Equality outcomes and mainstreaming report 2019

Provides an update on progress made in promoting equality across activities and in delivering on a range of equality outcomes set in 2017.

Part 1 - Mainstreaming Equality

6.1 Scottish Government Structure

9. The 8,571 Civil servants in the Scottish Government are deployed in six Directorates General, which in turn are divided into over thirty Directorates, which consist of a number of Divisions. Each Division is a discrete policy area, typically headed by a member of the Senior Civil Service. In addition, there are a number of executive agencies, which are part of the Scottish Government and generally have a strong focus on the management and direct delivery of public services, but can also provide strategic policy input. More information on the Scottish Government's structure can be found at https://www.gov.scot/about/how-government-is-run/.

10. The Scottish Government is both a policy making organisations and a major employer. Consequently, mainstreaming can be looked at from both of those perspectives. Responsibility for policy decisions rests with Scottish Ministers, who are accountable to the Scottish Parliament; decisions on the day to day running of the Scottish Government are the responsibility of the Permanent Secretary, who is the principal accountable officer for the Scottish Government and has personal responsibility for the propriety and regularity of government finance and for economic, efficient and effective use of all related resources. More information on the role of Ministers can be found at https://www.gov.scot/about/who-runs-government/, and information on the role of the Permanent Secretary can be found at https://www.gov.scot/about/how-government-is-run/civil-service/permanent-secretary/.

11. Specialised support for mainstreaming is provided by the Equality Unit, which works across the Scottish Government to embed equality in all policy areas.

6.2 Mainstreaming in Policy Making

12. More information on the Scottish Government's mainstreaming activities and responsibilities, including access to published equality impact assessments (EQIAs) can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-governments-equality-duties/. In general, and as mentioned above, the smallest discrete policy making unit is normally a Division. Scottish Government procedures are therefore anchored at the Divisional level. There are three processes that support mainstreaming in policy development:

12.1. Support to prepare equality impact assessments (EQIAs);

12.2. A governance structure that includes an assessment of the delivery of equality measures across the Scottish Government; and

12.3. Action plans and strategies that focus on particular policy areas or protected characteristics, for example, the Race Equality Action Plan.

It may be helpful to consider each of those processes in turn.

6.3 Policy Making: Equality Impact Assessments

13. The Scottish Government's policy is that EQIAs are a basic requirement of good, evidence based policy making. They are seen as a structured process undertaken when developing or revising a policy or practice that uses evidence to better understand the impacts on people because of particular characteristics. EQIAs are seen not simply as a document, but as an activity that is undertaken to identify options and actions to maximise the potential benefits of a particular policy and to further improve outcomes, as well as minimising or negating potentially negative impacts.

14. Online guidance is provided to help officials navigate through the process. Broadly speaking, that guidance emphasises that the preparation of EQIAs should begin early in the policy cycle, and in particular to be compliant with the law EQIAs must not be carried out after a policy has been designed. Consequently, there is a two stage process:

14.1. An initial screening exercise that assesses the aim and outcomes of the policy, how those might impact on people who share one or more of the protected characteristics and what might prevent outcomes being achieved. This process determines whether or not an EQIA is required;

14.2. If it is decided that an EQIA is not required, a declaration form to that effect must be completed. To emphasise how important such a decision is, the declaration form must be signed off at deputy director level or above (that is, by a head of division, or above, all of whom are members of the senior civil service); and

14.3. If an EQIA is required, an EQIA record template must be completed. There is additional information on the process for completing an EQIA below. Once the template has been completed it must also be signed off by a deputy director or above, and a summary published on the Scottish Government's website.

15. Completion of an EQIA template is a multi-stage process, the principal components of which are:

15.1. Framing workshops that bring together policy officials and analysts to explore possible impacts of the proposed policy and to start to gather evidence;

15.2. Evidence gathering, involvement and consultation including collecting existing and new information about the needs of people with protected characteristics affected by the proposed policy, and may include involving or consulting relevant equality groups or communities;

15.3. Assessing the impact and identifying mitigating actions, which involves considering positive, negative and neutral impacts, including both direct and indirect impacts and consequences of the proposed policy or practice; and

15.4. Decision making and monitoring, which includes describing how the EQIA has helped to shape policy formulation, identifies any mitigating action and builds equality into the monitoring and evaluation processes.

16. In addition to the written guidance, the Equality Unit can provide specialised advice and support at any point in the process.

17. Equality Evidence Finder, which was refreshed in November 2018 is a key resource for the Scottish Government, public authorities and other organisations to find equality evidence to inform policy and decision making.

18. EQIAs are produced across the range of the Scottish Government's activities and can be found on relevant Scottish Government web pages.

6.4 Policy Making: Governance

19. The importance of EQIAs and equality mainstreaming more generally is recognised in the Scottish Government's governance structure. The procedure for accounting for public funds is as set out the Scottish Public Finance Manual (for more information, see https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-public-finance-manual/background-and-applicability/background-and-applicability/). In particular all heads of division must complete a certificate of assurance (for more information on certificates of assurance see https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-public-finance-manual/certificates-of-assurance/certificates-of-assurance/). The certificate of assurance that applies to the core of the Scottish Government (in essence, the six Directorates General) require heads of division to certify that EQIAs have been carried out as appropriate, and that equality has been taken into account when necessary in the policy making process.

20. Certificates of assurance by heads of division inform a governance process that leads through Directors and Directors General to the Permanent Secretary. This process is designed to ensure that EQIAs and equality more generally is embedded throughout the Scottish Government. An assessment of the governance process covering 2017 18 showed that over 98% of the Scottish Government divisions are substantially confident that all new or revised policies, activities and projects in that area are assessed for their impact on equality groups, and that EQIA results are published within the reasonable period required by legislation.

