Azets takes Pride in diversity

Top 10 UK accountancy firm Azets in Yorkshire has strengthened its support for the LGBT+ community with backing for this June’s Pride celebrations.

The company has a longstanding commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity for its 3,000 staff in 70 offices and the clients they serve.

Azets’ Yorkshire region has led the way by backing York Pride – one of the biggest LGBT+ celebrations in the county – for the first time.

It was a headline sponsor of the two-day event when staff from the firm’s York, Leeds and Bradford offices joined in a colourful city centre parade and manned a stand in its vibrant festival village. Yorkshire is the first Azets region to officially support a Pride event.

Claire Needham, office managing partner for Azets in York, said: We were thrilled to play our part in the fantastic Pride celebrations and help champion the LGBT+ community.

“At Azets we enshrine the values of diversity, equality and inclusion into our company culture all of the year around to create a supportive, connected, caring and healthy environment based on respect.

“This is not only the right thing to do, it also makes sense from a business perspective.

“It ensures that Azets is a dynamic, progressive and successful company which attracts the best, brightest and most diverse talent who can thrive as their authentic selves as well as be a company with which others want to do business.

“Diversity, equality and inclusivity can also increase employee engagement and trust, improve performance and support collaborative working which helps teams to make better decisions more quickly.”

Azets’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) strategy is dedicated to creating an inclusive workplace that celebrates diverse perspectives and promotes equality for all employees.

To complement this strategy and further embed it within the UK, their DE&I network, Authentically Azets, developed a DE&I roadmap.

This outlines the steps and actions needed over the next three years to raise awareness, enhance engagement, and achieve the ultimate goal of becoming an employer of choice.

Azets demonstrates its commitment to DE&I through various initiatives, including educational articles, celebratory campaigns, regular training, equitable hiring practices, and transparent reporting to track and ensure progress.

Authentically Azets is co-chaired by Julie Gunnell, who is payroll associate director (Yorkshire), and assistant tax manager Rohit Ghai.

Azets board of directors chair Melanie Richards was awarded a CBE in 2019 for her contribution to business and to the diversity and inclusion agenda.

She is a founding member of the 30% Club steering committee which aims to boost female representation at executive level and sits on the steering group of the FTSE Women Leaders Review.

Azets has also focused on diversity and inclusivity in an episode of its Bang the Drum! Podcast.

Longstanding research by Forbes has found that decisions made and executed by diverse teams produced 60% better results and that inclusive teams make better business decisions 87% of the time.

The LGBT+ rights charity Stonewall has reported that 20% of LGBTQ+ people have been the target of negative comments at work.

It says that one third of LGBTQ+ people feel they need to hide who they are at work and one in five feel that being LGBTQ+ limits their job opportunities.

Azets has offices in Bradford, Leeds and York in Yorkshire where it employs 334 people.


Charlotte Grainger said: “It was an incredible event to be a part of and a great chance to support Pride with friends.”

Adam Sanders said: “To attend my first Pride while also being able to champion Azets’ first pride sponsorship was a great honour. Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community it was great to be able to wave the flag for Azets while being surrounded by allies and celebrate inclusivity!”

Chloe Lister said: “York Pride was such a wonderful experience. It was a great opportunity for the Yorkshire offices to get involved with supporting an amazing cause as well as promoting team building within the business. It was lovely to see so many people come together to support each other and have a lovely time whilst doing it. The atmosphere for the whole day was exhilarating and the smiles never stopped. I will be volunteering to support the event and represent Azets at Pride events in the future.”

Samantha Graham said: “I think we all expected to enjoy York Pride but I don’t think we realised how noisy and vibrant the atmosphere would be. Nor did we realise how much fun it would be to come together as colleagues as part of a bigger community event.”