Equality and diversity

The Civil Service's diversity and inclusion policies and how equality and diversity are monitored.

The Civil Service is a modern and diverse workplace, committed to promoting and ensuring equality and valuing diversity. We will not unlawfully discriminate in any aspect of employment, including:

  • how employees are selected
  • employment terms offered
  • whether employees are promoted or receive training, transfers or benefits
  • how employees are treated

Civil Service workforce

The Civil Service is committed to improving the delivery of public services for everyone in society. Respecting and valuing differences will help to ensure that our policies and services reflect the needs and experiences of the people we serve. To do this effectively, we need a workforce with the very best possible mix of existing and future talent.

The statistics below demonstrate the diversity of our workforce. However we acknowledge that we need to do more, particularly at senior levels.

Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Statistics to Q1 2017

  Civil Service Senior Civil Service
Women 54.0% 41.7%
Minority Ethnic 11.6% 4.6%
Disabled 9.9% 3.4%

Talent Action Plan

The Civil Service Talent Action Plan details actions to remove barriers and ensure that the best people progress in the Civil Service. It sets out actions to ensure that we remain one of the best and most progressive UK employers.

How we monitor diversity

Civil Service departments and agencies monitor their workforce in terms of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, faith or belief, age, socio-economic background and working pattern.

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 ensure that the recruitment process is fair and non-discriminatory.


Read the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

Civil Service Diversity Champions

Melanie Dawes

Melanie Dawes took up her role as Permanent Secretary for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on 1 March 2015. She is also gender champion for the Civil Service and sits on the Civil Service Board and Senior Leadership Committee.

Read Melanie’s blogs.

Jon Thompson

Jon Thompson was appointed Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in April 2016 after more than three years as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence (MOD). He became the Civil Service Social Mobility Champion in 2015.

Read Jon’s blogs.

Philip Rutnam

Philip Rutnam joined the Home Office as Permanent Secretary in April 2017. He was previously Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport (DfT) for five years. He was appointed Civil Service Disability Champion in 2015. Follow Philip on Twitter.

Read Philip’s blogs.

Clare Moriarty

Clare Moriarty has been Permanent Secretary for Defra since August 2015 and is the Civil Service Faith and Belief Champion. Previously, Clare was Director General, Rail Executive in DfT.

Read Clare’s blogs.

Sue Owen

Sue Owen is the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and the Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Champion and LGB&TI Champion.

Read Sue’s blogs.

Richard Heaton

Richard Heaton became the Civil Service Race Champion in April 2014. He has been Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) since August 2015. Before that he was Permanent Secretary for the Cabinet Office from August 2012.

Read Richard’s blogs.

Our networks

Our networks offer help and support to civil servants and raise awareness of some of the barriers faced by our underrepresented groups. There are a range of networks across the Civil Service:

Talent Schemes

Graduate Fast Stream

Fast Track Apprenticeship Programme


Email: inclusion@cabinetoffice.gov.uk