Civil Service focuses on Diversity
Kevin Cunnington, Director General of the Government Digital Service (GDS), recently outlined the work that had been undertaken by his team to improve diversity in the workplace, while taking the opportunity to discuss what is being done to achieve this across the Civil Service.
Kevin states the need to ‘reflect the society we serve’, aiming to help government work better for everyone through more diverse teams that are more inclusive.
He went on to mention that Support Networks have a key role to play in supporting staff, organising key events and to communicate openly to staff. For example, last year the Ethnic Minority Network at GDS organised an entire programme of events around Black History Month, with GDS staff and colleagues from across government stating the events “taught them new things, and inspired them to take action to improve ethnic diversity and inclusion in the workplace.”
With the appointment of a Diversity and Inclusion Manager at GDS, they will be looking to increase the number of staff from ethnic minorities. Kevin believe this can be achieved by:
- Making it mandatory for everyone who sat on an interview panel to have unconscious bias training
- Ensuring an ethnic minority representative on every interview panel, and compiled a list of ethnic minority volunteers from various backgrounds and with different specialisms
During the Civil Service Awards in October, members of staff across the departments and agencies who have made a difference were honoured at a Whitehall ceremony.
A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) staff member who transformed her department’s awareness of mental health issues and a Crown Prosecution Service group that created a first-of-its-kind LGBTI conference were both recognised for their contributions in supporting staff and making the working environments more inclusive.
Kate Abbott, who works at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, won the Cabinet Secretary’s Inclusion Award in recognition of her work to boost awareness of mental health issues across the department, while HM Land Registry staff member Emma Dunn was highly commended in the LGBTI category for her “relentless campaign of public speaking” a range of events over the past 18 months.
The Civil Service is clearly focusing on increasing the diversity of its staff across the UK and recognising the value of the skills and experience that a more diverse workforce will bring. With more job opportunities across government available with flexible working arrangements, support from network groups and career progression paths, now could be a good time to become a Civil Servant.