Equality and diversity

The policies and objectives UK Export Finance has in place to meet its equality and diversity duties.

Equality Act 2010

Under the Equality Act 2010, public sector organisations are required to demonstrate that they are mindful of the three main aims of the Equality Act. These are:

  • eliminating unlawful discrimination
  • advance equality of opportunity
  • foster good relations

The two specific public sector duties are to:

  • publish equality and diversity information to show compliance with the Act by 31 January 2012, and at least annually from then on
  • set and publish one or more specific and measurable equality objectives by 6 April 2012, and at least every 4 years.

Equality objectives

Our equality objectives are articulated in the annual Diversity & Inclusion Plan. The Plan has been developed to support the relevant strands of work in the delivery of the Business Plan 2020 – 2024 and People Strategy 2020 – 2024.

This includes complying with the aims of the public sector equality duty each year. The objectives focus on the areas which the department has chosen to target over the year. They do not seek to cover every area of the business or to represent all of the department’s equality-related activity.

We publish our diversity data annually as of 31 March for the preceding year, which we use to measure our progress against our targets and external commitments.

Women in Finance Charter

In 2017 UKEF became a signatory to the Women in Finance Charter. By becoming a signatory, we are publicly affirming our commitment to improving gender diversity in the Department.

We set ourselves an ambitious primary target of increasing female representation at Senior Civil Service (SCS) grades in the Department to 30% by 2020. We also aspired to improving overall female representation in our workforce to 40% over the same time period.

As at 31 March 2021, 33.3% of UKEF SCS staff were female, an increase from 8% in 2017. In the light of this achievement we set a further ambitious target of increasing female representation at Senior Civil Service (SCS) grades in the Department to 40% by 2025.

As at March 2022, the proportion of SCS staff who were female reduced to 27.6%, from 33.3% the previous year.

As at 31st March 2023 we are pleased to see the figure has risen again to 34.4%, and we remain committed to reaching our 2025 target.

A key focus this year is understanding the barriers to progression to SCS, and what attracts women into SCS roles at UKEF. We will be utilising specific insights on these areas to agree any further actions to support us in achieving our target.