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

We want the Civil Service to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. The Civil Service is at its best when it reflects the diversity of the country as a whole and is able to understand what the public needs. We get better services that work for everyone when they are developed and delivered by people who come from the diverse communities we serve.

The Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion strategy

The Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy sets out how we will become the most inclusive employer in the UK by 2020. The strategy builds on the significant advances we have already made.

Read the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion transparency

The Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy made a commitment to greater transparency and accountability in the Civil Service to set targets to tackle the underrepresentation of disabled and ethnic minority staff in our most senior roles (the Senior Civil Service), and to extend our understanding of diversity to include socio-economic background.

Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Dashboard

We are increasing transparency by publishing a range of data about representation and inclusion in a new Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Dashboard. We are making it easy for everyone to scrutinise our progress by publishing this data in one place, with charts and a clear narrative explaining how we are doing.

We will improve the dashboard over time. We will add more metrics and publish an interactive version of the dashboard, so that users can explore the data for themselves.

See the dashboard here.

Civil Service Diversity Targets

When we published our new Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy in October 2017, we made a commitment to setting and working towards targets to increase the flow of ethnic minority and disabled staff into the Senior Civil Service.

We are taking action to achieve these targets by continuing to improve the way we identify and develop our talented staff, the way we attract diverse candidates to apply for roles, and the fairness of our recruitment processes.

All departments have agreed their own targets based on their current rate of new recruits into their Senior Civil Service and other factors. We have aggregated these to form a set of Civil Service wide targets for each three year period between now and 2025. Our targets are:

Target Period            
Percentage of new recruits to the SCS who are: 2017 - 20 2018 - 21 2019 - 2022 2020 - 23 2021 - 24 2022 - 25
Ethnic Minority 8.6% 9.5% 10.8% 11.5% 12.7% 13.2%
Disabled 6.2% 7.3% 8.5% 9.4% 10.6% 11.3%

We will be able to track performance on a quarterly basis so that we can see how well our policies are working to increase diversity in our most senior grades. We will publish data on progress against these targets within our Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Dashboard.

Socio-economic background (SEB)

We have published recommendations on how employers can measure socio-economic background in their workforce. The recommendations have been developed in consultation with private sector employers and experts.

Publishing these measures, is part of our commitment as outlined in the Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, to establish a baseline socio-economic data for the whole of the Civil Service by March 2020. This data will be used alongside the data we already collect and use to understand how diverse our workforce is and their lived experience in the Civil Service, and to inform development of inclusive HR policies.

The recommendations can be found here.

Civil Service Diversity Champions

Sue Owen, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

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.

Bernadette Kelly, Department for Transport

Bernadette Kelly became Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport on 18 April 2017. From September 2015 to April 2017 she was Director General, Rail Group in DfT. Bernadette was appointed the Civil Service Social Mobility Champion in March 2018.

Read Bernadette’s blogs.

Follow Bernadette on Twitter.

Clare Moriarty, Department for Environment and Rural Affairs

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.

Follow Clare on Twitter.

Melanie Dawes, Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government

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.

Follow Melanie on Twitter.

Philip Rutnam, Home Office

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.

Read Philip’s blogs.

Follow Philip on Twitter.

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.

Follow Richard on Twitter.

Civil Service staff 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:


Email: inclusion@cabinetoffice.gov.uk