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Government commits to increase diversity of public appointments

Government commits to increase diversity of public appointments

The Minister for the Constitution Chris Skidmore has launched a Diversity Action Plan for Public Appointments. The Diversity Action Plan includes a commitment that by 2022, half of all public appointees should be female and 14% should be from ethnic minorities, bringing representation on public boards in line with the wider population.

The 10-point Diversity Action Plan sets out how the government will deliver these commitments by continuing with existing measures which are working well, and introducing new activities to support further progress. The new activities outlined in the plan include establishing a mentoring programme and developing an Inclusive Boards Charter which will set standards for inclusivity for chairs and their boards.

Considerable progress has already been made in increasing gender diversity among new public appointees. In 2016 to 17, the proportion of new public appointments going to women rose to 49% from 34% in 2013 to 14, and 96% of all shortlists in 2016 to 17 were made up of both male and female candidates.

The launch of the plan marks the first time that the government has published data on the status of diversity across all public appointments. Of the 5,500 public appointees currently in post, 43% are female and 10% are from ethnic minorities.

“We need diverse ideas and perspectives at the helm of our public bodies, so it is vital that public appointees truly reflect the society they serve.”

Minister for the Constitution, Chris Skidmore said :

“I am heartened by the increase in women being appointed to public boards but there’s more we need to do across all aspects of diversity. Today we published a Diversity Action Plan which sets out how we will make public appointments even more open and accessible to all.

We need diverse ideas and perspectives at the helm of our public bodies, so it is vital that public appointees truly reflect the society they serve.”

Peter Riddell CBE, Commissioner for Public Appointments said :

“I welcome the ambitious targets set out in the Diversity Action Plan as an important sign of the government’s commitment to delivering greater diversity.

The activities outlined in the plan are key to encouraging more diverse fields of applicants to apply for positions on public boards. Success will require a sustained will on the part of Ministers, departments and public bodies.”

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About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016 and 2017.

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