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Diversity and inclusion

The GSS People Plan aims to ensure that the Government Statistician Group (GSG) is diverse and inclusive with a membership that reflects society in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and socio-economic background.

The GSS Careers Team are working to promote a culture that attracts, develops, retains and engages a diverse population across the profession.

Task and Finish Group

Following analysis of the 2019 Analysis Function Diversity and Inclusion Survey, a GSS Diversity and Inclusion Task and Finish Group made up of volunteers from across the GSS was set up.

The group are working on GSS specific survey analysis to help drive their recommendations. They are also developing communications and a GSS Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan which aligns to the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Practice Expectations 2020 to 2021.

In June 2020 initial recommendations were made to the GSS People Committee. These were approved and will start to be implemented.  Further recommendations will be made once the survey analysis is complete.

The group will share best practice across the GSS and the wider Analysis Function.  Lived experiences will be shared through blog posts.

Working with Heads of Profession

In June 2019 Iain Bell, (Deputy National Statistician) hosted a diversity and inclusion panel where attendees shared lived experiences with GSS Heads of Profession (HoPs). The Diversity and Inclusion Task and Finish Group plan to hold a similar event, open to a wider audience.

Pledges

In March 2020 the GSS Careers Team led a session supporting the Civil Service Year of Inclusion. As part of this session, HoPs and other Senior Civil Servants at the session were asked to make diversity and inclusion pledges.

Four Heads of Profession holding up placards stating their diversity and inclusion pledges

Julie Stanborough (Deputy Director of the Best Practice and Impact division) pledged to practise active listening.

David Blunt (Ministry of Justice and Chair of the People Committee) pledged that he would not only invite people to the party, but also ask them to dance.

Sandra Tudor pledged to promote diversity and inclusion within the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and to mentor an individual from a BAME background.

Claire Griffiths (Public Health England) pledged to promote transparency by writing weeknotes so people know what she is doing.

Other HoPs at the session made personal pledges on greeting cards. These will sent back to them after six months to remind them of their personal commitments to diversity and inclusion.

Making the GSS more diverse and inclusive

Actions taken to make the GSS more inclusive and to attract a diverse mix of staff:

  • refreshed entry routes to the profession via level 4 data analyst apprenticeships
  • a level 6 trailblazer data science apprenticeship in England and Wales
  • removal of barriers to taking the technical test in apprenticeship recruitment
  • requests for recruitment management information and metrics to include diversity data
  • introduction of video interviewing to improve accessibility
  • continued work on our student pipeline which includes the Summer Diversity Internship Programme
  • greater collaboration across GSS teams to access more management information on diversity and inclusion

 

Next steps

The GSS Diversity and Inclusion Task and Finish Group are working with the Analysis Function to introduce a reverse mentoring programme involving Black And Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff and staff with disabilities

The GSS Careers Team are exploring the introduction of shadow boards for the GSS People Committee and other GSS boards to ensure diversity of thought. Research has shown that organisations which bring together people who think differently can create conversations that stimulate new ideas and drive efficiency.

The Careers Team are pleased to announce that they now have two GSS D&I champions – Steph Howarth, Welsh Government and Jason Bradbury, Ofsted. The GSS Diversity and Inclusion Task and Finish Group are looking for new enthusiastic members to support the ongoing GSS D&I Initiatives.  If you would like to volunteer please email gss.careers@ons.gov.uk

Staff across the GSS will continue to publish diversity and inclusion blog posts on the GSS website, use Twitter to advertise diversity and inclusion work and keep this webpage up to date.

We will also share useful guidance to enhance understanding of diversity issues and barriers to progression.