Civil service launches strategy to become UK’s most inclusive employer

“Diversity is our greatest asset for delivering even better outputs for the British public”

Readers of LEAD magazine will know that the civil service has big ambitions for diversity and inclusion. Today, the full details of the strategy were announced at a special event in the heart of Westminster.

Writing in the launch issue of LEAD magazine, Rupert McNeil, chief people officer at the Cabinet Office, said that: “I want the Civil Service to be a role model employer in the UK market and lead change in the private sector”.

The strategy sets out how McNeil and his colleagues intend to achieve this. Among the long list of actions to be taken include:

  • Building a dedicated ethnic diversity programme
  • Ramping up its current disability inclusion programme
  • Setting and beginning to monitor progress towards a new Civil Service-wide target to increase the flow of ethnic minority and disabled staff into the Senior Civil Service
  • Establishing a Diverse Leadership Task Force
  • Establishing a new framework for the measurement of inclusion
  • Establishing quality standards for inclusive leadership
  • Introducing a programme of culture audits
  • Embedding diversity and inclusion within department plans and KPIs

The Civil Service is more diverse now than at any time in its history. The proportion of civil servants who declare a disability (9.9 per cent) and those who are from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background (11.6 per cent) are at record highs. Meanwhile, women make up over
 40 per cent of the senior civil service, which is greater than the representation of female executives and Board Directors in the FTSE 100 companies (26 per cent).

Still much work to be done
However, there is still a long way to go. As Sue Owen, permanent secretary of Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and a diversity and inclusion champion at the Civil Service, said at the event: “Diversity is our greatest asset for delivering even better outputs for the British public… There are big challenges ahead but we are unapologetically ambitious. There is a significant amount of work we need to do to ensure that diversity is reflected across our organisations. We cannot be a role model unless we do that.”

Owen laid down a challenge to everyone who works in the civil service, reminding them that delivering the ambition of the strategy would not be possible without their involvement. “Consider what contribution you can make towards delivering the strategy. Everyone has a role to play in promoting diversity and inclusion.”

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