21. The Fair Work Action Plan commits the Scottish Government to embedding Fair Work across portfolios. This includes a Fair Work and Gender Equality Ministerial Working Group to drive a strategic approach to embedding Fair Work across Ministerial portfolios through a cross-portfolio approach. We will appoint a Scottish Government Fair Work Champion and Directorate-level Fair Work Actions Plans, once rolled out, will set out current and planned actions to mainstream Fair Work into policy areas and activities specific to the Directorate. The Scottish Government Fair Work Champion and Directors will be supported by a Fair Work and Gender Equality Officials Working Group.

6.5 Policy Making: Procurement

22. Scottish Government published its updated procurement strategy in March 2018 setting out how it intends to carry out procurements regulated by the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 and the first annual procurement report was published in July 2018 covering reporting period January 2017 to March 2018. These documents introduce a level of transparency into public procurement and are the main way by which compliance with the provisions in the Act that are used to advance equality through procurement: the sustainable procurement duty; use of community benefit requirements; steps to engage with supported businesses; and fair work considerations is reported upon.

23. Within the reporting period, 13 contracts to supported businesses were awarded at a value of £9.7 million, with a further four supported businesses as subcontractors. This included the award of Fair Start Scotland and Work First Scotland contracts to two supported businesses providing employment for disabled and disadvantaged workers at a value of £33.8 million over a three-year period. The Scottish Government's approach to addressing equality considerations through the 2017 Interpreting, Translation, and Transcription Services framework provided access to public services for those whose first language is not English who would otherwise be excluded from using those public services. The use of community benefit requirements in just two of these contracts resulted in three apprenticeships + three hours per month STEM support in schools (Low Income Benefits contract), and 1 internship for a disabled person (Disability Benefits contract).

6.6 Equality Budget Process

24. The Scottish Government has a strong commitment to promoting equality and tackling inequality which is reflected in the way in which the Budget is allocated and is internationally recognised for the work it already does through its qualitative assessment of the impact of spend on protected characteristics and the publication of this assessment alongside the main draft budget. The equality analysis and impact assessment of the Scottish Government's spending plans inform the Equality Budget Statement (EBS), a document which is published every year alongside the Draft Budget.

25. 2018 marked the tenth anniversary of the Equality Budget Statement (EBS); a statement on the equality impacts of the budget which is published alongside the Scottish Budget and represents a clear ongoing commitment to putting equality at the heart of the Scottish Budget. At its most basic, the Scottish Budget takes the strategic policy direction set by government and builds a budget of revenue raising and spend that reflects these key priorities. The EBS analyses the Scottish Budget in relation to its impact on people who live in Scotland, with a particular focus on their protected characteristics and socio-economic circumstances. This analysis is in terms of expenditure but also in terms of the manner in which revenue is raised. An analysis of the impact of income tax changes across income groups and with respect to age, gender and disability is published alongside the Budget.

26. The EBS is a continually evolving process. Working with the Equality Budget Advisory Group and in line with the recommendations of the Scottish Parliament's Budget Process Review Group we will be moving to produce new equality budget analysis prior to summer recess in 2019. This timing will allow equality assessment to inform future pre-budget scrutiny by Parliamentary Committees and future Programmes for Government. We have also committed to explore new approaches such as the cumulative distributional analysis of tax, benefits and spend to see if this analysis is practical and sensible in helping us to improve our understanding of the impacts of the budget.

6.7 Mainstreaming Equality in Scottish Government Agencies

27. Scottish Government Executive Agencies are progressing a range of activities to mainstream equality (Annex A). Examples include:

  • Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) - All staff are required to undertake mandatory training on 'Equality and Diversity' and 'Unconscious Bias'. The Agency have also offered awareness sessions on Disability, Dementia, Mental Wellbeing and Building Personal Resilience;
  • Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) - As the agency develops its policies full consideration is given to the impact that it will have on people. AiB carries out Equality Impact Assessments which helps consider equality issues, in particular the impact and barriers on people who share 'protected characteristics';
  • The agency (AiB) uses the Scottish Government supported business framework. A supported factory/business is "an establishment where more than 30% of the workers are disabled persons who by reason of the nature or severity of their disability are unable to take up work in the open labour market". Supported Factories and Businesses have a valuable role in assisting people with disabilities to integrate into the labour market and in helping to improve their overall independence and wellbeing, which is crucial in building a healthier and fairer Scotland. The most recent example includes the purchase of signage for the office;
  • Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA) - was awarded in June 2018 the Investors in People - 'Health and Wellbeing Award'. The Award focuses on the Standard's foundations of Leading, Supporting and Improving people as well as assessing the Agency against three additional constructs of Physical, Psychological and Social Wellbeing. They have trained their own Mental Health First aiders and completed significant training on Mental Health Awareness within the Agency to support both individuals on a personal level and our managers; and
  • Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) - As part of the recommendations which arose from the Scottish Government Student Support Review, SAAS have been allocated £150,000 to extend our outreach, communications and engagement programme to strengthen the child poverty offer. Focusing on high risk groups - lone parents, young families, ethnic minorities and families with disabled children - and will provide targeted support by raising awareness of our services to those who need it most. This was highlighted in the Programme for Government 2018-2019 - Chapter 3 The Best Place to Grow Up and Learn. SAAS championed the Scottish Government's Year of Young People (YOYP). In collaboration with partners YoungScot, included a number of YOYP ambassadors in the design and delivery of SAAS National Stakeholder conference.

