Civil Service departments and agencies monitor their workforce to assess what the breakdown is, in terms of gender, ethnic origin, age, disability, and working patterns. Following the introduction of the Public Sector Equality Duty in April 2011, departments have extended this monitoring to include other protected characteristics such as sexual orientation and religion / belief.
Data is collected through voluntary self surveys and stored confidentially. This information helps us to ensure our policies and procedures are fair and do not discriminate against any group of employees. (Departments and agencies also monitor applications to the Civil Service to ensure that the recruitment process is fair and non-discriminatory.)
Equality and diversity targets
Our aspiration is to improve workforce diversity and build a Civil Service which reflects the society we serve.
The Civil Service is already fairly representative of society; however we have specific targets in place to improve the diversity of the Senior Civil Service (SCS). We recognise that SCS members set the example for their departments and have the lead in ensuring that equality and diversity principles are both valued and integrated into business and workforce planning.
By improving diversity at the top level, we can make a difference throughout the Civil Service and the targets provide a measure of our progress.
The main representation targets we aim to reach by December 2013 are:
- 39% of the Senior Civil Service to be women (37.4% at October 2012)
- 34% of top management posts (Director and above) to be held by women (31.4% at October 2012)
- 5% of the Senior Civil Service to be minority ethnic staff (4.0% of the known population at October 2012)
- 5% of the Senior Civil Service to be disabled people (3.3% of the known population at October 2012)
These targets relate to the Civil Service as a whole and progress is monitored centrally.
Additionally, departments have provision to set their own targets where there is under-representation of a particular group. Targets may apply to both SCS members and more junior grades and departments are independently responsible for both monitoring and reporting progress.
More information about Civil Service statistics
Benchmarking and celebrating our achievements
Many Civil Service departments and agencies are members of organisations like Race for Opportunity, Opportunity Now, Business Disability Forum (formerly Employers’ Forum on Disability), Stonewall and Employers’ Forum on Age.
Membership enables a benchmarking of our progress against other organisations, within and outside the public sector