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New diversity advisers to help Civil Service be a ‘socially inclusive employer’

A team of four diversity experts has been appointed by the Cabinet Secretary to help the Civil Service become “more representative of modern Britain”. 

Sir Jeremy Heywood said the new advisers will work to challenge policies and provide advice to ministers and the leadership of the Civil Service to help make it become a “truly socially inclusive employer”. 

The new diversity advisers are Stephen Frost, who from 2014-15 was head of diversity and inclusion at KPMG; Karen Blackett OBE, chief executive of MediaCom UK; Lord Holmes of Richmond, who was director of Paralympic integration for London 2012; and Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment Management and founder of the influential 30% Club, which campaigns to get women on boards. 

As well as providing independent advice, the advisers will speak at key events and sit on the Removing Barriers Implementation Board. 

Sir Jeremy said: “A diverse and inclusive workforce is proven to be more efficient and effective, and I want Stephen, Karen, Chris and Helena to take a no-holds-barred approach and tell us clearly where we can improve. 

“I am passionate about encouraging individuals from all backgrounds to aim high and achieve their potential too, and in doing so to help the Civil Service become a truly socially inclusive employer.” 

Recently in PSE, Sir Simon Fraser, head of the Diplomatic Service and permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, who is the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Champion, wrote about the new ‘Talent Action Plan: Removing the Barriers to Success’. It set out specific steps to be taken across the whole of the Civil Service, and within individual government departments. 

However, he added that compared to other major employers in the public and private sector, the Civil Service has a strong record for diversity. More than half of its staff are women; 9.6% have an ethnic minority background; and 8.6% have a declared disability.


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