A Leadership Diversity Network has been set up in Scotland with the aim of improving diversity in the workplace.

The network, established by Standard Life in conjunction with Glasgow-based executive talent specialist Argyll Fenton and management development group Advance Consultancy, aims to share insight, thought leadership and best practice on promoting workplace diversity.

Employers from across Scotland attended a launch event at Standard Life's headquarters in Edinburgh yesterday.

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Jackie Moran, customer service director at Standard Life, said the agenda was an important one for the group.

She added: "We first came up with the idea of co-­founding a network for leadership d­iversity as we were aware that there was a real opportunity to share and learn from each other."

Argyll Fenton's Soraya Fenton said: "The uptake in interest from our respective networks has been immediate from inception and we are keen to optimise and develop from this point, driving forward the diversity and inclusion agenda in Scotland."

Kim Walker, at Advance, added: "We are delighted that this event has stimulated so much interest.

"Diversity and inclusion is a topic that is high on most organisations' agendas."

Standard Life earlier this year became the first company headquartered in Scotland to partner with charity Leonard Cheshire Disability for its Change100 programme, creating an internship for disabled university students.

The Edinburgh institution has also signed up to the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant.

This encourages all ­business to show their support for service personnel, their families and ­veterans through the workplace.

It now allows partners and spouses of service personnel additional paid leave and temporary changes to ­working patterns where overseas deployment is involved.

Last month Standard Life won shareholder plaudits at its annual meeting after announcing it had full accreditation as 'living wage employer', which it extends to all interns.

It also confirmed a policy commitment to no 'zero hours' contracts.

The group employs 5000, people, mainly in Edinburgh.