Permanent Secretary's Statement
The Scottish Government is committed to public service, improving outcomes for the people of Scotland and aspiring to be an exemplar in all that it does.
In order to achieve this ambitious aspiration, we need to be fully representative of modern Scotland and the public and communities we serve. Therefore the Scottish Government will continue to strive for a diverse and inclusive workforce in order to gain broader insights, increase challenge, engage more fully with all of our stakeholders and ultimately support Ministers better to make decisions that will benefit the whole of Scotland.
I am proud of the progress that has been made in recent years. Our recruitment campaigns have attracted a much more diverse field of candidates and as a result we are seeing a more diverse workforce within the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government's strategic focus on diversity and inclusion has a number of strands including the Recruitment and Retention Plan for Disabled People 2019 and the Race Recruitment and Retention Plan 2021, which together aim to increase the representation of disabled and minority ethnic people at all levels of Scottish government, and a create a workplace environment where everyone can flourish. There are thriving diversity staff networks which are critical to building a sense of belonging and offering constructive challenge as we strive to do more, and better.
As an organisation, meeting the challenge of the global pandemic is by far one of the greatest challenges we have ever faced and in pivoting to meet this challenge, it is not an understatement to say that the Scottish Government have transformed how we conduct our business. The organisation has changed where, when and how people work, and even the kinds of jobs we all do. It is a testament to the workforce how we have been able to pull together to tackle this pandemic and draw upon the investments made over years in pandemic planning, resilience, and organisational readiness and being more open, capable and responsive to meeting the needs of Scotland's people.
We know the impacts of COVID-19 have not been felt equally and it is expected ongoing economic impacts will be felt disproportionally by women, those from minority ethnic communities, older people and disabled people. It is essential we continue to strengthen our approach to equality and human rights across Government by listening, understanding and involving the people affected by our policies and importantly strengthening public services that deliver for all.
Our role as civil servants is to deliver the Scottish Government's ambition. Our challenge is to ensure the needs of our most disadvantaged and marginalised communities are at the forefront of our minds as we take action not only as we recover from COVID-19 but in ensuring equality and human rights are embedded in all that we do.
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