6.8 Policy Making: Specific Initiatives

28. In addition to the embedding of equality considerations in the policy making process, there are specific initiatives aimed at addressing particular needs across a range of protected characteristics that have been identified as priorities. These include, but are not restricted to the following:

29. A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People. Since publication in December 2016 the Scottish Government and partners are progressing over 90 cross government commitments, which will go a long way in making life for disabled people in Scotland fairer. The Scottish Government set out its ambition to reduce the disability employment gap by more than half. The Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills launched A Fairer Scotland for Disabled People: Employment Action Plan on 11th December 2018 which includes a commitment to set targets for the recruitment of disabled people to the Scottish Government workforce. We have seen recent improvements in the employment rate of disabled people, but we know they remain more likely to be out of work and to live in poverty.

30. Publication of the first ever British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan in October 2017 setting out long-term goals for BSL in Scotland, covering early years and education; training and work; health, mental health and wellbeing; transport; culture and the arts; justice and democracy. A national progress report will be published in 2020, alongside a further set of actions for delivery before the end of the plan in 2023.

31. Following publication in March 2017 of the Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027 a progress report was published on 26 September 2018 which summarises the achievements that have been made since the Strategy's publication, as well as the progress expected over the next twelve months.

32. The next Scottish Parliament election is scheduled for 2021 and local Government elections in 2022. A feasibility study is underway to explore options for improving the accessibility of elections for people with disabilities. The study, due for completion in 2019, will produce recommendations for pilots or trials. In 2016 the Access to Elected Office Fund for disabled candidates for the Scottish Parliament was initiated, and will be retained for the 2021 election. The fund offers support to disabled people seeking election and was successful in supporting candidates to get elected in the Local Government elections in 2017 and continues to operate for by-elections.

33. Building upon the Race Equality Framework published in March 2016. The Scottish Government published the Race Equality Action Plan and Highlight Report in December 2017 outlining more than 120 actions to secure better outcomes for ethnic minorities in Scotland. At the first annual Race Equality Action Plan Conference in December 2018 the Minister for Older People and Equalities met with key stakeholders and gave the keynote address highlighting the work that has been done so far as well as the areas for continued development. As part of the Action Plan, in recognition of the multiple barriers experienced by Gypsy Travellers, a Ministerial working group is focusing on the four key areas of accommodation, education, poverty and health. A set of draft actions will be published in spring 2019, and following consultation the Scottish Government will publish a firm set of commitments that are to be delivered before May 2021.

34. The second New Scots refugee integration strategy, developed in partnership with COSLA and the Scottish Refugee Council, was published in January 2018. The End of Year 1 progress report on New Scots was published on 2 April 2019.

35. We are working with partners to develop an anti-destitution strategy covering people with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) and published new Scottish guidance on NRPF on 27 February 2019. The new guidance will be available online in a more user-friendly form, which will provide information and practical tools to assist decision-making and service delivery.

36. We remain committed to welcoming refugees arriving for resettlement. To date, Scotland has received over 2,750 people under the Syrian Resettlement Programme since October 2015 into all 32 local authorities.

37. Decisive action is being taken to ensure women are represented in senior and decision making roles, including in the boardroom. Using new powers transferred through the Scotland Act 2016, the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 received Royal Assent on 9 March 2018. The new duties will be brought into force when Scottish Ministers have published guidance and made regulations setting out the reporting arrangements under the Act.

38. A Gender Pay Gap Working Group that includes stakeholders such as Close the Gap, Equate, Engender and STUC. The Working Group helped to inform the development of the Fairer Scotland for Women: Gender Pay Gap Action Plan which was published on 8 March 2019. The action plan outlines the cross Government approach and sets out the steps we will take in partnership with stakeholders, to tackle the causes of the gender pay gap in Scotland. The plan will address labour market inequalities faced by women, particularly disabled women, minority ethnic women, older women, women from poorer socio economic backgrounds and women with caring responsibilities. It is part of our approach to delivering fair work and builds on many existing Scottish Government strategies.

39. The Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills continues to chair a working group which is undertaking action to tackle pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace. Work has included improving the quality and promoting the availability of guidance to pregnant women. The First Minister's National Advisory Council on Women and Girls (NACWG) published their 2018 Report and Recommendations on 25 January 2019. The First Minister delivered the initial Scottish Government response at a NACWG event on 30 January 2019.

40. On 27 February 2019, the Scottish Government published the Fair Work Action Plan which sets out our approach to achieving the vision of Scotland becoming a world-leading Fair Work Nation by 2025. The Action Plan commits the Scottish Government to taking actions to support employers to adopt Fair Work practices; deliver Fair Work for a diverse and inclusive workforce; and, to embed Fair Work across the Scottish Government. We are committed to working with the Fair Work Convention, trade unions, workers and employers to ensure we remain at the forefront of progressive policy thinking and action around Fair Work. Actions we are taking include, using our financial powers, through Fair Work First, to make Fair Work the norm; developing a Fair Work Framework benchmarking tool for employers; delivering a refreshed Scottish Business Pledge; instilling a Fair Work ethos in our future workforce and business leaders; extending the Workplace Equality Fund; supporting trade unions embed Fair Work in workplaces; responding to the Fair Work Convention's Social Care Inquiry recommendations; increasing the number of people who are paid the real Living Wage; promoting awareness and flexibility for unpaid carers through Carer Positive and embedding Fair Work across Scottish Government portfolios.

41. Within the Fair Scotland for Women: Gender Pay Gap Action Plan we have also made a commitment to our current contract with WiSE Research Centre for Economic Justice to carry out a project on improving the gender competence of analysts and policy-makers, being run initially on a pilot basis in the Finance, Economy and Fair Work portfolio. This project consists of a training programme on gender and policy and advisory work on two Equality Impact Assessments (EQIAs).

