The Apollo Project: Agents for Change – An initiative from the InterLaw Diversity Forum and the Financial Times

The Apollo Project is a global cross-sector initiative for businesses and organisations of all sizes, which provides the practical tools needed to better embed more inclusive workplace practices and cultures to promote a meritocracy.  The Apollo Project seeks out and awards ground-breaking initiatives and examples of best practice backed up by evidence, and then offers these as “open source” resources for other organisations to adapt and implement.

The Apollo Project is now in its fourth year.  This year individual awards have been added in order to recognise individual change-makers who act as catalysts for change as well as organisations.

The Apollo Project is an initiative of the InterLaw Diversity Forum, launched in 2014 and inspired by the recommendations of its 2012 studyCareer Progression in the Legal Sector, which identified the need to effect cultural change in order to ‘level the playing field’ and create more meritocratic workplaces. The Apollo Project helps create these meritocratic workplaces by leveraging on the examples of best practice to give organisations from all sectors practical tools to help make effective cultural changes.

The Apollo Project, in partnership with the Financial Times, runs an annual competition which seeks out the initiatives and examples of best practice that are driving cultural change.  Winning initiatives have provided evidence of measurable outputs, and can be replicated or adapted by other organisations looking for guidance in this area. All winning initiatives are freely available on the Apollo Project website (found here), thus enabling other organisations to shape and inform their work on diversity and inclusion, talent management and organisational change.

Individuals and organisations with winning initiatives receive an Apollo Project: Architects of Meritocracy award for their innovative work in instigating cultural change. Initiatives are judged by a panel based upon strict criteria.

Each year the Financial Times publishes a global special report that highlights the Apollo Project, and the InterLaw Diversity Forum publishes a winners booklet along with updates on past winners.

Head Judge and Founder of The Apollo Project and InterLaw Diversity Forum, Daniel Winterfeldt is a leading lawyer and diversity and inclusion champion.

Head Judges – Daniel Winterfeldt and Sandie Okoro

I created the Apollo Project as a way of driving cultural change in the workplace to level the playing field, so that all talent can rise to the top. Our research and that of others tells us that there is a “diversity tax”, where those who are diverse have to work harder for less, and that most standard interventions around diversity and inclusion are falling short of their goals. In my meetings with senior business leaders, they all identified the issue around culture but seemed to lack the practical tools to achieve their talent goals. The Apollo Project features businesses and change makers who are delivering innovative and effective solutions to create inclusive workplaces.”

Co-Head Judge, Sandie Okoro, Senior VP and Group General Counsel at the World Bank, recognizes the importance of more inclusive workplace cultures and the need to highlight organisations and individuals who are paving the way for change:

The Apollo Project shines a global spotlight on real agents for change. To win an Apollo Project award, one must demonstrate long-term unique drive and measurable impact whilst using innovative methods for inclusion in the workplace. We aim to set the bar high and for other organisations to follow suit and take positive steps in creating more meritocratic workplaces.”

Harriet Arnold, Assistant Editor, FT Special Reports states:

I have been editing and writing features about organisational culture and change for many years and I look forward to gaining new insights into initiatives that make a difference.”

To nominate an individual or organization, please visit: http://theapolloproject.net/apollo/nominations2017/

The closing date for nominations is Thursday, October 26th. The Apollo Project winners will be announced in the Financial Times and at the award ceremony on Thursday, December 7th.

For more information, please contact: dwinterfeldt@reedsmith.com

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