News story

New Diversity Advisers to help Civil Service represent modern Britain

Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has appointed 4 expert advisers to help the Civil Service become more representative of modern Britain.


The advisers will work to challenge policies and advise ministers and Civil Service leaders. This will help them to continue to increase the numbers of people in the workforce from under-represented groups.

The advisers are respected leaders and campaigners from business and sport. Each has a long and unique track record in creating fairer, more representative workplaces.

The new diversity advisers are:

Stephen Frost

From 2014 to 2015, Stephen was Head of Diversity and Inclusion at KPMG and continues as a strategic advisor to the firm and its clients. Previously Head of Diversity and Inclusion at LOCOG from 2008 to 2012, Stephen achieved unprecedented workforce inclusion across the 200,000 staff base. The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were the most inclusive games ever, with 9% disabled, 40% BAME, 46% female and 5% LGBT staff. The Games saw mass participation by diverse groups.

Karen Blackett OBE

After a working-class upbringing in Reading, Karen is now Chief Executive Officer of media agency MediaCom UK. Karen has featured 5 times in the Power List of Britain’s 100 Most Influential Black People. In November 2014 Karen was number 1 in the Power List.

Lord Holmes of Richmond

Chris was Director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012. He led the team that planned and delivered, in the words of the International Paralympic Committee President, “the greatest Paralympic Games ever”. The Games demonstrated that a sports and commercial success could be achieved through having diversity and inclusion at the heart of every decision. Chris is also Britain’s most successful Paralympic swimmer, winning 9 gold medals, 6 at a single Games. Chris entered the House of Lords in 2013 as The Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE.

Helena Morrissey

Helena is Chief Executive Officer of Newton Investment Management and founder of the influential 30% Club which campaigns to get women on boards. She has recently been named one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. In both 2013 and 2014, Helena was voted one of the 50 Most Influential People in Finance by Bloomberg Markets Magazine.

The Diversity Advisers will provide independent advice to ministers and the Head of the Civil Service on the progress that is being made on diversity and inclusion. They will speak at important events and sit on the Removing Barriers Implementation Board, challenging, advising and supporting Civil Service leaders.

Sir Jeremy Heywood, Head of the Civil Service, said:

The Civil Service takes pride in its differences and we have a duty to become even more representative of modern Britain.

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.

Minister for the Cabinet Office, Matt Hancock, said:

In order to bring the country together as one nation, it is essential that the Civil Service is truly representative of modern Britain. Improving levels of diversity and inclusion is not simply important for the role of the Civil Service as an employer, but also in the development of policy and in the delivery of more effective and efficient services.

Published 21 September 2015