42. The Scottish Government has a duty under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 to review the National Outcomes at least every five years.

43. The review of the National Performance Framework (NPF) involved stakeholders and experts from a diverse range of equality groups, Scottish Government officials and Ministers. The new NPF was launched on 11 June 2018 by the First Minister, in partnership with COSLA. The new NPF framework includes 4 National Indicators attached directly to the human rights outcome while human rights and equality indicators also feature elsewhere across the new NPF structure. We have been taking forward the recommendations from the Older People and Employment in Scotland report, which was Edinburgh University research funded by the Scottish Government. This has included providing £750,000 to the Workplace Equality Fund in 2018/19 to deliver employer led innovative solutions to overcome workforce inequality and working with partners including Age Scotland, Business in the Community and Edinburgh University, to promote good practice to employers through an Age Inclusive employers conference held in November 2018. In January 2019, we funded a conference, which was designed by the Scottish Women's Convention, to look at women's lived experience of transitioning through the menopause. In our Gender Pay Gap Action Plan we have made a commitment to work with women's organisations, and trade unions to gain a clearer picture of the issues faced by women transitioning through the menopause to identify other areas where action may need to be taken.

44. Older People's Framework

45. Older people make up a significant and growing proportion of the population of Scotland and already offer a huge amount to their communities, to broader society and to the economy. As such, a range of work and services across Scottish Government and the wider public and third sectors in Scotland already enable older people to continue to enjoy life and to make that contribution in areas as wide ranging as digital engagement; housing; health and social care; measures to tackle poverty; social security; supporting employment and volunteering opportunities; and concessionary travel. The Minister for Older People and Equality, Ms Christina McKelvie, is Chair of the Older People's Strategic Action Forum (OPSAF), a group set up to ensure that the views of older people, those that support them, and their representative groups are heard.

46. The Minister has lead responsibility for older people and wants to provide a supporting structure for our work with older people, with equality at its heart. The Older People's Framework, published on 3 April 2019, provides that structure by highlighting the positive contributions of older people and challenging the negative perceptions they face. The Framework has identified key actions that the Government and others will take to tackle barriers to ensure the maximum impact and effect, so that everyone in Scotland can have a thriving third age.

6.9 Mainstreaming: Scottish Government as an Employer

47. Across the wide range of Scottish Government Directorates work continues to mainstream equality in policy development and delivery. Some examples of these are provided below and cover work ranging from staff networks to outreach work and co-production with equality groups.

6.9.1 Diversity and inclusion at the centre of what we do:

48. Our ambition is to be a world-leading, diverse employer where people can be themselves at work. We are committed to building a workforce of people with a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, who are valued for their unique contributions in an environment, that is respectful and free of discrimination, harassment or bullying. The development of this ambition was guided by the National Performance Framework, which aims to reduce inequalities and give equal importance to economic, environmental, and social progress.

To realise this ambition, we developed two key Equality Outcomes in April 2017 through extensive consultation with external stakeholders and Ministers:

  • Outcome 3: Our workforce increases in diversity to reflect the general Scottish population by 2025; and
  • Outcome 3: Foster an inclusive workforce culture and value the contribution of employees from all backgrounds.

49. We developed these specific outcomes for a number of reasons. Firstly, we believe that a more diverse and inclusive workforce drives better decision making: the public sector should be reflective of the society it serves. This will be a key driver in the review of our external recruitment policy and processes that we are undertaking during 2018/19. Secondly, because it is imperative that we deliver value for money; research indicates a strong correlation between increased diversity and financial performance[1]. Details of work to deliver these outcomes are provided in Section 8.4.

50. The ambition and outcomes are underpinned by our corporate change programme, SG2020, which aims to support the National Performance Framework for Scottish Government and describes our vision to be a more open, capable, and responsive organisation. Since publishing the 2017 mainstreaming equalities report, we have fulfilled our promise of developing our improvement plan: the "People Plan", which articulates how we will deliver the People Strategy and achieve the aims of SG2020. Within the People Plan the "Building a diverse and inclusive culture" workstream describes key actions to help ensure the Scottish Government values each person for what they can bring and services the people of Scotland in all its diversity. To reinforce this key theme, diversity and inclusion is threaded implicitly across all of the People Plan workstreams demonstrating the interdependencies and collaborative focus required to achieve the outcomes.

51. Alongside and throughout the People Plan, diversity and inclusion remains high on our corporate agenda. Failure to embed diversity and inclusion has been identified as a corporate risk since 2015. Risks are assessed quarterly and progress is intrinsically connected, through corporate governance mechanisms, to our performance as a government.

6.9.2 How we are delivering Strategic Approach

52. We undertook strategic work in 2017-18 to develop the corporate approach to diversity, equality and inclusion, which aligns with the wider People Strategy framework and the priorities of SG2020 (our corporate change programme).

53. To support the delivery of this work, the resource dedicated to diversity and inclusion has been expanded leading to a refreshed corporate diversity and inclusion remit, which was approved by the Executive Team in March 2018.

54. The refreshed approach builds on an evidence-based theory of change, which underscores the importance of a whole-systems approach needed at individual, team, organisational and national levels[2]. We're focused on culture change, on building effective teams and collective leadership, underpinned by robust 'mechanical levers' of diversity-related organisational strategy, policy, infrastructure, and management.

