SECTION SIX: Progressing the Equality Strategy: Improving Diversity
Diversity in the Scottish Executive
As an employer, the Scottish Executive is committed to becoming a leader in diversity and equal opportunities practice in Scotland and to be an organisation which is broadly representative of the communities it serves. The Diversity Strategy 'Positive About You' was launched in November 2000. It sets challenging targets for increasing the numbers of those groups which are currently under-represented in the Scottish Executive workforce. We are making good progress in achieving our targets.
Progress of Scottish Executive against diversity targets:
Apr 05 (target)
No target set
Apr 05 (target)
Apr 05 (target)
* Information not publicly available to preserve confidentiality
SCS Senior Civil Service
Band C Middle Managers
Band B Junior Managers
The Diversity Strategy also sets a range of key qualitative objectives to promote cultural change and we are progressing these in a number of ways.
The Executive has established a number of staff equality networks to provide support and information and to provide a sounding board for policy development. We are supporting work life balance through the extension of alternative working patterns and are reviewing the Executive's childcare provision.
The Executive is seeking to bring on, and bring in, talent from a variety of backgrounds. Our outreach work has resulted in an increase in the number of applications to the Executive from ethnic minority communities. Last summer the Executive ran its first Diversity placement scheme in which 25 students received quality, paid placements.
The Executive is also undertaking an equal pay review of its pay structure. All Executive agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies will be expected to have undertaken an equal pay review by April 2003.
The Executive has undertaken, amongst others, the following training initiatives:
- Diversity awareness training for approximately 850 managers and key personnel.
- Introduced a one-day course on selection interviewing for line manager based on principles of equality and fairness and incorporating a session on equal opportunities and discrimination.
- Incorporated a range of equality case-studies into the Effective Management Programme.
- Held sessions for senior staff as part of the Senior Civil Service Leadership Development programme with James Strachan, RNID and Jane Elliot, International Diversity and Equality Trainer, in January and March 2002 respectively.
- Progressively mainstreaming diversity and equality issues into corporate training programmes, e.g. People Management for Branch Heads.
- Organised a number of bespoke events for Independent Assessors, staff in CICA and colleagues in Scottish Enterprise.
- New entrants receive a session on Equal Opportunities and Diversity.
Disproportionately fewer women, disabled people, minority ethnic people, and people from outwith the central belt, are appointed to public bodies. Appointees have traditionally come from a narrow range of backgrounds. The Scottish Executive is committed to ensuring that in future the membership of public bodies will more readily reflect Scottish society.
Update on commitments in the Equality Strategy:
Publish proposals on appointments to public bodies
Development of fairer and more representative system of appointments to public bodies
Completed but later than planned due to review of public bodies
In June 2001, the Executive published the results of its review of public bodies. This included a number of proposals aimed at widening the diversity of appointees to public bodies. The Scottish Executive's proposals for modernising the public appointments system in Scotland, including a proposal to establish a Commissioner for Public Appointments for Scotland (CPAS), were published in Public Bodies: Proposals for Change in June 2001.
The provisions for the establishment of a CPAS are contained in the Public appointments and Public Bodies etc. (Scotland) Bill which was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 17 June 2002. The aim is to have a Scottish Commissioner before the end of 2003.
The proposed remit of the new CPAS will include:
- Monitoring compliance with the procedures for public appointments under which Ministers make appointments to public bodies.
- The appointment and training of independent assessors to appointment panels.
- Running development programmes for potential appointees.
- Also, as the previous targets for achieving greater diversity have failed to achieve lasting change, a detailed strategy for improving diversity in public appointments will be drawn up by the new Commissioner in partnership with the Executive and the Scottish Parliament.
The CPAS will report to Parliament annually on public appointments.
Progress has been made over the past two years in all three areas measured. The percentage of women appointees increased by 2% and people with minority ethnic background and disabled people comprise 2.2% and 2.1% respectively of all current appointees. However, much more needs to be done to make public appointees more representative of contemporary Scottish society.
Although the Scottish Executive understands that improvements will not necessarily be achieved overnight, we are committed to achieving results and increasing the diversity of our public appointees.
The table below provides further information about the progress that has been made since 1999 in improving the diversity of public appointees in Scotland.
1999 (at 1/9/99)
2000 (at 1/9/00)
2002 (at 1/12/02)
Total no. of appointments
This report indicates the breadth of the work which is being undertaken across the Executive to tackle inequality and discrimination. It demonstrates the commitment of the Scottish Executive to making a real difference to the lives of people who experience prejudice, exclusion, unfairness and injustice. It shows that with effort and conviction, progress can be made.
However, we have signalled very clearly that we still have much to do. We are not complacent. We will pursue our equality work with enthusiasm. We are determined to implement the strategy we adopted in November 2000 and to deliver change. We want a Scotland which values its different communities, fosters respect for diversity, challenges prejudice and discrimination and heralds justice and equality.