Government outlines plan to become the UK’s most inclusive employer by 2020

The Government has today announced the plan for how it will become the most inclusive employer in the UK by 2020.

The Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Strategy outlines a range of ambitious proposals to achieve this aim, including:

  • to build a dedicated ethnic minority programme to improve the representation of ethnic minority staff at the most senior levels across the Civil Service;
  • to create a Diverse Leadership Task Force that will report to the Cabinet Secretary;
  • to publish a data dashboard tracking progress on diversity and inclusion targets by April 2018;
  • to establish a new framework for measuring inclusion;
  • to embed diversity and inclusion in Single Departmental Plans.

The Civil Service has already made significant progress towards increasing the diversity of its workforce. Introducing measures such as anonymised recruitment and making Permanent Secretaries accountable to the Head of the Civil Service for improving diversity and inclusion have made a positive difference to the amount of under-represented groups in the Civil Service.

On gender whilst 42% of current Senior Civil Servants are women, in 2017, 49% of all new recruits into the SCS were women. The proportion of women at Senior Civil Service level (42%) is now greater than the representation of female executives and Board Directors in FTSE 100 companies (26%).

The proportion of ethnic minority civil servants has increased rapidly from 9.4% in 2012 to 11.2% today, and representation of disabled people within the Civil Service has increased every year since 2010, from 7.6% to 9.9% in 2017. Only 4.6% of Senior Civil Servants are from ethnic minority communities, however, and only 3.3% report having a disability, so there is more to be done.

Speaking today at the launch of the strategy, Caroline Nokes, Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency, said:

The Civil Service leads the way on diversity in many ways. The gender pay gap is lower than in the private sector, we have significantly increased our representation of minority groups at every level, and our award winning Fast Stream programme is now broadly representative of the wider population in terms of diversity characteristics and social background. We are committed to driving this further, however, and I am proud that we are putting inclusion at the forefront of our agenda and for the Civil Service to act as a leading light for other organisations across the UK.

Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood said:

In order to serve the country to the best of its ability, the Civil Service must ensure that it reflects the diversity of the UK. Having a diverse workforce is not enough though, if it is to be truly brilliant, the Civil Service must strive to be inclusive and must create an environment where differences of thought and outlook are not only respected, but expected.

Although progress has been considerable over the past few years, today’s strategy highlights how we must go further. Our ambition to become the most inclusive employer by 2020 is testament to our commitment to diversity and inclusion and to making the best use of talent that exists in all parts of society.

John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service and Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary, added:

There are many studies and reports that evidence that diverse and inclusive organisations perform better and have happier people. The Civil Service, in order to ensure that it delivers the best quality service to the taxpayer, has a duty to attract and retain the best people from all corners of society. Our commitment to becoming the most inclusive employer in the UK by 2020 should also set an example to other public and private sector organisations.