Our approach is based on Human Rights values of fairness, respect, equality, dignity and autonomy and in all that we do we are looking to build:

  • a deep understanding of what diversity and inclusion means and the value they bring to us as individuals and as an organisation; and
  • the trust, relationships and dialogue that enable everyone to make a full, valued contribution to the work of the Scottish Government.

55. In these stages of implementation, we are focusing on up-skilling, empowering and working through internal diversity and inclusion delivery partners, especially in People Directorate, to effect organisation-wide change that staff will see, hear, and experience.

56. To start with, we have focused effort on defining what we mean by 'diversity' and 'inclusion' to ensure a consistent approach, drawing on international and public sector research, with equality and human rights at the core.

Diversity is anything that evokes a perception of difference. It starts with race, marriage and civil partnership, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or belief (or none), pregnancy and maternity, age and sex. But it also includes social and educational background, organisational tenure, thinking styles, talent and identities.

Inclusion is about integrating diversity in what we do. It means being treated fairly and with respect, feeling both valued for your uniqueness and also a sense of belonging; and having a voice in decision-making. Inclusion is mostly experienced at team level.

57. We are also focusing heavily on diversity and inclusion data management, analysis and reporting on the Scottish Government as an employer. This work included developing an outcomes measurement framework, and increasing the breath of equality data and analysis we provide for senior management to inform decision-making.

58. Additionally, we appointed a lead co-ordinator focusing on the strategic development of the staff Race Equality network. Commitment to this post was given by Executive Team at the first staff Race Equality Network Conference held in 2017. It is the first, full-time post of its kind and we will be evaluating the impact of the role over the year ahead.

59. Alongside this long-term strategic development, we are actively engaging with other directorates to help shape and deliver our ministerial commitments as an employer. These include: the Race Equality Framework and Action Plan, Fairer Scotland for Disabled People Action Plan, Gender Pay Gap Action Plan, and recently signing a Fair Work agreement with our recognised Trade Unions which sets out our commitment to being a Fair Work employer and makes explicit commitments to embedding equality, wellbeing, diversity and inclusion. Senior Leadership

60. The role of senior leaders is critical in mainstreaming equality. We engage our leaders in several ways, through embedding diversity and inclusion in our developing leadership framework, mobilising them as diversity allies and champions, and helping them set meaningful, evidence-based diversity and inclusion objectives.

61. In support of our SG2020 vision to be 'well-led with consistently good management of people and change' we are developing a clear and consistent framework for leadership development in the Scottish Government. The leadership development framework project is working with leaders across the organisation to develop clarity on what it means to lead in Scottish Government and the core skills and knowledge which support this. The framework, which is currently being tested, draws from a range of thinking around leadership, including the attributes, skills and knowledge needed to be an inclusive leader.

62. Every member of the senior civil service (SCS) must produce at least one specific and relevant diversity and inclusion objective. These objectives are designed to support the progress on our equality outcomes and to bring the diversity and inclusion aspirations of the People Strategy to life across their team, the wider organisation and stakeholders.

63. In 2018, we launched an improvement project to help the senior civil service set meaningful diversity and inclusion objectives. In this project, the leaders were encouraged and guided through a series of consecutive 'challenges' to:

  • examine and understand and use diversity data in their area;
  • engage with colleagues from diverse backgrounds to hear their lived experience of working in Scottish Government;
  • reflect on their own inclusive leadership and decision-making; and
  • and finally, produce transparent and accountable diversity and inclusion objectives, which reflect local priorities and influence strategic decision-making and are aligned to our equality outcomes.

64. Practically, this helped the leaders think about how they analyse, engage with, and act on issues faced by those with protected characteristics. It also allowed us to understand more about what we can do to support. Annex D shows a sample of the promotional material used.

65. In our 2017 progress report, we described the renewed focus and ambition from the senior leadership team including our Permanent Secretary and Executive Team to bring about the step change required to truly become the organisation we want to see; this led to the appointment of Senior Civil Service and DG level Diversity Champions and Allies across most protected characteristics. Their role is to act as advocates, forge connections, and support changes in the workplace to enable us all to be ourselves at work. Further, both Allies and Champions aim to drive and articulate behavioural change and raise awareness and support diversity and equality by tackling inappropriate behaviours/actions.

66. Our Allies and Champions have undertaken work in a number of areas over the last two years including: hosting or being key speakers at staff events and conferences; advocating for diversity and inclusion amongst their peers; public speaking on diversity and inclusion in Scottish Government; supporting the development and strategic impact of staff networks.

67. For example, in January 2018, following a commitment given by our Executive Team at the Race Equality Network (REN) conference, we introduced mutual mentoring between REN members and the Executive Team (including the Permanent Secretary) and other Senior Civil Servants. We designed our mutual mentoring to be a combination of traditional mentoring (developmental or sponsorship, to support career development) and reverse mentoring. Reverse mentoring is where junior colleagues from diverse backgrounds help those in senior roles understand different perspectives and experiences in the workplace. It was critical that both parties would bring different experiences and there would be an equal exchange of learning. The aims were to:

  • Build understanding of diversity on a strategic level;
  • Give underrepresented groups a stronger voice;
  • Address in a powerful way issues of marginalisation, inequality and loss of talent;
  • Help attract and retain a diverse workforce and increases engagement; and
  • Build inclusive leadership.

68. We are currently evaluating the programme and will consider rolling out more widely. Recruitment

69. Advancing equality of opportunity continues to be a core aim of our resourcing policy and supporting procedures. We aim to employ a diverse workforce that reflects the diversity of the people of Scotland. Workforce data and national census data inform our approach to understanding our current workforce and how we can better reflect the Scottish working age population.

