Headlines: November 2nd, 2005

What gets measured gets done is not always true when a cultural change is involved. The Civil Service has been measuring progress on employing more women, more people from ethnic minorities and more disabled people for several years. Progress has been slow and targets have been consistently missed. Sir Gus O’Donnell, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service, has now decided that to get a cultural shift, other well tried levers will be brought into use. Performance pay will depend on achieving the change targets and a champion has been appointed to lead a network to ginger up the key players.The plan to make the Civil Service workforce more diverse has 2008 targets for making 37% of the Senior Civil Service to be women, 30% of top management posts to be filled by women, 4% of the Senior Civil Service to be from minority ethnic backgrounds and 3.2% of the Senior Civil Service to be disabled people. Senior managers are also being asked to commit to the whole equality and diversity agenda, including those strands for which there are no targets such as sexual orientation, faith, age, gender identity and work life balance. Each department and agency will be expected to pursue a policy of zero tolerance of discrimination and harassment and bullying on any grounds.

Permanent Secretaries, the heads of departments, will be accountable for achieving the diversity targets and their success in delivering will be taken into account in deciding the level of their performance pay. The plan spells out that cultural and behavioural change is at the heart of achieving success in diversity and it is crucial to get commitment from the top to secure lasting sustainable change.

Bill Jeffrey, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, has been appointed as the Civil Service Diversity Champion. He will be an advocate and guardian of the aspiration to achieve a Civil Service where equality and diversity are embedded in behaviour and in the quality of the services delivered. He will lead the Diversity Champions’ Network which is made up from senior people with responsibility for leading on diversity issues in their organisations.