Equality and diversity

Our Equality and Diversity strategy.

Working in a global environment to reduce poverty means concern for equality and diversity is at the heart of DFID’s business, both in terms of our workforce and our work overseas.

The current UK legislation (Equality Act 2010) places a duty on all public sector organisations to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation in the workplace
  • advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups
  • foster good relations between people of different groups

DFID has set itself a number of diversity and equality objectives. These are:

  • we systematically consider equality and diversity across all programmes
  • staff feel confident about taking personal responsibility for action on equality, diversity and inclusion in their work
  • all staff are valued and enabled to reach their full potential
  • we have a representative workforce
  • equality and diversity is embedded within the organisation

These objectives, covering the period from 2012 to 2016, set out what we want to achieve to tackle discrimination and promote fairness and equality. In line with the requirements of the 2010 legislation our objectives have been designed to be wide ranging, stretching, aimed at longer term goals and to cover both employment matters and service delivery. In setting the objectives, we have considered what we have learned from the equality information we currently hold. We will now work to ensure each of our objectives is underpinned by specific outputs and indicators/measures.

Our commitment to diversity and equality means providing a work environment for all employees that is welcoming, respectful and engaging, with opportunities for personal and professional development. By maximising the potential of everyone, we will bring diverse skills to the work place that in turn increase productivity, quality, creativity and innovation, and make DFID an employer of choice.

We will also take account of equality and diversity when working to improve poor people’s lives and influencing key development issues globally. To help achieve this DFID carries out equality screening. This ensures our policies, programmes and decision making processes are fair and that we think carefully about the impact on different groups of people, particularly under-represented groups and anticipate the needs of people with protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation).

Our work on diversity and inclusion is also guided by the Civil Service Talent Action Plan. The Plan provides a framework against which all departments and agencies should take action and measure performance on diversity and inclusion.

We will report annually on progress against our objectives as part of the publication of equality information on this website and we will update and review the objectives where necessary. See our previous reports.