70. The previous mainstreaming report referenced constraints around resourcing given limited opportunities to conduct centrally managed external recruitment campaigns. In 2018, we had an opportunity to improve the diversity of our workforce through our external campaign to recruit around 150 middle managers. Our Permanent Secretary's position was clear: the campaign would be considered a failure if it did not succeed in increasing the diversity of our workforce. Consequently, we took action to understand and address barriers both in relation to the 'supply-side' (i.e. encouraging applications) and 'demand-side' (i.e. removing the potential for bias and indirect discrimination from our policies, processes and procedures).

71. The Resourcing team developed strong relationships with the Diversity and Inclusion Team, diversity staff networks, and senior Champions to enable diverse perspectives to shape and influence the process at every stage of decision-making.

72. Engagement events were held in the community to promote the Scottish Government as an employer and help prospective candidates from all backgrounds to understand what we do and how to apply, including what to do in preparation for our assessment processes.

73. Building on insights/feedback from the diversity networks, the campaign involved a simplified application process, adapted advertising language and communications (dedicated website with personal stories from diverse backgrounds) to appeal widely. Similarly, a number of improvements were made to the assessment centre content, including improving accessibility of language to remove potential barriers; amending the length of the presentation; and removing additional questions where this competency was adequately tested elsewhere.

74. We targeted our staff diversity networks and HMRC diversity networks to provide volunteer panellists. The diversity and inclusion team worked confidentially with our analysts to assess the diversity of the panel group, and undertook targeted communications (disabled colleagues, men and trans colleagues) to further encourage volunteers to step forward.

75. We chose to use testing and interview approaches derived from research undertaken by the Government Recruitment Service shown to have minimal or no adverse impact on diversity. This led to a decision to use a strengths-based approach to interviews rather than competency-based testing. We commissioned the Employers' Network of Equality and Inclusion to design and deliver bespoke training for all panel members on unconscious bias and strengths-based interviewing.

76. A critical aspect of ensuring equality of opportunity was building in time at each stage of the selection process for iterative diversity analysis of the impact of each selection test. This led to a decision to change our original approach and instead combine all scores from our online tests to determine invitation to assessment; our analysis identified that this would allow us to better sustain a pool of diverse candidates.

77. We achieved considerable improvement and impact on diversity. A 54% pass rate at assessment centre stage which compares favourably to a typical success rate of 30%, reflecting the value in investing time and resources in seeking out the best talent as well as removing as many barriers as possible to application and selection.

  • 7.9% minority ethnic candidates applied with 6.9% successful. 85% of minority ethnic candidates who passed performed in the top quartile;
  • 8.86% of the successful candidates declared disabled (which is a 5 percentage point increase from the 3.17% who applied);
  • 17% of successful candidates had claimed a guaranteed interview;
  • 12.66% of successful candidates identified as LGBO (an increase of 4 percentage points from the 8.89% who applied); and
  • half of the successful applicants lived in the least deprived areas of Scotland and a quarter currently live in the most deprived areas (according to analysis of successful candidate posts codes in relation to Post Code Deprivation data).

78. Drawing on the lessons learned from the experiences set out above, we will continue to review our overall recruitment approach and measurements of success in 2019 and 2020.

79. Another central avenue for external recruitment is the Modern Apprenticeships programme. We have recruited more than 700 Modern Apprentices since our programme started in 2011 and will continue to promote the programme with a view to improving the diversity of the programme. During 2017-18 we attended external careers events in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, including, Future Asset targeting female 5th year pupils, and one external event organised by BEMIS (Empowering Scotland's Ethnic and Cultural Minority Communities).

80. There have also been several local (in other words, led by specific teams within Scottish Government and not centrally/corporately delivered) recruitment initiatives across the Scottish Government, which have highlighted good practice for recruiting diverse candidates.

Local Case Study: Scottish Government Digital Directorate:

In 2018, Scottish Government Digital Directorate prioritised work to remove barriers affecting under-represented groups from accessing and progressing within the digital profession. The Directorate led work for Scottish Government to become a signatory of the Tech Talent Charter, which aims to increase the number of women in digital roles and ensure that recruitment processes are inclusive. Over the course of 2018, they have implemented the Digital, Data and Technology profession and trialled an improved recruitment process for digital professionals. The new approach includes a review of language used in job adverts and supports recruiting managers to test technical competencies in a way that is more closely aligned to the job role.

Local Case Study: Social Security Scotland:

In 2018, Social Security Scotland invited Stakeholder partners, who represent and support those under-represented in the workplace, to contribute to the recruitment process through resourcing assurance groups. Recommendations from these groups have been implemented including 'statements of encouragement' added to job adverts and adverts reworded.

Local Case Study: Government Legal Service:

In 2018, Government Legal Service for Scotland (GLSS) further developed their trainee recruitment process through a diversity lens. They designed an outreach session aimed at groups currently under-represented in the legal profession and the civil service on what it means to be a government lawyer. Initial feedback was overwhelmingly positive and they will be monitoring their trainee recruitment pathway to further assess impact. They also implemented diverse panels as well as made connections with Scottish Ethnic Minorities Lawyers Association to help promote the traineeship, bringing attention to their diversity statement. Talent

81. Our goal is to build a strong and diverse talent and leadership pipeline. Evidence and analysis form a significant part of our process.

82. Diversity in the senior civil service (SCS) is improving. The percentage of women in the SCS in the Scottish Government core staffing complement at the end of December 2018 was 44%, an increase of 5 percentage points since 2014. Recent senior female appointments include HM Inspector of Constabulary, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Chief Inspector of Education for Scotland, Director for Energy and Climate Change, Director of Performance & Strategic Outcomes, Chief Finance Officer NHS Scotland, and Director of Health Finance, Corporate Governance and Value. While we have improved diversity over the past few years we recognise the need for continuous work and vigilance to achieve gender balance.

