GOC receives National Centre for Diversity award

The GOC was recognised in the small to medium business of the year category

Pexels/Nataliya Vaitkevich

The General Optical Council (GOC) has received an award recognising it as the best small company at the National Centre for Diversity’s (NCFD) FREDIE 2021 Awards.

The awards seek to celebrate champions of ‘Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement.’ 

Speaking to OT, GOC chief executive and registrar, Lesley Longstone, said: “We are extremely pleased that we’ve been recognised as the Best Small Company at the FREDIE awards, hosted by The National Centre for Diversity.

“We have been working internally as well as externally to improve our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) processes so they are more inclusive, and to also better understand the EDI impacts on the optical sector.”

As part of these efforts, Longstone explained that the GOC has invested in a full-time EDI lead and set up staff networks who have run awareness campaigns covering Black History, Women’s History, Disability History and LGBT+ History. All staff have also recently completed bias and behaviours training.

“We’ve also published our commitment to being an anti-racist organisation with the support of our governing Council and are currently reviewing and updating our gender reassignment policy and processes, which will go out for consultation this year,” Longstone explained. 

“We’re proud to have taken these first steps and know there will be so much more that we can do going forward to better engage and support the wide diversity of our stakeholders and registrants,” she added.

Held online, the 2021 awards recognised companies for promoting excellence.

Congratulating the award winners and nominees, Solat Chaudhry, NCFD chief executive, said: “It’s been a challenging year and yet, it has not dented the excellent work that organisations and individuals do in promoting FREDIE best practice.

“All of the winners showed consummate professionalism and wonderful inclusive leadership, from the senior management down to all the teams that deliver on the ground, and I congratulate everyone who works so hard day in day out to maintain these high standards.”