Newport-based Niche IFA has been awarded the Exemplar Employer Award for its commitment to diverse and inclusive practices in the workplace.

The award is an initiative of Welsh charity Chwarae Teg and reflects Niche's determination that all staff enjoy the same opportunities, regardless of gender, ethnicity or background.

The award is also further evidence of the company's continued growth and commitment to providing inclusive services to the wider community.

The award reaffirms Niche's Next Generation training and recruitment scheme, which sees the company work with local universities and organisations and offer internships and training.

In embracing such schemes and in achieving the Exemplar Award, the company hopes to be serving its diverse local community for many years to come.

The award surveys employees to ascertain how the business performs in 10 key areas: business diversity, flexible working, communication, working relationships, learning and development, recruitment and selection, management, performance management, people policies, community and environment.

With Niche achieving the 'Achieving Award' for success in all of these areas, the company has shown it benefits from its diverse and happy workforce.

Trudy Jenkins, paraplanner at Niche IFA, said: "The Niche team has been so supportive and flexible, allowing me to balance work and family life, without making sacrifices. We really do deserve this award."

Ray Adams, director and chartered financial planner, said: "The award proves how hard we are pushing to achieve a representative workforce at Niche.

"Financial advice should be all about meeting our clients' needs. In providing the best working practices and environment for women, we are aiming to put in place and develop a team who can best relate to and service the

needs of a new generation of clients in the coming years."