83. Other key areas where we wish to accelerate diversity improvement relate to disability and ethnicity in our SCS. Currently, it is not possible to report the proportion of SCS who have self-declared disabled due to low numbers. In relation to ethnicity, 3% of SCS are minority ethnic which is ahead of the overall Scottish Government proportion (at 2%) but still behind the wider working age population (at 4%). Consequently, we have set targets to improve the flow of minority ethnic and disabled people into SCS, aiming to have 13% disabled and 6% minority ethnic new entrants to SCS by 2025.

84. We have taken action to invest in our future talent pipeline and increase the diversity of the applicant pool for Graduate Development Programme 2019. This includes our first ever three day Diversity Leadership conference in summer 2018 aimed at graduates from minority ethnic, disabled and socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The purpose of the event was to provide 'open door' access to the Scottish Government, provide support with the application process and develop ongoing mentoring relationships with existing Scottish Government staff.

85. Because we expect those we recruit on the Graduate Development Programme to have the potential to reach SCS and we expect our SCS to champion diversity and inclusion, the GDP person specification includes a requirement that people 'value diversity and inclusion' and this is assessed during the selection process.

86. We support the UK Civil Service Summer Diversity Internship Programme, which focuses on creating opportunities for students who identify as minority ethnic, disabled or from a socially or economically disadvantaged background. This programme has the long-term aim of promoting talented individuals from diverse backgrounds into the SCS and is currently leading to an increase in target groups who are successful in joining the Fast Stream.

87. We have undertaken a review of a wide range of data to allow us to assess evidence of individuals with protected characteristics in relation to their career progression. This has led to a gap analysis of current practice versus aspirations, which will underpin further consultation on any real and/or perceived barriers impacting on underrepresented groups and further targeted action including systemic changes where barriers become apparent. Learning and Development

88. Learning and development is available for staff either through local learning offers across the organisation, usually commissioned by senior management, or centrally, through our Learning and Development Team. We offer a centrally managed core blended learning programme as well as expert consultation in the design of locally commissioned learning and development.

89. Our Theory of Change (see Annex C) draws on research evidence[3], which emphasises the importance of culture at team-level as this is the space where diversity policies are implemented and where discrimination is most likely to occur. Capability and leadership are core aspects of our People Plan, which introduces a new organisational development approach to leadership, aimed at embedding positive and inclusive cultures open to, and benefitting from, diversity in all its forms.

90. In 2018, we developed and began delivering a New Line Manager Development Programme; a 16 week blended modular programme which has diversity and inclusion embedded throughout. In addition, two bespoke modules have been developed for the programme:

90.1. Managing Inclusive Teams, aimed at developing managers' understanding and ability to apply inclusive leadership concepts to their daily work activities and recognise when their decision-making is being influenced by bias; and

90.2. Emotional and Cultural Intelligence, whose aim is to support managers to identify how cultural norms influence their behaviour and thought processes, how to recognise them in others; and to suspend judgement before acting; recognise its role in innovative problem-solving to make informed decisions rather than relying on stereotypes.

91. Starting in 2018 and continuing in 2019, we are rolling out a new corporate induction programme which is based on person-centred design. Accessibility is a key priority. It commences before a person receives a successful offer and will follow and support the person in their first year with the Scottish Government. This programme includes a Foundation Day with dedicated time focused on diversity and inclusion, including inputs from staff diversity network members sharing their lived experience of working in the Scottish Government.

Local Case Study: Advanced Learning and Science Directorate

The Scottish Government Advanced Learning and Science Directorate (ALS) have created a dedicated Learning and Development (L&D) Committee for the Directorate. The committee consists of 6 members of staff who are volunteering to improve the L&D function. The L&D Committee have a variety of initiatives that represent inclusiveness, equality, and mutual respect in the work place. The buddy scheme matches new starters with existing members of staff at the same grade, which aims to promote inclusiveness and make new starters feel welcome to the division.

92. Measurement of learning is not simple. It is relatively easy to measure how many people engage in particular training offers, but it is much more difficult to measure true understanding and impact of that understanding. We know from research and evidence in learning and development that changing values and behaviours is a significant challenge. We will continue to monitor staff experience of the impacts of learning and development through our People Survey as well as gathering qualitative insights from those who commission learning support. HR Policy

93. We recognise that HR policy, guidance, and support is a critical area for mainstreaming equality. We do this through embedding equality considerations in our general HR policies, and, where there is a compelling need, developing strand-specific policy and guidance.

94. For example, our HR policy teams worked closely with the Diversity & Inclusion team in the review of our Grievance and Standards of Behaviour policies. This exercise aimed to clearly set out both the positive behaviour we expect and value from our staff to develop a diverse and inclusive workplace environment and culture, and also to describe with no doubt our zero-tolerance approach to discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying of any kind. Data and evidence was a key consideration of this review. Equality analysis of our all-staff survey ('People Survey') pointed to different experiences and confidence in reporting bullying and harassment for minority ethnic and disabled women; this is influencing how we think about testing the grievance procedures and routes to raising a complaint to ensure our policies are sensitive to the diverse needs of employees.

95. The iterative analytical approach taken during the selection process of the Band B campaign 2018 is a good example of diversity analysis leading to greater understanding of impact and to change in our original decision on how we would proceed. As noted above, the findings of analysing the performance by protected characteristic after each selection process test identified that certain groups would be adversely impacted by our original intention to use each test to sift out unsuccessful candidates. Analysis also demonstrated that sifting on the basis of aggregate test scores would mitigate the impact on people who shared protected characteristics, and consequently we chose to adopt this approach instead. This was effective in maintaining levels of diversity in the final successful cohort.

