By looking across the Justice sector as a whole, this work has ascertained that each organisation within the Justice sector is at a very different stage in relation to both how they are focusing upon and, how they are addressing issues around equality, diversity and inclusion within their workforce. The data and evidence currently collected for both workforce, and more broadly on equality, diversity and inclusion is varied in nature and source. Whilst this has presented challenges, it is a positive step forward to have a greater understanding of the landscape and of the diverse approaches being taken.
Whilst a commitment to addressing equality, diversity and inclusion issues has remained throughout the term of the Group, it is apparent that challenges can present when organisations need to respond to other immediate priorities within their own organisations. As a result, resource and attention may be directed to those areas, which removes the focus away from equality and diversity within their workforce. As the work progresses, a strong strategic direction will need to be established to support the Justice sector to deliver on both their own commitments as individual organisations and their collective commitments as a sector. The outcome being of great benefit to the organisation with a more diverse and valued workforce.
The Group has engaged and worked with a range of community groups to ensure that the questions being asked make sense, are relevant and a wide range of perspectives are received. Given other pressures on partners, as discussed above, the work has progressed slower than originally intended. It should be emphasised that in order to improve the needs of each organisation, the needs of the justice sector and the needs of society, it will take time. This work is complex and challenging and requires collaboration and advice from minority ethnic partners to ensure that meaningful change can take place.
The challenges of this work and those highlighted above are not new. The varied structure, purpose and size of each organisation within the Justice sector needs to be acknowledged alongside the potential that this offers for cross-sector learning, development and collective initiatives. The Group welcomes the commitment shown, the on-going work and the positive and diverse range of policies already in place to sustain momentum going forward.