reported to us about their workplace experience and how well represented they are in the workforce and management.  Ensuring people aren’t discriminated against, placing positive value on our differences, creating fair access and advancement for all, and fostering a sense of value and empowerment in employees is what being a Great Place to Work® is all about. Only by first identifying the gaps in workers’ experiences can organisations truly take action to close them, which is why analysing employee experience is important. We are proud that the data and insights we provide organisations helps on that continuous journey – and it’s wonderful to celebrate so many Best Workplaces™ for Women this year, across all sectors and organisational sizes.”