96. We have recently refreshed our Transgender Equality and Inclusion Policy and Guidance to underline our commitment to LGBTI equality and inclusion. To do this, we established a project group, chaired by the senior LGBTI Ally and with representatives from our LGBTI and LGBTI Allies networks, to ensure lived experience was embedded at the heart of the policy development. We also established an external Trans Advisory Board with members drawn from external partner organisations including the Scottish Trans Alliance, Stonewall and Mermaids and whose role was to bring external expertise and challenge to in support of a robust policy. In 2018 we launched our refreshed Trans equality and inclusion policy and guidance, and will next focus on developing the accompanying learning offer and further guidance documents.

97. We will explore adapting the Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) process, which is currently more aimed at external policy making, with a view to designing an EQIA that HR colleagues and others can use for employee-related policies and programmes. Inclusion through communication and collaboration

98. In 2017 and 2018, communications on diversity and inclusion has focused on building a meaningful understanding of our differences in order to embed action to advance diversity and inclusion in all that we do - at all levels in our organisation. Collaborative communications strategies sat at the heart of this approach.

99. We continue to prioritise diversity and inclusion in the stories we share and resources we promote. We increased the number of articles on Saltire (our intranet) related to diversity and inclusion from 20% in 2017 to 33% in 2018; several of which featured first person experiences in blog format and also addressed behaviours and expectations we have of and from each other. In doing this, we worked to build meaningful understanding of our differences and corporate expectations.

100. Signalling this through visible leadership is another key part of our corporate approach. Our Permanent Secretary spoke extensively about diversity and inclusion, covering several intersectional topics through her various communications platforms: twitter, blog, events/public speaking, etc. Other senior leaders, particularly at Director General level, also actively promote visible leadership in this area through a variety of communications channels.

101. Alongside our strategy, we continue to foster good relations through championing open communication and engagement tools for our staff including, the use of 'Yammer' (our online internal social media platform) and job shadowing across the organisation.

102. We have prioritised a number of projects across this reporting period to raise awareness about individual lived experiences. For example, we held a Scottish Government Transgender Awareness Event, featuring illustrations and other means of visual storytelling. We also ran an extensive campaign for International Women's Day in 2019, which aimed to uncover stories of women from across the organisation. The stories were promoted through: installations across several government buildings of illustrated posters featuring the stories; videos of the women telling their stories shared on Saltire and on video screens; and daily shares on Yammer. Staff networks

103. Staff networks at the Scottish Government form a critical part of building an inclusive workforce. There are a number of diversity networks including: Carers Network, Disability Network, LGBTI Network and LGBTI Allies Network, ME - Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Network, Mental Health and Wellbeing Network, Race Equality Network, European Union Nationals Network, Gender Equality Network, Women's Development Network and Socio Economic Diversity Network. Networks work broadly across three areas:

  • Consultation and involvement
    • Networks work collectively towards improving Scottish Government institutional policies, procedures, practices, and implementing change by bringing their lived experiences/insights forward;
  • Supporting tackling prejudice
    • Promoting positive attitudes between or towards different people or groups;
    • Helping to improve employees' sense of personal security at work;
    • Supporting positive interactions between diverse individuals/groups;
    • Encouraging wide participation of different individuals and groups so that people can have their voices heard and can influence the relevant decisions that affect them;
  • Offering peer support
    • People with lived experience helping and supporting each other with social, emotional or practical support that is mutually offered and reciprocated; and
    • Helping to improve employees' sense of belonging and community at work.

104. The networks work across these aims in interconnected ways. Notable examples across 2017/2018 include:

  • Delivering a mental health awareness event, piloted by the Mental Health Network, for senior leaders in partnership with the FDA;
  • The engagement of the Race Equality Network and Disability Network in shaping the design and delivery of the 2018 external recruitment campaign for 150 middle managers;
  • The EU nationals network influenced a statement published by Cabinet Office on intent to maintain current Civil Service Nationality Rules; they also collaborated with People Directorate to produce guidance for line managers supporting EU/EEA staff;
  • Members from our LGBTI network and LGBTI Allies network were embedded on the project group which refreshed our trans equality and inclusion policy, to ensure lived experience and insights directly shaped the policy;
  • Hosting conferences, such as the Race Equality Network Conferences in 2017 and 2018 and the Disability Conference in 2018;
  • Members of our Race Equality Network participating in mutual mentoring with Senior Civil Servants to build an understanding of diversity and inclusion at a senior, strategic level;
  • A range of activity by our LGBTI network which has been powerful in shifting perceptions and promoting understanding. The LGBTI network was recognised by Stonewall Scotland as Network of the Year 2019; and
  • An event to re-launch the Socio Economic Network and to explore what we mean by socio-economic diversity in Scottish Government, why this is important/desirable and developing a vision in relation for Scottish Government in relation to socio-economic diversity;
  • Women's Development Network, Gender Equality Network, and the Race Equality Network collaborated to deliver a series of projects around International Women's Day 2019;
  • The Women's Development Network launched to 350 members.

105. We recognise that networks require institutional support to thrive. In our People Plan we committed to reviewing the role and purpose of diversity networks in our organisation - working closely with the networks, the unions who represent staff and the wider organisation - to ensure that all voices can be heard, and aim to ensure that each network has a clear purpose and support to achieve its goals. We have recruited a member of staff to the diversity and inclusion team to deliver this work.


Email: Bruce.Sutherland@gov.scot

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